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Duquesne Science Major Receives National Undergraduate Research Fellowship

A Duquesne University biology major received an Undergraduate Research Fellowship award from the American Society for Microbiology, the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world.

Zachary Resko, a junior from McCandless Township working in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph McCormick, associate professor and chair of biological sciences, was recognized as one of the highly competitive students planning to pursue a graduate career in microbiology.

Fewer than half of the 94 applicants received awards, according to the society. The $4,000 fellowship stipend supported Resko working with McCormick full-time over the past summer on the project, Using Bacterial Spores for Vaccine Delivery. Resko also will have opportunity to present his findings at the 2016 ASM Microbe Meeting in Boston in June.

"It is gratifying to see one of our students compete at the national level to win an award from a prestigious U.S. science society to help provide a solid foundation for a future career in the sciences," McCormick said. "As part of a talented team of previous and current undergraduates, Resko has continued to significantly add to a novel project that may one day offer an alternative way to vaccinate against human and animal diseases."

Resko is exploring the types of fusion that can take place when he attaches an antigen on the outside of a bacterial spore protein, which could serve as a mechanism that would allow vaccines to be inhaled or taken internasally.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.