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Two Duquesne Students to Share Their Research in Harrisburg

Two Duquesne University students will be among the undergraduates statewide presenting their research in the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 3.

"Undergraduate Research at the Capitol-Pennsylvania gives our students and faculty a chance to share their work and its potential impact with state legislators, policymakers and peer research institutions across Pennsylvania," said Dr. Alan W. Seadler, Duquesne's associate academic vice president for research and technology.

Representing Duquesne are:

Benjamin Andrick in the Mylan School of Pharmacy, advised by Dr. Wilson Meng, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and principal investigator, will present Immunogenicity of Biologics for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Implications for Biosimilars

Shelby Boord, biology (pre-medicine) major with a minor in Women and Gender Studies, advised by Dr. Sarah Woodley, associate professor of biological sciences, will present Exposure to Stress Hormones Increases Susceptibility to Disease in an Amphibian.

Andrick's research hypothesizes that the safety and efficacy of biologically similar compounds used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) could have very different results in individual patients, given the patient's medical history of infections, particularly the flu.

Boord's work supports the hypothesis that environmental stressors influence amphibian susceptibility to infection, based on results from chronic exposure to corticosterone, a stress hormone, after treating salamanders with either the hormone or oil before exposing them to a fungal pathogen. All of the exposed animals became infected, but those treated with the hormone had a greater abundance of harmful zoospores.

Because of this new evidence relating stress hormones with infection rates, efforts should be made to minimize amphibians' exposure to environmental stressors to bolster their disease resistance. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service notes the decline in amphibians may be more severe than previously realized. With more than 41 percent of all amphibians at risk of extinction, they are the most threatened vertebrate group assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

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.