John J. Kopchick Awards support 14 student and faculty research projects

Published: November 10, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Fourteen Ohio University students and faculty members received funding, totaling $118,021, for their health and medical research from the John J. Kopchick Awards.

The awards from the John J. Kopchick Molecular and Cellular Biology/Translational Biomedical Sciences funds were presented at the Nov. 7 MCB/TBS retreat and Kopchick Awards Ceremony.

"Translational biomedical sciences are commonly defined as research that is translated from bench to bedside," says Dr. Sarah Wyatt, professor of Environmental & Plant Biology and director of the Molecular and Cellular Biology program. "Working alongside faculty mentors, students are encouraged to explore research that can have a real impact on society."

Dr. Kevin Lee, director of the Translational Biomedical Sciences program, agrees that while the majority of projects funded with Kopchick awards are experiments done in research labs, they have significant relevance to the treatment of human diseases. “Understanding how their research informs disease treatments is incredibly impactful for our students.”

"Being able to do research as an undergraduate has been my favorite part about being at OHIO," said undergraduate student Emily Marino, who is studying biological sciences through the Honors Tutorial College. "It's hard work, but the hands-on experience teaches you so much more than you would ever learn in a classroom. It has also given me the chance to be mentored by some really fantastic graduate students, who not only taught me a lot of lab skills and techniques, but also helped me decide that I want to go on to graduate school as well!"

The Kopchick support fund was established by a generous gift provided by John J. Kopchick, PhD, Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology, and Char Kopchick, assistant dean of students. The goal is to promote a rich interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial environment that fosters discovery research resulting in intellectual property that will bring about the development of new technology and transfer of that technology to the private sector, where it might be deployed for the benefit of human health and well-being.

John J. Kopchick Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)/Translational Biomedical Sciences (TBS) Undergraduate Student Support Fund


Lauren Abdella

HTC Translational Health-Exercise Physiology BS, Applied Nutrition minor, Diabetes Certificate

Title:  Assessing the effects of rapamycin on adiponectin levels in GHRKO and control mice

Budget:  $1,500 


Katie Gerber 

HTC Translational Health-Exercise Physiology B.S.

Title:  The amplification pathway dissected: impacts of extreme hyperglycemia

Budget:  $1,500 


Ally Hearne 

Biological Sciences B.S.

Title:  Urolithin A decreases human glioblastoma cell proliferation by autophagy

Budget:  $1,500 


Jackson Krejsa 

Biological Sciences B.S.

Title:  Effects of adult onset growth hormone receptor disruption on luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in mice

Budget:  $1,490 


Emily Marino

HTC Biological Sciences B.S.

Title:  The contribution of small RNA Teg41 to intracellular survival of Staphylococcus aureus

Budget:  $1,500


Hailee Sorensen 

HTC Biological sciences B.S.

Title:  Investigation of the role of the RNA deaminase TadA in Staphylococcus aureus

Budget:  $1,500 


John J. Kopchick Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)/Translational Biomedical Sciences (TBS) Research Fellowship Award


Meredith Chaput 

Translational Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.

Title:  Neural activity associated with experimentally induced anterior cruciate ligament deafferentation

Budget:  $15,000 

Jun Huang 

Biological Sciences Ph.D., MCB program

Title:  Development of a Type 2 adipocyte specific aptamer

Budget:  $15,000 


Prateek Kulkarni 

Biological Sciences Ph.D., MCB Program

Title:  Investigating the effects of growth hormone on pancreatic-cancer derived exosomes

Budget:  $15,000 


Ibiagbani Mercy Max Harry

Biological Sciences Ph.D., MCB Program

Title:  The effects of the mid-region and C-terminus of parathyroid hormone related protein on pancreatic islet function

Budget:  $15,000


Nicholas Whitticar 

Translational Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.

Title:  Organ-on-a-chip system to study the role of aberrant insulin secretions in the progression of type 2 diabetes

Budget:  $15,000 


Charlotte Yang

Translational Biomedical Sciences Ph.D.

Title:  Exploration of bioactivity associated key enzymes

Budget:  $9,031


Shiyu Yuan 

Biological Sciences Ph.D., MCB Program

Title:  Identify the WNT signaling pathway mechanism(s) in prostate cancer that induce osteoblastic bone formation

Budget:  $15,000 

John J. Kopchick Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)/Translational Biomedical Sciences (TBS) Faculty Support Fund


Douglas Goetz 

Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Title: Novel GSK-3 inhibitors as therapeutics

Budget: $10,000