Professor Prash Rangan and two students in the lab looking at a specimen
Two male students smiling and looking over a book together in a lab.
Professor Prash Rangan looks through a microscope.
Two female students sitting in front of two microscopes.

Life Sciences Research Symposium (LSRS)

The Life Sciences Research Symposium provides an opportunity for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows to present their research through oral and poster presentations, according the general format of main scientific conferences. It is an important event to promote student excellence and collaboration among researchers across the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and Psychology.


Life Sciences Research Symposium XIII logo


Friday, January 14, 2022


Outstanding Platform Talks

Lindsey Tolman

Lindsey Tolman, BMS
"Single-dose immune complex vaccination"

Allix Coon

Allix Coon, Chemistry
"Diagnosis of Ménière’s Disease"

Outstanding Speed Talks

Joseph Ellis

Joseph Ellis, RNA Institute
"Alternative splicing in mouse and humans"

Eduardo Peru

Eduardo Peru, Psychology
"Amygdala from male and female rats"

Alexis Weber

Alexis Weber, Chemistry
"Bloodstains in crime scene conditions"

Outstanding Flashtalk

Rachel Lange

Rachel Lange, BMS
"Powassan Virus in New York State"

Scientista Awards

Alexis Weber

Outstanding Speed Talk: Alexis Weber, Chemistry
"Bloodstains in crime scene conditions"

Allix Coon

Outstanding Selected Platform Talk: Allix Coon, Chemistry
"Diagnosis of Ménière’s Disease"

See the full program and abstract booklet




Friday, January 22, 2021

Award Winners

Best Flash Talk Session 1

Pearl DeVeer

Pearl DeVeer, Biology Department
‘Effect of NF-kB on ATF3 Activation in ZIKV Infection’

Best Flash Talk Session 2

Justin Waldern

Justin Waldern, Biology Department
‘Ribosomal RNA Modification Limits Group II Intron Retrotransposition’

Best Flash Talk Session 3

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith, Chemistry Department
‘Coupling RT-LAMP with CRISPRCas12a for Detection of Lyme Disease’

Best Selected Ten-Minute Talk 1

Pheonah Badu

Pheonah Badu, Biology Department
‘ATF3 Regulates Antiviral Response in ZIKVPR Infected Cells’

Best Selected Ten-Minute Talk 2

Ya Ying Zheng

Ya Ying Zheng, Chemistry Department
‘Mapping and Functional Study of RNA Phosphorothioate Backbone’

Scientista Awards


Best Flash Talk

Emmanuel Edem Adade

Emmanuel Edem Adade, Biology Department
‘Understanding the Spatial Structure of the Gut Microbiome in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)’

Best Selected Ten-Minute Talk

Pheonah Badu

Pheonah Badu, Biology Department
‘ATF3 Regulates Antiviral Response in ZIKVPR Infected Cells’

See the Full Schedule


  • 9:00 - 9:10am: Opening Remarks: Dr. Jim Dias, Vice President for Research, SUNY Albany
  • 9:10 - 9:15: Postdoc Association: Kate Tubessing
  • 9:15 - 9:20: Scientista: Lindsey Tolman
  • 9:20 - 9:40: Speed Talks I: Moderator Alex Valm
    Pearl De-Veer Biology, Ali Ropri Biomedical Sciences, Emmanuel Adade Biology, Aaron Premo Chemistry, and Ian Rapisarda Biology
  • 9:45 - 10:50: Keynote Presentation I: "Science in the Time of COVID and America’s Reckoning with Race."
    Dr. Shirley Malcom, Director of Education and Human Resources, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • 10:50 - 11:10: Coffee Break
  • 11:10 - 12:10: Selected Student Presentations I:
    Moderator: Jeremy Feldblyum
    Leonard Breindel Chemistry, Carl Shotwell RNA Institute, Pheonah Badu Biology, Melanie Lolier Psychology, Weilan Zhang Environmental & Sustainable Engineering, and Nicholas Moskwa Biology
  • 12:10 - 12:30: Speed Talks II:
    Moderator Alex Valm
    Justin Waldern Biology, Anwesha Sarkar Biology, Jacob Schroader RNA Institute & Biology, Jennifer Cardinal Chemistry, and Mahera Kachwala Chemistry
  • 12:30-1:30: Lunch Break
  • 1:30 - 2:00: Speed Talks III: Moderator Jeremy Feldblyum
    Lorianna Colon Psychology, Raghu Ram Katreddi Biology, Nicholas Sciolino Chemistry, Khalid Al-Lakhen Biology, Haley Caldwell Biomedical Sciences, Kristen Kaytes Biology, and Christopher Smith Chemistry
  • 2:00 - 3:00: Selected Student Presentations II:
    Moderator: Alex Valm
    Alex Lemus Biology, Kate Tubbesing Physics, Benjamin Bennink Biology, Ya Ying Zheng Chemistry, Lifeng Zhou RNA Institute, and Tyler Mitchell Biology
  • 3:00 - 3:20: Tea Time
  • 3:20 - 4:30: Keynote II: Dr. Hashim Al-Hashimi, James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Director of the Duke Center for RNA Biology, Duke University
  • 4:30 - 4:50: Award Ceremony: Dr. Jeanette Altarriba, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, SUNY Albany




Friday November 15, 2019, Assembly Hall - Campus Center - A celebration of training scientists

View more photos from the 2019 LSRS


Poster Session I

Best Poster
Jared Richardson, Berglund Lab (Biology/RNA Institute)
Understanding myotonic dystrophy through transcriptomic analysis of humans, mice, and zebrafish

Runners Up Best Poster
Javier Vilcapoma, Halvorsen Lab
Toward tailored biostability of DNA nanostructures

Mahera Kachwala, Yigit Lab (Chemistry)
Hybridization Chain Reaction for metal ion detection

Poster Session II

Best Poster
Maurice Petroccione, Scimemi Lab (Biology)
Modulating excitation and inhibition in striatal medium spiny neurons: The role of glutamate transporters

Runners Up Best Poster
Ankana Naik, Forni Lab (Biology)
Smad4 mediated transcription is required to establish the somatosensory map of basal vomeronasal sensory neurons

Nicole Ralbovsky, Lednev Lab (Chemistry)
Diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Using Raman Hyperspectroscopy

Rose De Guzman, Zuloaga Lab (Psychology)
The plasticity of CRFR1 within the rostral anteroventral periventricular nucleus during the postpartum period

Oral Presentation Sessions

Best Oral Presentation
Grant Ostrander, McNay Lab (Psyhology)
Novel inhibitor of GSK-3 facilitates neuronal glucose uptake: Potential therapeutics for insulin resistance and Alzheimer's Disease

Runners Up Best Oral Presentation
Joanna Medina, Workman Lab (Psychology)
Prolactin mitigates depression-like behavior associated with chronic variable stress

Serene Durham, Sammons Lab (Biology)
Deconvolution of the transcriptional response to cell stress


The 2019 LSRS Winners Accept Their Awards (Click to Enlarge)

Pictured with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Alex Valm: Top row, L to R: Ankana Naik, Grant Ostrander, Joanna Medina. Bottom row, L to R: Serene Durham, Nicole Ralbovsky.

Ankana Naik Grant Ostrander Joanna Medina
Serene Durham Nicole Ralbovsky



Life Science Research Symposium


Awards for Best Oral Presentations
Christopher Lennon, Belfort Lab (Biology)
Gaston Bonefant, Pager Lab (Biology)
Lisa Marie Ramirez, Pande Lab (Chemistry)
Vibhav Valsangkar, Sheng Lab (Chemistry)

Best Oral runner-up
Allison Catizone, Sammons Lab (Biology)
Clare Miller, Fuchs Lab (Biology )
Rachel Netzband, Pager Lab (Biology)
Zeinab Hosseini Larsen Lab (Biology)

Best Posters
John McCauley Scimemi Lab (Biology)
Danielle Kelley, Belfort Lab (Biology)
Mattew Koslow, Larsen Lab (Biology)
Justin Walden, Belfort Lab (Biology)


8th Annual Life Sciences Research Symposium - November 4th 2016

8th Annual Life Sciences Research Symposium - November 4, 2016 Show off your data.

Awards for Best Oral Presentations (Sponsored by Krackeler)
Jennifer Lin (Forni)
Claire Muro (Lednev)
Maitreyi Upadhyay (Rangan)
Anana Naik (Forni)

Special Awards for Oral Presentation (sponsored by Sinauer and Krackeler)
Kelsey Fleming (Scimemi) Sinauer
Phensinee Haruehanroengra (Sheng) Sinauer
Danielle Kelley (Belfort) Sinauer
Rachel Cary (Pager) Krackeler

Best Posters (Sponsored by Krackeler)
Pooja Flora (Rangan)
Matthew Koslow (Larsen)
De Modhurik (Scimemei)



Congratulations to our Award Recipients
Life Sciences Research Symposium VII

September 25, 2015 | University at Albany, SUNY

The 7th annual Life Sciences Research Symposium was held on Friday September 25, 2015 in the Life Science Research Building’s D’ambra Auditorium. This annual event is designed to facilitate communication between researchers working within the realm of life science research at the University at Albany. Researchers that are not housed in the Life Science Research Building were welcome to participate.

More information about the event
Images from the Symposium

Krackeler First Place Awards: Oral Session

Kyle Doty (Lednev Lab, Chemistry) | A Raman ‘Spectroscopic Clock’ for Bloodstain Age Determination: the First Week After Deposition

Gabrielle Todd (Agris Lab, Chemistry/Biology) | Identification of Novel Gram-positive Selective Antibiotics that Target T-box Regulatory Systems

Krackeler First Place Awards: Poster

Arun Richard Chandrasekaran (Halvorsen Lab, RNA Institute) | Label-Free Detection of Nucleic Acid Sequences Using DNA nanoswitches

Kara DeSantis (Larsen Lab, Biology) | Retinoic Acid Receptor Isoform-Specific Regulation of Cytokeratin 5-Positive Progenitor Cells

Maruda Shanmugasundaram (Lednev Lab, Chemistry) | Deconstruction of inclusion bodies and refolding of bioactive protein using archaeal chaperones

Runner Up Awards: Oral Session

Alicia McCarthy (Rangan Lab, Biology) | A Tip of the HAT to the ATAC Complex: Transcriptional Regulation During Oogenesis

Neil Robertson (Yigit Lab, Chemistry) | Enhanced miRNA Detection Using Graphene and Oligonucleotide Nanodevices

Runner Up Awards: Poster

Mustafa Balcioglu (Yigit lab, Chemistry) | Two Dimensional Nanoparticles and Oligonucleotide Assemblies for Biosensing

Stefania Bellini (Scimemi Lab, Biology) | Neuronal Glutamate Transporters Regulate Cross-Talk Between Glutamatergic and Dopaminergic Circuits

Zeinab Hosseini (Larsen Lab, Biology) | Nanofiber/Basement Membrane Scaffolds Support a ckit-Positive Salivary Epithelial Progenitor Population


Life Science Research Symposium VI

December 12, 2014 | University at Albany, SUNY

Congratulations to our Award Recipients

Krackeler Awards for Best Talk

Mustafa Salih Hizir (Yigit lab, Chemistry) | Simultaneous Detection of Circulating OncomiRs from Body Fluids for Prostate Cancer Staging Using Nano-graphene Oxide

Seth Pearson (Belfort lab, Biological Sciences) | Interrogating Thiazoline Ring Formation in an Engineered RecA Intein

Krackeler Awards for Best Poster

Diana Lalitsasivimol (Wagner lab, Psychology) | Aggressive behavior in progesterone receptor knock out (PRKO) mice

Elena Ryzhikova (Lednev lab, Chemistry) | Raman Spectroscopy of Blood and Cerebrospinal Fluid for Alzheimer's Disease Diagnostics

Dharmacon Award for Best Poster

Neil Robertson (Yigit lab,Chemistry) | Improving the miRNA detection using DNase and nano-graphene oxide

Runner Up Awards for Best Talk

Mustafa Balcioglu (Yigit lab, Chemistry) | Smart Polymer Functionalized Graphene Nano-devices for Thermo-switch Controlled Biodetection

Leah M. Seebald (Royzen lab, Chemistry) | Design and Synthesis of Cu(II)-Based Shift Reagent for In-Cell NMR

Runner Up Awards for Best Poster

Kara DeSantis (Larsen lab, Biological Sciences) | Influence of Retinoic Acid Signaling on Innervation and Progenitor Cell Populations in the Embryonic Salivary Gland

Olga Novikova (Belfort lab, Biological Sciences) | Interaction between conjugative and retrotransposable elements in horizontal gene transfer

Dustin Trufanoff (Osuna lab, Biological Sciences) | Translational Control of dksA Involves a Structure in the 5'-Untranslated Region