2015 Honor Society Inductees A-C

A-C  D-F  G-K  L-M  N-R  S-Z

Mary Addison
Mary AddisonMary is a senior biology major at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St. Mary’s City, Maryland. She first became interested in science, particularly in virology and infectious diseases, in high school when she read “The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus” by Richard Preston. The book was her first introduction to the world of emerging infectious diseases, and Mary has been fascinated by these fields ever since. She is attending graduate school this fall to study virology and public health. She hopes to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, especially in the developing world, as a member of the global health community. On campus, Mary is a member of the AMBMB student chapter, the president of St. Mary’s chapter of the Tri Beta Biological Honor’s Society, and an orientation leader. 

Currently, Mary studies the length of time in which human blood can be detected in blood-feeding mosquitoes. This research has important implications for the way we study vector-borne disease transmission. When not in lab, she enjoys running, hiking, and traveling. Being a part of the ASBMB chapter has given Mary access to an incredible network of top-notch undergraduate researchers, and has given her the opportunity to get involved in her local community. Lastly, her involvement has helped her to develop an incredible love of research.

Ann Anselme
Ann’s interest in molecular science did not developed until her freshman year of college, when she took cell biology and looked at her first set of slides under the microscope. Growing up, Ann did not have microscopes at school, so her training was more focused on mathematics, physics, physiology and chemistry. Before college, Ann wanted to be a pediatrician so she could continue to learn about the human body.

Ann is currently the executive director of Up ‘Til Dawn, a collegiate fundraising program for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is also a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, a member of the Pre-Medical Club. She has been involved in the ASBMB student chapter of Saint Leo University since freshman year, as well as a laboratory assistant for the past three years. Her goal is to make valuable contributions to science through research. She would love to be an advocate for encouraging more women to become interested in science.  Ann is currently applying to graduate programs in molecular medicine. She likes to sing, do yoga, cook and travel. This year, the topic of her senior seminar project is to investigate the pro-survival complex formation between PKCδ II and BAD by performing site directed mutagenesis on specific residues important for maintaining the interactions between the two proteins. These residues have been targeted due to our protein modeling findings. In addition, Ann is continuing previous efforts on a similar project investigating protein complex formations between PKCδ VIII and other pro-survival proteins such as MAPK and Cyclin D 1. Being a part of the ASBMB chapter has helped open many doors for her. Her chapter has been able to put together different outreach programs, which helped her improve her public speaking skills. Ann has also been able to broaden her network by meeting other like-minded students and professionals in the field from the US and abroad. Ann is currently enrolled in the Honors program and pursuing a degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry. She was born and raised in Haiti and moved to the US after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Jordan Armeli
Since a young age, Jordan has always been interested in science.  It was his favorite subject throughout middle and high school and is the reason why he became a biochemistry major at RIT.  In order to further pursue his interest in science, Jordan decided to join a biochemistry research lab in the spring after his sophomore year.  While in the lab, he has sub-cloned, expressed, purified, and partially characterized an enzyme in B. subtilis.  Working in a lab on a single project has been a very interesting and valuable experience for him and has helped him become a better student in many ways.  In addition to his interest in science and how the human body works on a molecular level, Jordan also loves helping others and his career goal is to become a pharmacist.  He has enrolled in a PharmD program at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Outside of school and work, Jordan enjoys staying active, whether playing intramural sports or going to the gym and working out.  He also likes to just relax and spend time with friends.  Being a part of the ASBMB has been a beneficial experience for him.  It has allowed him to connect with people with similar science interests as well as volunteer at various events to help out the local science community. 

Michelle Axe
Michelle AxeWith her mother’s medical background and her father’s work as an engineer, Michelle inherited her love of science from her parents. She will graduate this spring from Otterbein University with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a chemistry minor. All of her college courses have prepared her for what her future goal of attending medical school. Michelle has applied and interviewed at several schools, and will know whether or not she has been accepted in May.

For Michelle, medicine provides the science she loves along with the human aspect she desires in a career. She has had the opportunity to partake in both clinical and bench research over the last two years, and she enjoys it more than she could have imagined. Michelle works as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the Emergency Department. She enrolls eligible patients into a variety of clinical studies. This has improved her communication skills and her knowledge of clinical research as a whole. At the Nationwide Children’s Research Institute, Michelle works in the Center for Perinatal Research. Here, she studies preterm birth complications, specifically preeclampsia. Conducting bench research has really opened her eyes to all of the possibilities and creativity involved in working in a research lab. Research will most definitely be a part of her future endeavors.

Bridget Bickers
Bridget BickersBridget has always been a curious person. Growing up, she jumped around between many science-related fields, but decided in the seventh grade that veterinary medicine was her path. When she arrived at Otterbein University, she was approached by a professor about joining the Honors program which is what got her into research. She works with the bacterium Streptomyces scabies, which is a plant pathogen that utilizes the second messenger cyclic di-GMP. Bridget has made several mutations in S. scabies cosmids and successfully introduced one of them into S. scabies, deleting a phosphodiesterase gene. The information gathered from her research could be used in the fields of agriculture and infectious disease research. This experience has inspired her to pursue research opportunities in veterinary school and potential graduate studies in the future. 

Being a part of the ASBMB has expanded Bridget’s circle of friends, developed her leadership skills, and strengthened her love of science. She is very grateful for the outreach experiences she has had through the UAN, from a community science fair to class visits she organized with a high school class interested in biomedical science. These experiences have contributed to her interest in teaching one day. Bridget is also a founding member of the Otterbein Women in Science group, which is an offshoot of the ASBMB chapter and provides more social and outreach opportunities. Outside of these activities, she enjoys dancing, spending time with friends and family, reading and knitting.  

Veronica Birdsall
Veronica BirdsallVeronica is a senior at Wesleyan University majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry. On campus, she works as an academic peer advisor, a volunteer at a local elementary school, and is a member of the debate team. She first became interested in science after taking AP biology as a sophomore in high school, and she will attend graduate school for Neurobiology. She is currently working in Ishita Mukerji’s biophysics lab, studying the interactions between E. Coli architectural proteins and different DNA substrates. Besides research, she likes to run, hike and read science fiction. Being a part of the ASBMB chapter on campus has benefitted her by exposing her to different opportunities in research. 


Cheryl Cheah
Cheryl CheahCheryl was interested in science ever since she was in middle school. Her science teacher’s demonstration of sprinkling a variety of salts on a blowtorch to change the flames’ colors was enough to hook Cheryl onto science. Cheryl was born in Penang, Malaysia and spent many of her teenage years there. When her family moved to Arizona, she was immediately impressed by the education offered at US institutions. As a result, she became a huge proponent for community outreach because she wanted young students to learn and take advantage of opportunities. She is currently the president of the University of Arizona student chapter, as well as the undergraduate coordinator of an Honors College outreach club called Xtreme Discovery Teams.  Both of these clubs strive to motivate middle and high school students in the Tucson community to pursue higher education through interactive workshops on laboratory science and social science. She is also a College of Science Ambassador and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Ambassador at the University of Arizona.

Due to her brother’s struggle with childhood asthma, Cheryl is an aspiring pediatric pulmonologist. After graduating in May 2015, she hopes to continue conducting research in either Australia through a Fulbright scholarship or in her current institution. Her current project focuses on proinflammatory environmental exposures in asthma. She has been working on developing a novel assay to quantify chitin in household dust samples, as well as validating commercially available assays to quantify endotoxins and beta glucans in them. She hopes to form key connections that could lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of human asthma. During her free time, Cheryl likes to swim and hike. She has been doing synchronized swimming and recently swam on the University of Arizona’s synchronized swimming team. Being a member of ASBMB has allowed her to grow as a scientist. More importantly, it has taught her about the importance of promoting STEM fields to the younger generation of students.

Erin Cohn
Erin CohnErin Cohn is a senior at Wesleyan University, graduating with a double major in chemistry and molecular biology and biochemistry with a certificate in molecular biophysics. She first became interested in science in high school while taking courses on molecular biology and microbiology. While at Wesleyan, Erin was a physics teaching assistant and biology tutor. She is also a member and captain of the women’s varsity swimming team, the women’s water polo club and men’s water polo team. She works in a biochemistry lab at Wesleyan on a project to determine whether the degradation of lignin (a waste byproduct of paper production) by bacterial enzymes could be utilized in the generation of biofuels.  The two enzymes that she works with are involved in the final breakdown of depolymerized lignin constituents into oxaloacetate and pyruvate, which can then be funneled into the citric acid cycle for the generation of energy. Erin is working on her undergraduate thesis in chemistry detailing her research. She plans to apply to both MD/PhD and MD programs.

Wayne Cottle
Wayne CottleWayne has always been interested in science because it has given him the satisfaction of understanding of the world around him. His interest in research began in high school when he had the opportunity to work under Kaitlin Fisher and Joshua Chan in the Jennings lab at UCSD. They taught him important skills and concepts that inspired him to pursue biochemistry in college. At the University of San Diego, Wayne is a double major in biochemistry and music, focusing on cello performance. He also sings for the USD Choral Scholars. He is a member of the USD Swing Dance club and plays the piano. He currently does research with Joseph Provost in lung cancer growth and metastasis. After graduating from USD, Wayne hopes to attend graduate school in biochemistry or molecular biology doing research in senescence, gene therapy or protein design. He is very excited to meet all the ASBMB Honor Society inductees at the Boston annual meeting and to get to know the ASBMB community.