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Undergraduate students awarded cash prizes for top research projects

Tasneem Ezzy, in the lab of Dr. Christopher Pearson, in the Program of Genetics & Genome Biology, SickKids (affiliated with UTSG, MoGen. Dept. & UTSC Biological Sciences Dept.) won first place in the Undergraduate Research Poster Forum for her poster, “Mutagenic DNA Formation at Trinucleotide Repeats by DNA Repair Proteins.

The winner of the 2017 Undergraduate Research Poster Forum is focused on getting us closer to understanding whether or not certain DNA repairing proteins could play a role in repairing genetic disorders.

“If we can come one step closer to which proteins play a role then we can explain the mechanism behind how these structures might get repaired and ultimately what might be going wrong in disease conditions,” says Tasneem Ezzy, fourth-year specialist student in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

“I was delighted and I'm grateful to UTSC for hosting such an event and recognizing our hard work and efforts,” she says.  

On March 28, five prize winners were recognized for their research and creative displays at the UTSC Library Makerspace and Reading Room.  Students were asked to submit proposals that demonstrated research that addressed issues of local, national and global importance in connection with U of T’s Strategic Research Plan.

Through a competitive process finalists were awarded prizes that ranged from a $1000 first place, $500 second place and three tied third place awards of $350 each.   

In 2016 the U of T Scarborough Office of the Vice-Principal Research and the UTSC Library launched two research initiatives – the UTSC Undergraduate Research Poster Forum and the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize.

“We’re proud to support a program that fosters research opportunities for our undergraduate students,” says Professor Bernie Kraatz, U of T Scarborough’s Vice-Principal of Research.

“This allows students to get a taste of what it’s like to do research in a professional setting and gain a deeper understanding of subjects that may prove to be a source of inspiration.”

Research from this year’s Forum competition included subjects surrounding DNA repair proteins, cohabiting offspring of female western black widow spiders and Rouge National Urban Park.

Encouraged by the their experience at the Undergraduate Research Forum,  second place winner, Dilakshan Srikanthan and his teammates are looking forward to more academic events.

“We look forward to presenting this research at another conference,” he says.  “We also want continue and wrap up this portion of our research, and learn from this competition about presenting and making research posters.

Applications for the Undergraduate Research Prize, the next undergraduate research event, have closed and will be awarded in May.

 




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