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C.W. Post Students Present Cancer Research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Medical biology master’s degree students invited to present research in cancer and DNA alongside doctoral students at world-renowned lab; meet DNA structure co-discoverer & Nobel Prize winner Dr. James Watson


Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University

C.W. Post graduate medical biology student Sravani Kollu and Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.Brookville, N.Y. - Three medical biology master's degree students from the School of Health Professions and Nursing at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University recently presented their research on the molecular mechanisms of gene expression at a national conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

The Mechanisms of Eukaryotic Transcription Conference, held Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, was attended primarily by Ph.D candidates from numerous prestigious universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and NYU. C.W. Post's Sanket Patel, Dipen Patel and Venkata Kollu were among the only master's level students to present their research at the conference. They attended the event with Dr. Daniel Ginsburg, assistant professor of biomedical sciences.

"Research of this caliber is rarely done by master's students," explained Dr. Ginsburg. The students' research focuses on transcription, which is the first step in gene expression. Transcription is the process of synthesizing an RNA molecule from a DNA template. Transcription is the mechanism by which genes "turn on" or "turn off" in ways that can cause cancer cells to form and grow.

"Turning a gene on or off at the wrong time can have serious consequences. It could cause a cell to die, or worse, in the case of a multicellular organism like humans, cause a cell to grow and divide out of control," Ginsburg said. "This is what happens during cancer." Ginsburg is interested in understanding the foundations of gene expression and believes this could one day allow doctors to intervene in turning on and off oncogenes, the genes responsible for the production of cancer.

C.W. Post medical biology graduate student Sanket Patel with Dr. James Watson at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.The international conference was not only useful in providing a platform for graduate students to present their research, but also provided them with the chance to network and discuss career opportunities and admission to doctoral programs. "I think they had a blast," Dr. Ginsburg said of the conference. "They had the opportunity to practice communicating their research and they made contacts with some of the biggest names in the field. Some of the students have followed up with these contacts since the event."

At the conference, the students had the chance to meet Dr. James Watson, Nobel Prize winner and the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Watson is a renowned geneticist and will be a guest speaker at C.W. Post's Provost Distinguished Lecture Series titled "Finding the Double Helix," on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 12:30 p.m. in the Humanities Hall, Room 119. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information call (516) 299-3500 or visit

Posted 10/24/2011

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