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2023 SURF Fellows




2023 SURF fellows at the 8th Annual Mini Symposium held on August 10, 2023.  From left to right: Isabelle Lamug, Ram Prajapati, Evelyn Qi, Adam Shaibat, Nora Sypkens.


Click here for photos from the 2023 Mini Symposium

2023 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Isabelle Lamug University of Michigan Jimmy Orjala Genetics-Guided Dereplication of Oscillatoria sp. UIC10842
Ram Prajapati University of New Hampshire Zongming Zhao Evaluating the Influence of Size, Charge, and Amount on Protein Binding Capacity of PLGA Nanoparticles for Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy
Evelyn Qi Williams College Nancy Freitag Defining the Key Amino Acid Residues of the pPplA Pheromone that Contributes to Listeria monocytogenes Intracellular Infection
Adam Shaibat UIC Paul Carlier Investigation of Simplified Analogs of the Antimalarial Compound PRC1590
Nora Sypkens University of Kentucky Andrew Riley Synthesis and Optimization of Hobartine, an Aristotelia Alkaloid
2022 SURF Fellows




2022 SURF fellows at the 7th Annual Mini Symposium held on August 8, 2022.  From left to right: Suja Thakali, Erol Ikiz, Marla Gravino, Monse Castillo, Alfredo Lopez.


Click here for photos from the 2022 Mini Symposium

2022 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Monsetrratt Castillo UIC Andrew Riley Functionalization of the Akuamma Alkaloids
Marla Gravino Rockford University Les Hanakahi Characterizing Cas9 and Human Ku Interactions in Yeast Cells
Erol Ikiz UIS Zongmin Zhao Manipulating Different Fabrication Parameters to Control the Size of Polymeric Nanoparticles
Alfredo Lopez UIC Joanna Burdette Modeling the Influence of Ovulations on Fallopian Tube-induced Tumorigenesis and Immune Cells Profile
Suja Thakali Kalamazoo College Brian Murphy Exploring a Sponge-Derived Leucobacter sp. as a Potential Source for Antibiotics
2021 SURF Fellows




2021 SURF fellows at the 6th Annual Mini Symposium held on August 6, 2021.  From left to right: Irene Corona-Avila, Mackenzie Ringer, Kendra Lee, Alden Williams, Alexandra Castroverde, Lydia Arnold.


Click here for photos from the 2021 Mini Symposium

2021 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Lydia Arnold Ohio Wesleyan University Alessandra Eustaquio Reverse Genetics to Investigate the Roles of Two Genes in the Biosynthesis and Export of Nonribosomal Peptide Natural Products
Alexandra Castroverde Cornell University Terry Moore/Shura Mankin/Nora Vazquez-Laslop Synthesis of Decarboxy Api-137 and Its Effects on E. coli
Irene Corona-Avila Albion College Brian Murphy Discovering Antibacterial Compounds from Aquatic Bacteria to Combat Infectious Disease
Kendra Lee Roosevelt University Yu (Tom) Gao The Effect of SNED1 on ECM Proteome Digestibility
Mackenzie Ringer UIC Andrew Riley Evaluation of Aristoquinoline Derivatives: Antagonists of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor
Alden Williams UIC Doug Thomas Nitric Oxide Influences Cancer Gene Expression in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells
2019 SURF Fellows




2019 SURF fellows at the 5th Annual Mini Symposium held on August 2, 2019.  From left to right: Rocío Rivera Rodríguez, Ipsita Krishnamurthy, Monica Haughan,  Talia Cheifetz, and Joseph Bernal.


Click here for photos from the 2019 Mini Symposium

2019 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Joseph Bernal Rock Valley College/UIC Les Hanakahi Effects of 4-HNE on Topoisomerase-1-containing Yeast Cells
Talia Cheifetz Binghamton University Alessandra Eustaquio Molecular Evolution and Synthetic Biology of Pladienolide-producing Streptomyces
Monica Haughan Purdue University Jeremy Johnson Distinct Mechanism of Cholesterol Reduction by Citrus bergamia in HepG2 Cells Compared to Statins
Ipsita Krishnamurthy Reed College Terry Moore Synthesis of Stapled Peptides as Novel Chemical Probes for Prostate Cancer
Rocío Rivera Rodríguez University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus Joanna Burdette Baicalein: A Compound from Scutellaria baicalensis with Phytoprogestin and Phytocorticoid Activity
2018 SURF Fellows




2018 SURF fellows at the 4th Annual Mini Symposium held on August 2, 2018.  From left to right: Brenna Kirkpatrick, John Holton, Kenneth Booker, Dede Golda Gbikpi-Benissan, and Erin Conley.


Click here for photos from the 2018 Mini Symposium

2018 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Kenneth Booker UIC Terry Moore Syntheis of Macrocyclic NRf2 Activators
Erin Conley UIC Brian Murphy Use of IDBac to Analyze Specialized Metabolite Production in Understudied Marine Actinobacteria
Dede Golda Gbikpi-Benissan Harry S. Truman College Les Hanakahi Does a nearby hyper-stable G-quartet structure affect repair of DNA double-strand breaks in human cells?
John Holton John Carroll University Doug Thomas Nitric Oxide is an Epigenetic Regulator of Aggressive Breast Cancers
Brenna Kirkpatrick University of Kentucky Joanna Burdette Identifying Natural Progestins from Botanicals for Prevention of Gynecologic Cancers
2017 SURF Fellows




2017 SURF fellows at the 3rd Annual Mini Symposium held on August 2, 2017.  From left to right: Allysen Schreiber, Zohra Sattar, Sarah Colon, Antonio Hernandez, and Andres Ruiz.


Click here for photos from the 2017 Mini Symposium.

2017 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Sarah Colon Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus Shura Mankin/Nora Vazquez-Laslop Mechanism of action of ribosomal antibiotics
Antonio Hernandez UIC Brian Murphy Discovery of antibiotics from the Great Lakes cultivatable sponge microbiome
Andres Ruiz Pennsylvania State University Les Hanakahi Visualizing 3' terminal DNA-protein crosslinks in human cells
Zohra Sattar Northern Illinois University Terry Moore Development of Stapled Peptide Probes for the Estrogen Receptor/Coactivator Interaction
Allysen Schreiber Wake Forest University Debra Tonetti Characterization of novel therapeutics in endocrine resistant breast cancer cell and tumor models
2016 SURF Fellows




2016 SURF fellows at the 2nd Annual Mini Symposium held on August 4, 2016.  From left to right: Bailey Englund, Lisa Gutgesell, Jennifer Diaz, Brian Kim, and Alexander Infante.


Click here for photos from the 2016 Mini Symposium.

2016 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Project
Jennifer Diaz Calumet College of St. Joseph Alessandra Eustaquio Developing a Reverse Genetics System for a Cultured Marine Sponge Bacterium
Bailey Englund Augustana College Les Hanakahi Polyclonal Rabbit Antibodies to Detect C7orf49 Proteins Toward Understanding Double Strand Break Repair
Lisa Gutgesell Missouri University of Science and Technology Debra Tonetti Creating New Models of Tamoxifen Resistant T47D:A18 Breast Cancer Cells
Alexander Infante UIC Doug Thomas Characterization of Nitric Oxide Altered Proteins from Whole Cell Lysates by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization
Brian Kim UIC Brian Murphy Rapid dereplication of known M. tuberculosis drug-leads through use of molecular networking
2015 SURF Fellows




2015 SURF fellows at the 1st Annual Mini Symposium held on July 23, 2015.  From left to right: Ishmael Ochir, Hanan Yacoub, Elise Bowler, Matthew Purcell, and Kevin Tam.

2015 SURF Fellows Heading link

SURF Fellow Undergraduate Institution Mentor Lab
Elise Bowler UIC Jeremy Johnson Carnosic acid from Rosemary inhibits cell growth in triple negative breast cancer cell line
Ishmael Ochir UIC Terry Moore Design and synthesis of azide- and alyne-containing molecules that target KEAP 1 for proteaosome-mediated degradation
Matthew Purcell Northern Illinois University Jim Wang Effects of Curcumin on human CaMKII activity
Kevin Tam UIC Seungpyo Hong Disulfide-containing polymer-functionalized surface for the release of captured circulating tumor cells via reduction
Hanan Yacoub UIC Joanna Burdette p53R248W mutation in high grade serous ovarian cancer