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STEM + Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Symposium 2022: Biological & Life Sciences

Biological & Life Sciences (B - H)
Study of Optimal Production of Lipid Yield With Ethanol and Chloroform for LemnaMinor Species. Evaluating the Effects of Piper Auritumleaf Extracts on BT549 Breast Cancer Cells Biofuel Lipid Extraction Research
Manuela Becerra Alexa Bencomo Anna Caro Perez
Manuela Becerra Alexa Bencomo Anna Caro Perez

Manuela Becerra is a second-year student attending Miami Dade College for Mechanical Engineering. She is a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member and performed academic research involving Biofuels, and other possible new clean energies, during the Summer of 2022. Within her degree, she has aspirations and goals to pursue a career within the aeronautical and space exploration industry in the future. NASA, SpaceX, and Lockheed Martin are the companies she admires the most and strives to work for eventually after graduating with her bachelor’s degree.  

Alexa Bencomo is a recent graduate of Miami Dade College, where she majored in Biology. She will continue her studies at Johns Hopkins University in the Fall semester. During her time at the North Campus Honors College, Alexa served as the Student Government Association Secretary, Phi Theta Kappa Secretary, and Global Medical Brigades Vice-President. Her research interests include stem cells, cancer, and molecular biology. Alexa aspires to become a physician upon obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Biology. 

Anna Caro Perez is a second-year honors student at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus. At Miami Dade College, she is completing her biology associate's degree, and she plans to transfer to another university to complete her biology bachelor's. She wishes to pursue a career in the medical field as a surgeon. As president of her campus Pre-Health Club and secretary of her campus Makers Club, she is very active on campus. Besides reading and learning new languages, she enjoys spending time in the lab conducting research. 

     
Designing an Experiment to Study Honey Fermentation Using the Ideal Gas Law Testing Vegan Food for Animal DNA Using DNA Barcoding Optimization of Solvent Ratios of Lemna minor and Elodea for Optimal Lipid Production
Melody Carrion Nunez Allaa Chami Smeralda Charles
Melody Carrion Nunez Allaa Chami Smeralda Charles
Melody Carrion Nunez is a first-year student currently attending the Homestead Campus. She graduated Cum Laude from Somerset Academy South Homestead with a Superintendent's Diploma of Distinction, Honors, Scholar Designation, and Merit Designation. Having completed dual enrollment in high school and taking AP classes, Melody is eight credits away from graduating with her Associate's degree. Melody is interested in life and earth sciences along with painting and illustration.  Allaa Chami is currently a third-year college student at Florida International University (FIU) working towards receiving her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences after having transferred from Miami Dade College where she graduated with an associate degree in Biology. Throughout her time at Miami Dade College, she was consistently on the Dean’s list whilst also participating and volunteering in many organizations such as the Phi Theta Kappa Honor society, many dental fundraising events, and is currently a member of the pre-dental club at FIU with plans on pursuing a career in dentistry. Her active participation and maintenance of a high GPA resulted in her admission into FIU’s Honors program. Smeralda Charles was a student at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus. She participated in research throughout the summer with Professor Morata and developed skills like problem-solving. Her research focuses on alternative ways to produce biofuel in the environment. While enrolled in Miami Dade, she participated in clubs such as STEMSA and the Honor Ambassador program. Smeralda is now a Junior at Emory University on the pred med-track, double majoring in Chemistry and Business. 
     
The Effects of Fungicide and Hydrogen Peroxide on Mango Grafting Success HIV Reverse Transcriptase and Human Host Protein Interactions Wastewater Surveillance: A Quick Monitoring Tool for Infectious Disease in Communities
Sofia de Cardenas Alexi Delagarza Melissa Denis Gonzalez
Sofia de Cardenas Alexi Delagarza Melissa Denis Gonzalez
Sofia de Cardenas, a Miami native, graduated cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2011 with a B.S. degree in “Fashion Merchandising Management.” After living between New York City and Los Angeles for a decade, Sofia decided to return home and make a pivot in her career. She is currently a second-year student at Miami Dade College pursuing an associate degree in “Landscape and Horticulture” with the goal of becoming a certified arborist.  Alexi Delagarza is a graduating senior at Miami Dade College where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Biotechnology. The research internship program at the MDC School of Science has allowed Alexi to explore her passion for science over the past two years through her participation on the research project entitled, Discovery of Novel HIV Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors. Upon completion of her studies at MDC, she aims to attend a graduate program in biological sciences before attending medical school. Alexi has plans to become a physician scientist with a research career focused on infectious diseases.  Melissa Denis Gonzalez graduated with an Associate in Arts at Miami Dade College in July 2022. She is starting her first semester at Florida International University majoring in Biological Science. She is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success and The Pre-Dental Society at Florida International University. Her biggest dream is to graduate as a Doctor in Dental Medicine, to be what she was denied in her home country due to the political environment. 
     
TCF7l2 rs7903146 SNP in Breast Cancer and Coronary Artery Disease Protecting Public Health Through Improved Rapid Detection and Monitoring of Legionella in Potable Water How Climate Change Has Affected Florida’s Geology and Ecosystems
Isabella Farall Melanie Gavilanes Enrique Hernandez
Isabella Farall Melanie Gavilanes Enrique Hernandez
Isabella Farall is a second-year student at Miami Dade College where she majors in biology. She is originally from Venezuela but now lives in Miami, Florida. This is her third time participating in the MDC Internship Research Program, where she has been devoted to study the genetic risk factors of several human diseases. Her dream is to become a successful dentist who strives to make a necessary difference in our community.  Melanie Gavilanes is a passionate and resilient sophomore at Eduardo J. Padrón Campus pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Melanie’s objective is to conduct scientific research on the properties of biomaterials. Her mission is to integrate the principles of tissue engineering and nanotechnology to develop less invasive and cost-effective devices that innovate the treatment of patients suffering from cardiovascular and neurological conditions. She hopes to revolutionize the methods that define automated medicine.  Enrique Hernandez is in his third year at Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus. Currently majoring in geology, Enrique also desires to study paleontology. This internship has been a big steppingstone for him as he is actively learning about things that will benefit him in his future career via his faculty mentor (Professor Kuhn).  
     
Genotyping the Type 2 Diabetes Associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphism rs7903146 in Miami Dade College Students Wastewater COVID Surveillance: A Quick Molecular Tool for Monitoring Infectious Diseases in Communities.  
Ernesto Hernandez Maria Home  
Ernesto Hernandez Maria Home  
[Bio is Unavailable]  Maria Home is a 19-year-old, second-year, Cuban student in The Honors College at Eduardo J. Padron Campus. She is a former Silver Knights Award nominee from Pinecrest Glades Academy. Currently, she majors in Nursing and holds the position of Secretary in the Pre-Health Society club. She also maintains a part-time job. Maria Home aspires to continue her education up to her master's degree as a neonatal nurse, and own properties in the real estate industry, while finding ways to help communities worldwide; something she has also dreamed of doing from a young age.   
Biological & Life Sciences (I - V)
Cyanobacteria: The Effects on Ecosystems Marker-Assisted Selection for Hull-Less Seed-Type in Pumpkin Discovery of Novel HIV Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Enmanuelle Iglesias Audelyne Jovain Danielle Nicole Ladron de Guevara
Enmanuelle Iglesias Audelyne Jovain Danielle Nicole Ladron de Guevara

Enmanuelle Iglesias is in his third year at Miami-Dade College and is in the Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biotechnology Program. He interns at Galatea which is a clinical/ research laboratory that has a partnership with MDC. His goal is to continue his education, specifically in the field of Biology. Working this summer on this research project and interning at the lab has really sparked his interest in the field of Biology. His end goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Microbiology; giving him the opportunity to further his career in the field of research and clinical studies. 

Audelyne Jovain graduated in Spring 2022 with her associates from the Homestead Campus. The majority of her classes focused on math and science due to her interest in medicine. Furthermore, she hopes to expand her knowledge and progress academically. 

Danielle Nicole Ladron de Guevara is a 3rd year Microbiology and Cell Science student at the University of Florida. Losing her grandmother to cancer at a young age ignited a passion within her to pursue a career in radiation oncology. Her ambitions are to one day actively participate in clinical research focused on breast cancer prevention, treatment, and recovery. Her overarching goal is to reduce and/or eliminate breast cancer-related deaths, enhance the quality of life and treatment options for patients, and ultimately prevent or reduce the probability of future generations having to experience her loss. 

     
Evaluating Smart Irrigation Technologies for Water Conservation Evaluation of Sanitation as a Method to Manage the Hibiscus Bud Weevil Comparing Mangrove Composition of Rookery Bay, Florida
Shayir Landers Lauryn Latty Ileana Lopez-Munoz
Shayir Landers Lauryn Latty Ileana Lopez-Munoz
Shayir Landers is a 3rd-year undergraduate student at Miami Dade College, H and located in Homestead, FL. He has an interest in reading manga as well as working with computer hardware. He is currently in pursuit of an associate degree in biotechnology as well as a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering in hopes of becoming a medical/manufacturing engineer. During the summer he performed agricultural research through the evaluation of smart controllers and their efficiency in water conservation during irrigation. This project would allow for greater water reduction costs from homes to large multi-acre facilities and parks throughout the nation to discover the most suitable brand for local turf and crop irrigation saving money and time for consumers.  Lauryn Latty is a second-year student finishing up her AA in Biology at the Miami Dade College, Homestead Campus.  During her time at the college, Lauryn maintained a 3.5 grade point average as well as a phlebotomy technical degree and national certification. She also worked as a research assistant with the University of Florida IFAS. Lauryn aspires to go to medical school and specialize in psychiatry.  Ileana Lopez-Munoz is a third-year student at Miami Dade College, Homestead Campus. At MDC, Ileana is a founder of the first American Chemistry Society Student Chapter Club at the Homestead Campus. Ileana is attending MDC for a degree in Biotechnology to pave a path towards art conservation with an additional interest in horticulture. 
     
Discovery of Novel Proteins Binding to HIV Reverse Transcriptase Lipid Extraction of Lemna minor for Biofuel Production Using Environmental DNA to Locate & Identify Pathogenic & Nonpathogenic Bacteria Species in Polluted & Non-polluted Freshwater Sources in South Florida.
Ruth Marius Luisa B. Mendoza Analuz Nieves
Ruth Marius Luisa B. Mendoza Analuz Nieves
Ruth Marius is a second-year biotechnology student in Miami. She enjoys volunteering at the Florida Health Department as a HIV/AIDS Ambassador and a Creole health fair translator with the University of Miami. Her ultimate goal in life is to dedicate her academic and professional development with an Master’s in Public Population Health research and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology. She plans to use this platform to focus on social and health research, to analyze the cause, and find solutions to the most pressing human health crisis such as HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.  Luisa B. Mendoza is a second-year student pursuing an A.A. in Biotechnology at Miami Dade College. Luisa has volunteered in Biofuels research with Dr. J. Morata at the Wolfson Campus. She has been on the Dean’s List since the beginning of her degree. Luisa is eager to start working with the American Heart Association as an HSI scholar in Fall 2022.  Analuz Nieves is a second-year student at Miami Dade Honors College. She is a first-generation Cuban American student. With her major being Biotechnology, she aspires to become a Laboratory Researcher. Analuz is currently the Student Government Association North Campus Secretary as well.  
     
Using Environmental DNA to Identify and Locate Cryptic Species Testing Banana Fruit Quality :Brix and Titratable Acidity The TCF7L2 SNP rs7903146 Associated to Type 2 Diabetes Resides Within an Enhancer Highly Conserved Across Primates.
Patrick Oliva Yaelle Reeve Antonella Rodriguez Ortega
Patrick Oliva Yaelle Reeve Antonella Rodriguez Ortega
Patrick Oliva is in final year at Miami Dade College School of Science. His research interests pertain to studying the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems through eDNA metabarcoding. Additionally, Patrick has been a biological sciences tutor for Miami Dade College through the STEM Beyond grant at the Padron Campus of Miami Dade College. His future aspirations involve contributing to the field of biology either through research, teaching, or clinical work.  Yaelle Reeve is a strong American Jewish woman currently enrolled in her third year at the University of Central Florida. She was president of the YES! Club at the MDC Kendall Campus and strives to assist others and dedicates her time to those in need. Her future endeavors consist of enhancing her educational background by strengthening her scientific expertise. Yaelle's years of experience concerning Botany and climate change has fueled her ambition to be an Environmental Forensic Scientist.  

Antonella Rodriguez Ortega is a 3rd year Biology major with a pre-med track. This past summer, alongside the research project, she volunteered as a Biology I Lab Assistant at Miami Dade College, West Campus. As for her career aspirations, when she completes her bachelor's degree in Biology, her goal is to go to medical school and become a physician. 

     
Leading Causes of Cardiovascular Disease RAPDs DNA Fingerprinting in Plants Using Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis Filtration & Extraction Methods of Environmental DNA for Microbial Metabarcoding Assessments Across Polluted & Unpolluted Surface Freshwater Bodies & Adjacent Soil
Mia Ruiz Reanna Thomas Jacqueline Valiente
Mia Ruiz Reanna Thomas Jacqueline Valiente
Mia Ruiz is a third-year student at the University of Florida. Mia graduated from the Honors College at Miami Dade College in April of 2022. During her time at Miami Dade College, Mia served as the Vice President of Student Government Association and founded We the Pieces. She is now a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta and volunteers at UF Health Shands Hospital. Mia Ruiz hopes to apply her passion for disability advocacy and equal healthcare access as an aspiring medical doctor.

Reanna Thomas is a fourth-year student at Miami Dade College. She is majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in biotechnology. She is an international student from Jamaica and hopes to pursue a master's degree in either molecular biology or microbiology.  

A fifth internship is currently underway for Jacqueline. Since the beginning of 2021, her goal has been to explore environmental research opportunities that interest her. In early 2022, she co-authored her first peer-reviewed article, which appeared in Microorganisms, an open-access journal that includes an Environmental Microbiology special feature collection. Jacqueline’s other experiences include being a STEM Ambassador since 2021 and a Learning Assistant for two semesters in biotechnology laboratory courses at the 2000 and 4000-levels. Research and graduate school are among her future plans. 

     
Assessing the Composition of Different Brands of Vegan Food Using DNA Barcoding Protein Binding With HIV Reverse Transcriptase  
Jose David Valles Rossana Villaverde  
Jose David Valles Rossana Villaverde  
Jose David Valles: (Cuba, 2004) Miami Dade College student in his 1st year and is majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. He is a very passionate and science motivated research student. He is a  member of the Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society at the Kendall Campus. He is a chemistry and physical science tutor at MDC, always willing to help students. Currently, he is a dynamic service volunteer for the Animal Pet Shelter in Doral, FL, with more than 90 hours of service. He is building his way to get a spot at the University of Florida for the completion of a bachelor’s degree. He is interested in becoming a medical scientist and is focused on scientific research as an undergraduate student.  Rossana Villaverde is undergoing her second year at Miami Dade Honors College North Campus where she is pursuing a degree in Biology. Prior to enrolling in Miami Dade, she attended Hialeah Senior High School where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Rossana is a recipient of the National Supermarket Association Scholarship and the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise. Her dynamic personality, passion for learning, and creativity have driven her to Miami Dade Honors College in hopes of becoming a neonatologist. She currently holds a 4.00 GPA and has conducted neuroscience-based research for the Summer, Fall, and Spring 2021- 2022semesters.