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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

DelmonicoDr. William Meredith (on the left) is pictured above with Dr. Frank Delmonico (on the right), C'66 just before this year's #MeredithLecture on "Organ Donation, Human Rights, Social Justice, and the Declaration of Istanbul." Dr. Delmonico is a former Board member of the National Kidney Foundation and a recipient of the NKF’s David M. Hume lifetime achievement award. He was a co-recipient of the Prince of Asturias award on behalf of The Transplantation Society for his efforts in the establishment of the Declaration of Istanbul. He also is the recipient of the Shumakov Medal from the Moscow Institute of Transplantation and the Gold Medal of the Catalan Transplantation Society. As a former Councilor of the American Society of Transplantation, Dr. Delmonico was also a recipient of the AST’s Senior Clinician Award.  As an Alumnus of Mount St. Mary's, he was the recipient of the Founder’s Bruté Medal.

Dr. Delmonico has been an invited lecturer and Visiting Professor in numerous cities and universities in more than 70 countries throughout the world.  He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Pan American University of Mexico City. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association and theNew York Times. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Nightline, Good Morning AmericaCBS Sunday Morning America, Bloomberg News and NPR News.

Although Dr. Delmonico is Professor of Surgery Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is Emeritus Director of Renal Transplantation, he still found time to come lecture at the Mount. If you were unable to attend, please view the link below to watch his full lecture:  

Career Mentors NetworkDo you have expertise or experience that our students should hear about? Do you have some sage words of advice for young up-and-comers in your field? Or are you interested in talking to some undergraduates and helping them as they wrestle with decisions about careers and graduate schools? Then you might consider becoming a Career Mentor for the School of Natural Science and Mathematics!

The Dean’s Office is assembling a group of potential mentors to participate in a new Career Mentoring Network. Many students don’t have a clear understanding of the types of careers that are available or of the day-to-day realities of a chosen career. Furthermore, studies have shown that undergraduates who interact with role models are more likely to persist in the major and attend graduate school.

Mentors will fill out an agreement form which clearly lays out the time commitment, the preferred method of communication with students (e.g., phone, email, in-person), and whether you would like to initiate the contact yourself or if students can initiate it. Your name and brief biography will be added to our mentor list along with only the contact information you wish to provide. In-person meetings on campus will normally be arranged by our Office.

To kickoff the Career Mentoring Network, the School’s Board of Advisors had dinner with 15 students in early October while they were on campus for their semi-annual board meeting. The dinner was a great success – students had a great time talking with a group of our most involved alumni that included doctors, the owner of a software company, dentists, a toxicologist, and biotechnology leaders.

If you are interested in being part of the Mentoring Network, please contact the Dean’s Office and we will send you a Mentoring Agreement Form.

EricEric Sakowski C'08 (on right) is now a doctoral student in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware where his research along with his team is going to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Eric is a part of a team of researchers that have discovered that an ancient gene- ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), which occurs in all cellular life- provides important biological insights into the characteristics of unknown viruses in the sea. The results of this research could potentially lead to a new set of tools for understanding the inner workings of marine microbial communities.

Eric explains, “When we’re studying these viruses, they aren’t viruses we can observe. We can’t grow them in a lab we can’t physically look at most of them, so the only thing we have to go on is the genetic sequence. And, then, if you don’t have the sequence data that you’ve seen before, it’s really hard to make conclusions about the virus that it came from.”  

Read more about this article at:

Patricia Yam was one out of two students chosen for a nurse residency program for the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. The program is designed for new graduates from the School of Nursing offering a three year commitment to work for the Hopkins hospital with an option to work part time in third year if the recipient decides to attend graduate school. This type of program serves as a pilot study and opportunity for Graduates to be trained and gain experience in specialized units. Historically, units such as PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) would only hire nurses with critical care experience or emergency department backgrounds. Patricia explains that “it’s super exciting to become a part of the unit as a new graduate.” 

As a part of this new exciting residency program, Patricia will be doing her last semester/ practicum in the PACU unit rather than starting after she graduates. This will give her the opportunity to learn more about and become more familiar with the unit. When asked about the application process Patricia added, “Submitting your resume, an essay, recommendation letter was the first round…They then selected students to proceed to interview with the nurse manager of the unit. The entire process took maybe a month! But waiting for an answer was definitely nerve wracking!” Congratulations to Patricia and we wish her luck in her bright future! 

RobA big thank you goes out to Mr. Rob Sabo for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his knowledge of Ecology Research with our students through our Undergraduate Seminar Series! Mr. Sabo presented his research to a sellout crowd on the third floor of the Coad Science building titled “Hydrologic and Biogeochemical controls of atmospheric nitrate export in a temperate forest watershed.” Mr. Sabo a proud Mount alumnus and current Ph.D. student for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. His research primarily deals with nitrogen flux in forested and mixed land use ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. He has received multiple grants and fellowships to aid in his education and research including an EPA STAR Fellowship ($144,000), USGS Summer Fellowship ($6,600), and a National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant ($5,000). In addition to his graduate research activities, Robert is currently implementing a small watershed monitoring network to afford undergraduates greater research opportunities in the environmental sciences. Robert currently resides in Frostburg, MD with his wife (another proud Mount almnus), and their two year old daughter.

Presentation Description: How has acid rain impacted the N cycle in temperate forests? Why are stream nitrate concentrations in predominantly forested watersheds declining throughout the mid-Atlantic? Forests cover about 66% of the land area in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and provide clean water to downstream communities. Understanding the hydrology and biogeochemistry of these ecosystems will be instrumental in accomplishing Bay clean-up goals and ensuring the proper management/preservation of forests. The emergence of long-term datasets and the development of new stable isotopic approaches now offer insights into the storage, transformation, and transport of N in forests. These findings will allow the development of mechanistic models that predict future forest responses to acid rain, disturbances, and climate change. 

This past summer, Angel Gaona Rojas, was a student selected to be a part of our Summer Research Internship Program! Angel explains his experience to be very valuable in order to fully apply the knowledge from the classroom to the lab. Angel’s SRIP involvement consisted of heavy amounts of research and extensive experience in the lab. Angel explains, "This program has given me access to techniques and instruments such as the glove box, the vacuum line, NMR, etc." Besides the one-on-one interaction with Dr. Bradley, Angel aslo describes, “these kinds of programs are key for an excellent background/experience to be competitive enough for acceptance to the best chemistry programs in good graduate schools.”

We want to thank and congratulate Angel Gaona Rojas on all of his hard work and wish him luck in his future academic endeavors! 

Robert Buckheit Jr.A big thank you from the Mount Community goes to Dr. Robert W. Buckheit, Jr. for presenting in our Undergraduate Seminar Series! Dr. Buckheit’s presented to a full room of eager students in the science buildind today and gave a very insightful presentation on his career choices and his company ImQuest Biosciences which he started in 2004. Dr. Robert W. Buckheit, Jr. earned his Ph.D degree in Microbiology and Immunology with a focus on retrovirology from Duke University in 1986 and completed a postdoctoral training program at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in HIV molecular pathogenesis in 1989. Since 1989, Dr. Buckheit has been intimately involved in the preclinical development of anti-infective agents with a focus on therapeutic and prevention products for use against HIV.

Dr. Buckheit has developed and managed infectious disease research programs for commercial, academic and government clients, including a variety of multi-million dollar and technically complex federal contracts, hundreds of programs with virtual and small biotechnology companies, research programs with pharmaceutical industry companies and collaborative programs with academic investigators. Dr. Buckheit’s experience with anti-infective evaluations has resulted in over 150 publications in the peer reviewed literature as well as dozens of projects that have progressed compounds to the IND stage of drug development.  

Dr. Buckheit founded ImQuest BioSciences in February 2004 and is ImQuest’s President and Chief Scientific Officer. The company is dedicated to providing technical and professional support for the development of a broad spectrum of therapeutic agents and topical microbicides. Under Dr. Buckheit’s leadership ImQuest BioSciences was named Frederick County’s Small Business of the Year and Best Places to Work in Frederick. Dr. Buckheit was personally honored as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Technology Council of Maryland. Dr. Buckheit sits on the Board of Director’s of Fredericks biotechnology incubator (Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc.) and was recently elected President of the International Society of Antiviral Research. We once again thank Dr. Buckheit for coming to the Mount to share his knowledge and expertise with our students! We wish Dr. Buckheit and his company ImQuest BioSciences the best of luck in the future!

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