Call for Appalachian Cell Conference entries

The Appalachian Regional Cell Conference (ARCC) is run by student representatives from Marshall University (MU), West Virginia University (WVU), University of Kentucky (UK), and Ohio State University (OSU). In addition to the entries provided by students, there is a need for a few faculty volunteers to judge the oral and poster presentations.flyer_ARCC_2016-use-me

Please register by 3PM on September 23rd for inclusion in the conference booklet and to be considered for oral presentation. Registration:

Contact Rachel Murphy for more information at

We’re looking forward to seeing some of the great research in the region on October 1!

2015 Appalachian Regional Cell Conference held at Marshall University

Marshall University Biomedical Sciences (BMS) again hosted the Appalachian Regional Cell Conference (ARCC) attended by students and faculty from four area institutions: Marshall University, West VirginiaARCC2015_Stevens,-S-and-Dawley,-D University, University of Kentucky and Ohio University. This year, 60 participants presented 30 posters and four oral presentations on a variety of biomedical sciences research topics.















Alejandro SanchARCC2015_Alejandro-Sanchez-Alvarado,-PhDez Alvarado, PhD, from Stower’s Institute in Kansas City was the Keynote Speaker. His research and presentation focusing on the molecular mechanisms of tissue regeneration in invertebrates were fascinating for the attendees.







Learn more about his work at:

The Marshall Representative for ARCC, Kristeena Wright, BMS PARCC2015_Wright,-K.bhD Candidate,
noted, “As always, the conference allowed for sharing of great scientific findings, interesting conversation, and networking by students and faculty alike. We look forward to another successful conference next year!”

Two Marshall students each won Second Place for their poster presentations. Alexandra Nichols has worked for a year in the lab of Komal Sodhi, MD, following the completion of her undergraduate degree in December 2013. Their presentation of Role of Serum Biomarkers in Early Detection of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy in West Virginia Population highlighted the laboratory’s focus on translational medicine. This research can give medical practitioners additional diagnostic tools to determine a diabetic patient’s risk in developing diabetic-related problems in the future. Since this information could be gleaned from the blood panel that doctors would have already ordered, it is cost effective, and it is not as intimidating to a patient as another test might be.  Nichol’s study looked for certain identifiers on the serum test that can predict a patient’s Alexandra Nichols     Sodhi, Komal_May2015b

proclivity for developing fibrosis, diastolic dysfunction and inflammation in the tissues (tissue disease). This investigation used samples from current patients at Cabell Huntington Hospital under the care of Dr. Ellen Thompson. Nichols was excited by this project since it was the first study design that she has been able to bring to completion. “It is very special to be able to do research that is clinical and represents an actual person in our community. This can have a real impact on more effective patient care.”

Sean Piwarski, BMS PhD Candidate, was also awarded Second Place for his poster, Exploring the Mechanism by which TCDD Regulates Jagged-1 via the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor. Piwarski is mentored by Travis Salisbury, PhD, whose lab researches environmental links to breast  cancer.

ARCC2015_Piwarski,-S.-b  Salisbury-2.3.12

“Agent Orange from the Vietnam War is known to induce multiple types of cancers, but if you expose cancer cells to Agent Orange the metastasis will stop. My research involves understanding the mechanism by which TCDD stops metastasis and to see if it can be used as a chemotherapy target for triple negative breast cancer,” explained Piwarski.

Conference Presentation Awards:

Endocrinology 1

1st- Sarah Metro, Ohio University

2nd- Alexandra Nichols, Marshall University

Endocrinology 2

1st- Reetobrata Basu, Ohio University

2nd- Amrita Basu, Ohio University

Cancer and Other Disease

1st- Aaron Snoberger, West Virginia University

2nd- Sean Piwarski, Marshall University

2nd- Aric Logsdon, West Virginia University

Regeneration, Development and Disease 1

1st- Danielle Shepherd, West Virginia University

2nd- Kimberly Alonge, West Virginia University

Regeneration, Development and Disease 2

1st- Mark Slayton, Ohio University

2nd- Skye Hickling, West Virginia University

Oral Presentation

1st- Maria Muccioli, Ohio State University

Congratulations and thanks go to the organizers, participants and winners in this important regional research conference.


First Annual Appalachian Regional Cell Conference to be held in October

Appalachian Regional Cell Conference Posterby Allison Wolf

A collaborative effort between students at Marshall University, WVU, UK and OU has led to the organization of the first annual Appalachian Regional Cell Conference (ARCC). The goal of this scientific symposium is to foster interaction and future collaboration among students. Miranda Carper, former President of the GSO, calls the event a “a dynamic and interactive opportunity for research students to present their work to their peers.” The conference will host poster and oral presentations.

The event will be held on October 12, 2012 at the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, WV. A grant received from the American Society for Cell Biology will provide the funding.

Dr. Vinay Pathak, who has worked with the National Cancer Institute since 1999 as a Senior Investigator, will deliver the keynote speech. Dr. Pathak’s lab focuses mostly on research projects relating to HIV drug resistance.

According to Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Vice President, Johannes Fahrmann, “one of the biggest advantages to a student run conference is the fact that it takes out some of the intimidation factor that may be involved with a larger scale meeting that is run by mostly established individuals.” GSO secretary Ben Owen adds that, “because this meeting is a smaller conference, as compared to national conferences sponsored by societies, students will have a better chance of networking with others in a more relaxed atmosphere.”

If you would like to receive an application, or have any questions about the ARCC conference, please contact Allison Wolf (