Merit based scholarship award for full time undergraduates students of high academic standing with unmet financial need in the Natural Sciences. Awards up to $11,500.
Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Mathematics and Computer Science
Merit based scholarship award to full time undergraduate students who have declared a major in mathematics and computer science at Purchase College. Preference will be given to students with high academic standing of a GPA of 3.50 or higher. Awards up to $10,000.
Summer Tech Scholarship
Scholarship award to full time undergraduate students with a major or minor in computer science. Preference will be given to students who integrate their study of computer science with film, music, or visual art. Awards up to $3,500.
MARC U*STAR Honors Program
The Purchase College Maximizing Access to Research Careers/Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) Honors Program is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences/National Institutes of Health (NIGMS/NIH).
The program supports academically talented students from groups underrepresented in STEM who intend to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD.
Support and Training in the Junior and Senior Years
- Tuition, fees, and health insurance
- $1,000 per month stipend
- 4 semesters of research at Purchase College
- 10-week national summer research experience
- Attendance at scientific conferences
- Bi-weekly program seminars
Meet Our Students
I am a senior pursuing a degree in Biology. I began my academic career at Westchester Community College (WCC) and received my associate’s degree in Engineering Science and Liberal Arts, Math, and Science in 2019. At WCC, I engaged in leadership and service through several campus organizations. In the summer of 2019, I attended the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program at Purchase College, where I tested the antifungal properties of sage and a derivative of curcumin. In the same year, I presented my findings and received an award for my research poster at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). During my first year in the MARC U*STAR Honors Program, I worked with Dr. Stephen Harris investigating the transmission of pathogens between rats and rat traders from wet markets in An Giang, Vietnam. The purpose of this research was to inform methods in the detection and surveillance of potential zoonotic pathogens. This summer, I worked with Dr. Paul J. Planet and Dr. Ahmed M. Moustafa through the virtual Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at the University of Pennsylvania. I used a Python3-based command-line application called Gene Novelty Unit-based Virus IDentification (GNUVID) to type SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The purpose of this research was to utilize GNUVID to characterize genomic diversity among isolates collected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In November 2020, I will present the results of my summer research at ABRCMS: The Virtual Experience. Currently I am working with Dr. Mark Jonas, investigating the epigenetic basis of plant-pathogen interactions in the context of climate change. Specifically, we are studying the interplay between cytosine methylation and elevated carbon dioxide in shaping plant susceptibility to pathogens. Once I receive my bachelor’s degree in Spring 2021, I plan to further my research experience and pursue a terminal degree through a medical scientist training program.
I am a Junior majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Biology. This semester I will be working on a project with Dr. Allyson Jackson focused on interactions between wildlife and invasive plant species using trail cameras. This study will help characterize the effects of invasive species on the environment by studying if they are used as a food source or habitat by local wildlife. After graduating from Purchase College, I wish to pursue a Ph.D. in restoration ecology but am also open to studying other areas of environmental science.
I am a junior biology major. In Spring 2020 I graduated from Ulster County Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Math and Science and was a Phi Theta Kappa member. I participated in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program in 2019, where I worked in Dr. George Kraemer’s lab from Environmental Studies. Our project focused on factors aiding the success of Hemigrapsus sanguineus, an invasive crab species, on Long Island Sound. When I returned to Ulster, my teacher offered me an Independent Study to do follow-up research in this. This year, I am working in Dr. Mark Jonas’s lab. We are examining the genetics and epigenetics of adaptation to climate change in plants. My goal is to graduate with a bachelor’s in biology and to pursue a PhD in genetics.
Diego Ospina Arias
I am an incoming member of the MARC U*STAR Honors program and a third-year biology major. My interests are in the fields of genomics, epigenomics, and ecology. During the Spring semester of 2020, I was a learning assistant for Cell Biology. Currently, I am President of the Pre-Med Club. This semester I will be embarking on a research study under the guidance of Dr. Mark Jonas, analyzing epigenetic changes in Arabidopsis thaliana grown in elevated CO2.The goal of the project is to identify potentially heritable methylation hotspots that are influenced by elevated CO2. My desire is to get an MD/PhD and to explore the interplay between genes and the environment in shaping human disease with the goal of finding preventative treatments for diabetes and obesity.
I am a senior biology major. I graduated with my associate’s degree in Mathematics and Science with a concentration in Health Science from Westchester Community College, where I was also a Phi Theta Kappa member. My first research experience began in 2018 when I participated in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program in Dr. James Daly’s lab, where I worked with the bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida. We investigated the S layer of this bacterium and its role in the formation of biofilm. In the summer of 2019, I participated in the Summer Research Undergraduate Program at the University of Pittsburgh in Dr. Penelope Morel’s lab. My project focused on identifying where AKT phosphorylates hnRNP L in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, a factor important in T regulatory cell differentiation. During my junior year I worked in Dr. Stephen Harris’s lab. My project used metagenomics to characterize host-pathogen interactions. We used two databases: a microbial database with all viral, fungal, and protozoan sequences from NCBI and a human pathogen database with all viral, bacterial, fungal, and eukaryotic sequences from organisms pathogenic for humans. Then we downloaded and used a stand alone version of BLAST software to compare and analyze our reads to the databases. I am currently a learning assistant for Organic Chemistry and working towards my senior thesis project with Dr. James Daly. We are investigating protein expression in the bacterium Renibacterium salmoninarum when grown in serum and serum-free media. My future goals are to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in biology and pursue an MD/PhD. My fields of interest are the human gut microbiome, the gut-brain axis, microbiology, and immunology.
I am currently a junior biology major. I transferred to Purchase after participating in the summer 2020 Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program. During the program, I worked with Dr. Elliot Abrams to identify functional domains within homologs of the Brambleberry protein, originally found in zebrafish, and other related proteins using comparative genomics. This year, I will continue to work with Dr. Abrams to further understand the structural organization of functional domains within Brambleberry homologs. After I graduate from Purchase, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of marine biology. I am incredibly interested in marine life. As a MARC U*STAR Scholar, I am excited to expand my knowledge and gain exposure in different areas of research.
Meet Our Graduates
I am a senior biology major. I received my associate’s degree from Rockland Community College (RCC) where I was vice president of my chapter of the beta beta beta Biological Honor Society. After my bacteriophage research experience with Dr. James Daly in the Purchase College Bridges Program, I used two new bacterial research models using M. marinum and M. aeruginosa with my colleagues at RCC. My M. marinum research focused on a fish pathogen related to M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis and my M. aeruginosa research focused on cyanobacterial blooms. Last year, I worked with Dr. Daly to continue research on bacteriophages and Renibacterium salmoninarum, a fish pathogen that causes bacterial kidney disease. This past summer I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where I conducted research on detecting mouse hepatitis virus RNA in infected macrophages. This year, I am working with Dr. Elliott Abrams studying molecular processes functioning during early development using Tetrahymena thermophila. After graduating from Purchase, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Virology.
I am a senior math/computer science major and I am interested in the intersection of computer science and biology. This past summer I participated in the Rosetta Commons REU at Northeastern University. As part of the internship, I added features to a puzzle-based human computation game which leverages human problem solving skills to predict protein structures and even design new proteins. In particular, my research focused on encouraging players to explore a broader range of possible puzzle solutions and, hopefully, generate more diverse structure predictions. I will be giving a poster presentation based the results of that research at ABRCMS in November and intend to continue the work for my senior project.
After graduating from Purchase College I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in bioinformatics.
I am a senior psychology major. I am currently a learning assistant for Research Methods I, a tutor at the Einstein Corner, and the president of the Psychology Club. Last year, I worked with Dr. Yanine Hess on a research project focused on intrapersonal and interpersonal responses to social rejection. This past summer I worked at the University of Michigan in Dr. Ethan Kross’s lab on a research project focusing on how knowledge about the duration of a painful or unpleasant experience can affect emotions during such experience. I am currently working on my senior thesis with Dr. Christopher Williams, examining the cognitive underpinnings of individuals’ objectification of sexualized women. I am also investigating the correlation between this tendency and predictors of sexual violence. My interests include understanding the causes of sexual violence and developing appropriate interventions to reduce it. After graduation, I plan to gain an international perspective on these issues in a lab abroad and then return to pursue a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.
I am a senior psychology major and a MARC U*STAR scholar. This summer I was a research assistant at Columbia University and worked with my faculty mentor Dr. Van C. Tran on a project about gentrification and psychological well-being. This fall I am beginning my senior project with the guidance of my faculty advisor Dr. Krystal Perkins. My work will focus on racial stress and mental health/well-being. In addition, I am currently a teaching assistant for Research Methods I. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I plan to complete a Ph.D. in social or clinical psychology and study racial and ethnic differences in terms of racialized experiences, mental health, and health disparities.
Sarah Ann King
I am a third year biology major. I began college at Nassau Community College. I have had an interest in biology and biological technology for as long as I can remember. I am currently conducting research on the interactions of the antimicrobial peptide Maximin-3 and manufactured lipid membranes, under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Middleton. I serve as a peer tutor for General Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Statistics. Following the completion of my bachelor’s degree, I will pursue a doctoral degree and research career in regenerative medicine.
I am a senior majoring in Biochemistry. I came to Purchase College after completing its Bridges to the Baccalaureate summer research program. I worked with Dr. Mark Jonas researching how genome-wide methylation affects responses to elevated carbon dioxide in the model flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. During my first year in the MARC U*STAR Honors Program, I worked with Dr. Elliot Abrams comparing various genotyping techniques for zebrafish mutants. The purpose of this research was to investigate a novel gene, brambleberry, and offer insights to other researchers about several PCR-based genotyping strategies. This past summer, I worked in Dr. James R. Alfano’s lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln investigating the involvement of Arabidopsis MAP65s in plant immunity against Pseudomonas syringae. For my senior year, I will continue my research with Dr. Elliot Abrams, creating CRISPR-Cas9 knockouts brambleberry-related zebrafish. After receiving a bachelor’s degree at Purchase College, I plan to pursue a Ph.D in Biochemistry.
I am a third-year biology major. My fields of interest are evolution and genomics. I am working with Dr. Mark Jonas, investigating how changes in genome-wide methylation affect responses to elevated carbon dioxide in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This past summer I participated in the Amgen Scholar Program at UC Berkeley, where I conducted research on phage-mediated protection against Pseudomonas syringae in tomato plants. Currently I am a Learning Assistant for General Biology I Lab. After graduating from Purchase College, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology.