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Westminster student, professor present at national cell biology meeting

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Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2019

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Westminster College student Taylor Gatesman and Dr. Karen Resendes, associate professor of biology, presented their work at the national American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) meeting held Dec. 7-10 in Washington, D.C.

Gatesman, a senior molecular biology major from Lucinda, Pa., presented her honors research in the area of nuclear cell biology titled “Pcid2 Influences Brca1/Bard1 Localization and Centrosome Duplication through its Functions in Nuclear Protein and mRNA Export.” Gatesman conducted her research in Resendes’ laboratory.

Gatesman’s poster was well received both at the undergraduate poster session and the main session on nuclear transport, where she discussed her work with both U.S. based and international scientists.

Resendes presented “Biology Competency for the Classroom and Beyond” in the educational mini-symposium.

She discussed the unique design of her advanced course Bio 404: Nuclear Structure and Function in her talk “A Data Analysis and Literature Intensive Undergraduate Course That Positively Impacts Student Ability and Confidence in Scientific Critical Thinking Skills and Increases Post-graduation Success.”

In addition, she organized or presented in several sessions targeting the professional development of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty including:

•    “Mechanisms for Effective Mentoring of Undergraduates in Research Projects”
•    “Searching for a Faculty Position and Starting a Lab at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution”
•    “Mentorship in Converting Research into a CURE: Mentoring the Integration of Research into the Curriculum (MIRIC) Initiative”

Resendes, who also serves as the co-director of Westminster’s Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research, joined the Westminster faculty in 2009. She earned her undergraduate degree from The College of William and Mary.  She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry from Brown University and performed post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego while also teaching at San Diego State University.

The ASCB is an inclusive, international community of biologists studying the cell, the fundamental unit of life.

For more information about the event or to learn more about the molecular biology or biology programs at Westminster College, please contact Dr. Resendes at or 724-946-7211,

Taylor Gatesman pictured above.