Name: Nancy Benedict
Home institution: Castleton University 
Year in Fall 2022: Junior 
What I am researching: I am researching the identification of unknown protein partners in the response regulator Sma0114 in Sinorhizobium meliloti. 
Future goals: My goal is to receive my degree in molecular biology and biomedicine and become a medical doctor. 
DYK (Did You Know?): I am a member of the Castleton Women’s Ice Hockey and Lacrosse team. 

Name: Wayne Alexander
Home institution: Castleton University
Year in Fall 2022: Junior
What I am researching: We are studying the demographics of CBD users in Vermont, and investigating whether chronic CBD use affects heart rate, blood pressure, and heart rate variability.
Future goals: My goal is to be a sports physical therapist, and to continue research throughout my future years of school.
DYK: I have run a trail marathon over 5 mountains in Northern Vermont.

Name: Abdul Abubakari
Home institution: Middlebury College
Year in Fall 2022: Senior 
What I am researching:  In the Repka lab, our work is on drug target identification, which is the process of identifying the role of possible genes/proteins in diseases. In this field of research, it can be challenging to use common photocrosslinking approaches due to the necessity of UV light which could be damaging to cells. To address this issue, we strive to develop a cross linking approach – using visible light- to couple specific amino acids with a photo-reactive handle. In this research, we will be testing our reaction with the handle to understand which amino acids work best.
Future goals: I am looking to go to medical school.
DYK: I speak 7 languages.

Name: Lily Siemasko
Home institution: Middlebury College
Year in Fall 2022: 1st semester Senior
What I am researching:  I am studying intercellular signaling during early neurodevelopment. Using in-ovo electroporations in chick eggs, I will examine the role of glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase 6 (GDE6) during early cell fate decisions in the neural tube.
Future goals: I would like to attend medical school to become a trauma surgeon.
DYK: I’m a certified scuba diver.

Name: Yiran (Steven) Shi
Home institution: Middlebury College
Year in Fall 2022: Senior
What I am researching: I am researching machine learning methods for genomics analysis. We are trying to identify structural variants by using object detection techniques.
Future goals: Bringing social impact through technology.
DYK: I am a snowboard instructor!

Name: Chelsea Smith
Home Institution: Middlebury College
Year in Fall 2022: Senior (Feb)
What I am researching: I am working with Professor Zhai to analyze MRI imaging of the brain. We will be looking at the grey and white matter differences for adolescents following changes in cannabis use.
Future goals: I hope to attend medical school to later become a surgeon. Currently, I am hoping to specialize in orthopedic surgery focusing on sports medicine. I would also like to spend my time between college and medical school traveling, as well as summitting alpine mountains throughout the US and rest of the world.
DYK: I medaled in the team skier cross discipline at the 2016 International Children’s Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria.