2016 Mescher Scholars

To view student's poster, click on the picture to the right of each name.


Cassaundra Burt




Cassaundra Burt previously carried out research in the lab of Dr. Catherine Fox at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate, investigating the novel CIS sequencing elements and chromatin components involved in the timing and function of eukaryotic DNA replication origins. As part of her work in the Summer Medical Student Research program this summer, Cassaundra worked with Dr. Stephen Jameson to generate IL-10 producing NK cells in vitro and to explore the protective effects of IL-10+ NK cells against cerebral malaria.

Induction of IL-10 producing NK cells and their role in protection from cerebral malaria


Merry Huang




When Merry Huang began the Summer Medical Student Research Program, she already had experience working in multiple labs both at the U of M and at Cornell University. Her prior research experience included work on mitochondrial dysfunction in obesity and examining expression of Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) markers during B cell differentiation in order to better understand inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This summer Merry partnered with Dr. Alex Khoruts to study the effects of dietary sulfur on microbiota production.

Methods and Characterization of the Effects of Dietary Sulfur on Gut Microbiota H2S Production


Kendra Kibble


Prior to entering the Summer Medical Student Program, Kendra worked in a research lab at North Dakota State University, aimed at gaining a better understanding of chemo-preventive effects of bioactive food components in colon and pancreatic cancer. This summer, Kendra worked with Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari on a project which explored the merits of establishing a new protocol for Porcine Lymph Node Decellularization.



Dip M. Shukla 




Before joining the Summer Medical Student Research program, Dip Shukla gained prior research experience in a protein biochemistry lab and helped to develop the HomeRun Vector Assembly System, a standardized cloning system, as part of his honors thesis. During the summer program, Dip worked with Dr. Michael Farrar to characterize the Sos1 transcript in regards to B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Characterization of a novel Sos1 transcript in B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Lauren Ward  




Coming from the Department of Medical Parasitology at the NYU School of Medicine, Lauren Ward already had a background in studying activation of CD4 T cells in chronic parasitic infections when she joined the Summer Medical Student Research Program. Joining the lab of Dr. Marc Jenkins, Lauren expanded on her knowledge of macrophages and phagosomal infections with a study of the localized pathogenesis of Salmonella for her final project.  We are excited to congratulate Lauren, who competed at the Minnesota Chapter ACP Meeting with her 2016 summer research project and won the Medical Student Research/QI portion of the session. Lauren then traveled to the National ACP Meeting, held in San Diego, CA from March 31 - April 1 2017, where she placed as the sole finalist from Minnesota. Congratulations Lauren!

Analysis of the intracellular niche of a phagosomal pathogen


If you are interested in learning more about the Summer Medical Student Research Program, or if you are interested in learning more about a particular research project done by one of our Mescher Scholars, please contact the program director Daniel Mueller