Brain Cell Break Through

April 29, 2010


Working with Courtney Ryan '10 and Kevin McEnroy '11, on an Independent Research project, Associate Professor of Biology and co-Director of the Neuroscience Program, Sharon Ramos Goyette recently succeeded in growing neurons (brain cells) in cell culture (see stock file photo below).

A first at Stonehill, this experiment represents a watershed moment in the kinds of research that can be carried out in the new Shields Science Center - work that was attempted but nearly impossible to carry out in the old science building.

With this technology, Ramos-Goyette will now be able to address the role of a protein (that she co-discovered) in the development of the brain. Biology Instructor Carey Medin and Assistant Professor of Biology Katie Nolin also plan to work with students carrying out research requiring cell culture.

This kind of experience will give students a competitive edge whether they are applying to doctoral programs, medical schools or for research positions. Students Ryan and McEnroy received support grants from the Office of Academic Achievement to help with their research.

Reflecting on the break through, Ramos Goyette said, "this incorporates part of the vision that the late Fr. Hurley, the father of biology at Stonehill, had in mind when he tirelessly advocated for the construction of a contemporary research and teaching facility: faculty and students carrying out progressive research together."

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