Saturday, February 8, 2020

Meet our Graduate Students

 BioSynthesis will include periodic features of our outstanding crew of graduate students. Our master's program in biology offers opportunities for advanced study at the supra-organismal, organismal, cellular, and molecular levels of biology. A broad array of disciplines is represented among the faculty, allowing considerable flexibility in the selection of research topics. Thesis research may be carried out on campus, or at an off-campus site. For more information on our Master's program in biology or our 3 + 2 program, contact Dr. Thomas Klinger, graduate program coordinator at   Our featured student this week is Kyle Flannery.

Kyle Flannery
Kyle Flannery is from Blandon, PA and received his B.S. in Health Sciences from Bloomsburg University in 2018. He is currently conducting his master’s thesis research in the lab of Dr. Abby Hare-Harris. Kyle is currently collaborating with the Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI) in Lewisburg, PA to study developmental profiles of individuals with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related genetic disorders such as Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, Smith-Magenis syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and 16p11.2 deletion syndrome. In particular, individuals with ASD often demonstrate atypical attainment of developmental language milestones; therefore, Kyle’s research is focused on the use of a quantitative metric to capture these atypical patterns. In addition to his thesis work, Kyle has also devoted time as a research assistant to characterizing the phenotype of the 16p11.2 deletion using electronic health record data, and he has been annotating coding regions and transcription start sites from raw sequence data in unannotated Drosophila species. After completing his master’s degree, Kyle plans to begin working toward a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and building on the computational research skills he has developed at Bloomsburg University. Kyle serves as a graduate assistant in Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 and tutors at ABLE, the Academic Biology Learning Environment, in Columbia Residence Hall. He is a member of Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society. Kyle has served the department as a volunteer for Husky Decision Day and the Tri-Beta Northeast District  2 Convention. He shared his experiences as a graduate students as a panelist on the College of Science and Technology Pathways Webinar panel. Kyle plans to graduate in May 2020.

Kyle has presented his research at several regional venues:

Flannery, K.P., Mitchel, M.W., Hare-Harris, A.E. March 2019. Characterization of Developmental Milestones of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Tri-beta Biological Honor Society Northeast District 2 Convention, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Flannery, K.P., Mitchel, M.W., Hare-Harris, A.E. April 2019. Characterization of Developmental Milestones of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists Annual Meeting, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Flannery, K.P., Mitchel, M.W., Hare-Harris, A.E. April 2019. Characterization of Developmental Milestones of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder. College of Science and Technology Research Day, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Flannery K.P., Basile, G.M., Whiteside, I.S., Hare-Harris, A.E. November 2019. Analysis of Within-Task Variability on Standardized Reading Assessments in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Conference, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Kristen Marsh spends a "Semester at Sea"

BAHS welcomes back senior Kristen Marsh, a health sciences major, after participating in  "Semester at Sea," a study abroad program of the Colorado State University. Kristen traveled over 24,000 nautical miles aboard a cruise ship  while taking interdisciplinary coursework and conducting hands-on field experiences. Her journey took her to the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Croatia. She went diving into the blue caves in the Mediterranean Sea. After returning to dry land, Kristen took the time to answer some questions for BioSynthesis:

What was your favorite part of the experience?
My favorite part of the experience was living in a ship-board community with 400 other eager students and 200+ faculty and staff. Learning and asking questions was highly encouraged.I made connections with friends, locals of different countries, and my professors that will last lifetime!

Something new I learned:
I took a course called “Biological Diversity” with an amazing professor Kate Huyvart. We focused on environmental issues and the seven major threats to biodiversity on the planet:
habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation, global climate change, overexploitation, disease, pollution, etc. We discussed topics such as deforestation and climate change and the everlasting impacts humans are making on the planet. Seeing these effects firsthand in other parts of the world besides the USA gave me a better perspective on these issues.

How has this experience changed you?
This experience changed my mindset in many ways. I realized I was just living in a bubble between my home in East Stroudsburg and Bloomsburg. Stepping out of my comfort zone y to get accepted into the program has changed my life forever. I feel confident as a global citizen and have now found a new passion to travel.

Do you recommend studying abroad to others?
YES! Stepping on new soil all around the globe is the most uplifting and altering experience that you do not want to miss. The connections and networking opportunities I made will carry on for the rest of my life. Not to mention it is a great resume booster. "Semester at Sea" became my family and I am proud of myself for embarking on this journey! 

Internship Experience for Medical Imaging Majors

BAHS medical imaging majors gained valuable experience with various imaging technologies  during internships at Geisinger Health System.  

Intern Ashley Wilkins  reports: "I have been able to see so much in the Radiology field. I have observed general diagnostic radiology, MRI, CAT scan, and ultrasound. I have seen x-rays of different body parts, especially of the chest. I have also seen numerous MRIs of the brain and spine and CAT scans of the chest and abdomen. Lastly, I have seen many pregnancy ultrasounds. My favorite part of the internship is being able to start learning early. I definitely recommend this internship to other students. It is a great way to become more familiar with the type of environment you will work in during your career. It is also  a jump start to your learning, because you get to see so much and you have the opportunity to ask questions. "

Intern Xiang Liao states.  "I learned how to position patients, collimate light fields, locate central rays for patients' different body parts, communicate with patients professionally, and handle complicated issues under special circumstances. My favorite part of this internship was that I got  to learn so many new things from the x-ray technologists every day and I got to experience what the job is really like. I would definitely recommend this Internship to other students who are thinking of entering the radiology field. Interns will be able to walk away with a full knowledge of X-ray technology and build a strong foundation for clinicals in the future. "

In addition to Ashley and Xiang, winter session interns also include:  Ashley Conaway, Audrey Edgell, Kadie Lee Hunter, and AmberZurewich.  Spring interns include Margaret Biscotti, Austin Bowers, Taylor Fite, Hailey Glovach, Holly Holtzer, Kaitlyn Kaiser, 

The medical imaging interns are supervised by Dr. Angela Hess and Dr. Barry Nolt .

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Pre-med students take on Geisinger's Jan Plan

Maria Figueroa and Casey Donahoe

Geisinger Medical Center’s Jan Plan brought students to the hospital's Danville campus from January 3 -10, 2020 for an intensive  experience that provides a first hand look at the medical profession. Jan Plan students had the opportunity to interact with medical students, residents, and physicians during rounds, case study discussions, and observations.  Participating in Jan Plan this year were Casey Donahoe, Biology major in the pre-medicine option and Maria Figueroa, enrolled in the Pre-medical Sciences Certificate program.  Casey and Maria shared their Jan Plan experiences:

Maria: I loved my Jan Plan experience. We shadowed doctors in different specialties, such as vascular surgery, emergency medicine, and internal medicine.It was very exciting standing next to the surgical team, watching as they inserted catheters or removed varicose veins. One of my favorite aspects of the Jan Plan program was simply meeting and talking with attending physicians, residents, and medical students-- it really gave me a chance to ask them questions, one on one, and learn a little more about their own individual experience in medicine. The Jan Plan experience reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in medicine. I highly recommend the program to others students interested in the medical field. 

Casey: During my week walking the halls of Geisinger Medical Center I not only saw what day-to-day medicine looked like, but what it felt like. By Monday afternoon, it was already apparent that the pace and "feel" of each department differs. The teamwork and communication present between all staff members in Obstetrics and Gynecology was inspiring. Members of the fast paced Emergency Department seemed ironically unperturbed. Jan Plan provided me with an opportunity to observe a surgery. I had no clue what Urologic Surgery entailed until I was actually watching a malignant bladder tumor resection. Needless to say, I highly recommend participating in Jan Plan.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

BAHS pre-medical science students investigate Primary Care

Primary Care Day-photo courtesy of
Penn State College of Medicine
Ten BAHS students traveled to Penn State College of Medicine at Hershey, PA last semester for Primary Care Day.  This annual event introduces students to primary care medicine and its specialties, internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. In addition to a keynote speaker panels on medical school admissions, students had the opportunity to observe a delivery simulation and musculoskeletal and newborn exams. Workshops were held on suturing, vital signs, and ultrasound imaging. Students attending Primary Care Day were Kaitlyn Beechay, Allison Coffey, Casey Donahoe, Emily Gerek, Xiane Goda, Nicole Harper, Catherine Maniscalco, Aashana Patel, Allison Sowers,  Ayushi Umbrigar, and Tristen Wade.