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Pomona College Student Eleanor Cameron Wins Award for Best Molecular Biology Talk

Eleanor Cameron, a resident of New Orleans and a senior at Pomona College, received the award for Best Molecular Biology Talk at the 33rd Annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference at Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego on April 12, 2008.

During the conference, which was attended by more than 300 faculty and students, there were 17 platform presentations in molecular biology by students from 13 colleges. Cameron’s presentation was entitled “The Stress-Response Transcription Factors Msn2 and Msn4 Possess a Life-Maintenance Role in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” She described how losing capacity to respond to stress can shorten life span and change gene responses in yeast.

The plenary speaker was Dr. Francis Collins, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), who talked about GINA, the bill on genetic privacy rights that was just passed by the Senate this week.

Cameron, who is majoring in molecular biology, first began her hands-on research on this project with Prof. Laura Hoopes in 2006, with a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant for summer research. Further work on the subject will be done by other researchers this summer. They hope to publish the results in the near future.

Pomona College, founded in 1887, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.