The Department of Biology Launches Pathways to Medical Professions

On Tuesday, October 29th, the Department of Biology launched the Pathways to Medical Professions program.  The first cohort of the program, composed of first and second-year Biology students, met with recent medical alumni in an informative Q&A session.  The panelists included Natalie Barrett (a second year DO student at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)), Lakshmi Narayanam (a first year MD student at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University), Lauren Yoslov (a student in the 3 + 2 Nursing program with Thomas Jefferson University), Gerald Orlando (a fourth year DO student at PCOM), Nicole Sullivan (a recent graduate from the Physician Assistant Studies program at Thomas Jefferson University), Kaleigh Williams (a first year DVM student at the University of Pennsylvania Penn Vet School), and Ryan Vance (a third year MD student at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University). The event was hosted by Dr. Matthew Nelson of the Department of Biology at Saint Joseph’s University.

Read a recent article about this new exciting program here.

Biology Students Inducted to AED, the National Health Pre-Professional Honor Society

On Sunday, September 15, forty nine undergraduate students (29 Biology majors) were inducted into the Pennsylvania Eta Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta National, the Health Pre-Professional Honor Society.

The ceremony started with a mass, celebrated by Rev. Daniel Joyce, S.J. The induction was presided by Connie O’Hara, SJU’s Health Professions Advisor, and current student members of SJU’s AED chapter (Biology students, Regina Mcguire, Christina Wallace, Vinay Patel, Teena Simon, Bridget Cichon, and Jacob Feiertag). The guest speaker was John Devlin, MD, Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Dr. Devlin was a former Biology student (SJU ’97) who worked in Drs. Snetselaar and McCann’s research lab.

University Program Aims to Serve and Inspire Future Scientists

Madison Honer (SJU ’19) and Molly Southwell (SJU ’13) wrote an article for ASBMB Today (the newsletter journal from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) about the GeoKids LINKS program that enables undergraduate and graduate students to participate in science outreach with local K-12 schools. You can read the full article here.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students Presented Their Work at Scientific Conferences

Alessandro Sparaccio (BS ’17, MS ’19) presented his work on the teething process in C. elegans at the 22nd International C. elegans Conference in Los Angeles, CA (June 20 – June 24).  His work is a collaborative effort between Dr. Matthew Nelson (SJU), Dr. Karen Snetselaar (SJU), and Dr. David Raizen (UPENN).


Several members of Dr. Catalina Arango had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Northeast Microbiologists: Physiology, Ecology and Taxonomy Conference in Blue Mountain Lake, NY.  During the three-day conference (June 28 – June 30), undergraduate students Isabella Carpenter, Rachel Schwartz, and Ihunna Amugo, presented their research work on Sinorhizobium meliloti.


Congratulations: 2019 Lindy Award for Excellence in K-16 Partnerships Runner-Up Prize

The Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND) will award Saint Joseph’s University and Samuel Gompers School a runner-up prize for the 2019 Phillip B. Lindy Award for Excellence in K-16 Partnerships. The Lindy Award aims to recognize a collaborative partnership between at least one K-12 school and one university. This award will be given to the entire partnership, not an individual. Phil Lindy valued collaboration and communication among diverse stakeholders in order to maximize impact. There are approximately 40 Gompers-SJU programs across 20 University departments. Both institutions will receive a total prize of $500 and will be presented the award on Friday, May 31, at the School District of Philadelphia.

Read More from SJU Announcements…

Roundup: Summer on Hawk Hill

Saint Joseph’s remains a vibrant hub of activity in the summer months. The faculty, staff and campus host a variety of engaging events, programs and activities that provide young learners and community members the opportunity to experience the excitement of a college campus and learn about specific areas of interest.

Here are a few notable highlights compiled by the SJU news team:

Research Experience for High School Students

The Research Experience for High School Students program provides opportunity for rising high school seniors who are planning to apply to a physics college program to engage in faculty-mentored research during the summer months. The intense, five-week scientific research program provides a full immersion in a research lab through SJU’s physics department.

Body Adventure Summer Camp

SJU will partner with Main Line Health for the third straight summer to offer a free, one-week health science camp for rising fourth and fifth grade students at Samuel Gompers Elementary School. Designed and run by graduate and undergraduate biology majors, Body Adventure Camp teaches nearly 20 young campers about how the different body systems work together to sustain a healthy person.

Read More from SJU News…

SJU’s Biology Department is Committed to Bringing Science to the Community

“I see purple hair and green dots,” shouted an excited third-grade student from General Philip Kearny Elementary School, while carefully observing a purple passion plant through a microscope during a plant activation activity. There were many such exclamations throughout the day as classes participated in engaging science activities at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) through GeoKids LINKS.

In 2002, SJU’s biology department partnered with the Wagner Free Institute of Science and the School District of Philadelphia to enhance and expand the GeoKids program originally developed by Wagner, a natural history museum. Read More from SJU News…

Alumnus Returns to Hawk Hill with a Biotech Startup

When Shaily Menon, Ph.D., joined Saint Joseph’s as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) nearly two years ago, she started developing strategies to push the college to be more innovative and engaging.

When Nicholas Nicolaides ’87 and Luigi Grasso co-founded Navrogen, a local biotech startup, they needed a lab space to conduct the fledgling company’s molecular and cellular biology work. Read More from SJU News.

Planting Seeds for Science Curiosity