The URECA website regularly features students’ perspectives on research and/or creative activities. This month’s student is Melissa Daniel, a senior majoring in biology, who has been working since fall 2011 in the laboratory of Lonnie Wollmuth from the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. Last summer, Daniel received the URECA-Biology Alumni Research (UBAR) award to support her work on the structure and function of NMDA receptors (a type of glutamate receptor) — a project that integrates molecular biology, patch clamp electrophysiology and detailed single molecular analysis techniques. She presented a poster last August on “Coupling ligand binding to opening of the ion channel in NMDA receptors” at a summer undergraduate research symposium sponsored by the Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) and will be doing a poster presentation at the upcoming URECA campus wide research symposium on April 30.
While at Stony Brook, Daniel has served as a public relations officer for Operation Smile, as an AIDS peer educator, as a resident assistant and as an undergraduate teaching assistant for organic chemistry. She has been a member since fall 2010 of the Ballroom Dancing Club and has also been active with the Undergraduate Colleges as a teaching assistant-college fellow and SSO intern.
Daniel first met her research supervisor, Professor Wollmuth, in a freshman seminar (SSO 102) class where she explored topics related to neurobiology and learning/memory. She is a graduate of the Clara Barton High School for Health Professions-Gateway honors program in Brooklyn, and plans to pursue an MD.
Click here for past Researchers of the Month.