20th Annual Sigma Xi Symposium Hosts Prominent Biophysicist

Friday, April 3, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (April 2, 2009) – The Saint Joseph’s University chapter of Sigma Xi, the International Scientific Research Society, will open its 20th annual Student Research Symposium on Friday, April 17, with a lecture by Sheila Patek, Ph.D., of the department of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. The presentation, entitled “Airborne Ants and Smashing Shrimp: Accident and Intent in the Evolution of Movement,” will begin at 5 p.m. in the Wolfington Teletorium in Mandeville Hall. The evening will continue on the second floor of the Campion Student Center, where student and faculty research will be displayed and presented. The event is free and open to the public.

Patek, an expert in animal locomotion, was selected as the keynote speaker because of her prominence in biophysics. Last year, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) awarded Saint Joseph’s a $1 million grant largely to support interdisciplinary efforts between the biology and physics departments.

“Dr. Patek’s work puts biology and physics together in an intriguing way, and illustrates the interdisciplinary approach that we are developing in our program,” said Jonathan Fingerut, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology and the president of the Saint Joseph’s University chapter of Sigma Xi.

The symposium will continue with a presentation of faculty and student research, hosting over 160 presentations from 30 colleges and universities from the Mid-Atlantic region. The featured research will span all disciplines of the sciences, including natural, social, and computer sciences as well as engineering and mathematics.

“The event is a great way for students from all over the region to meet, talk and get feedback on their research,” said Fingerut. “It is also an opportunity to showcase the hard work of the SJU science community.”

This year’s symposium is sponsored by the Saint Joseph’s University chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and the McGroddy Frontiers in Science Seminar Series. It will take place from 5-10 p.m. For more information, visit www.sju.edu/srs or contact Fingerut at 610-660-1830 or via email at jfingeru@sju.edu.

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240, patricia.allen@sju.edu

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