Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Andrew Steffensmeier '14
Columbus, Ohio
College Of Arts And Sciences

I came to UD for a few reasons, one of which was to play on the varsity golf team. But I especially appreciated that I’d have the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate.

Since my first year, I’ve worked in the biology laboratory of Dr. Amit Singh, studying the eyes of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogastor. Because neural degeneration in the Drosophila eye is similar to neural degeneration in the human brain in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s possible that what I discover about pharmaceutical and genetic interventions in the fruit fly could someday have applications in humans.

I’ve had a wonderful mentor and teacher in Dr. Singh, and I spent the summer of 2012 on campus as part of the Berry Thesis Fellows Program, funded by a gift from the Berry Family Foundation. Since then, I’ve presented my research at two Drosophila conferences; the regional and international conferences of the Beta Beta Beta national biological honor society; the Miami Valley Neuroscience Day at Wright State University; and the Stander Symposium. I’ve also trained younger students in the laboratory for the past two years and had the satisfaction of seeing them succeed. In the summer of 2013, I was a student mentor to the new cohort of Berry Thesis Fellows.

The Berry Family Foundation and the many donors to the Honors Program and the biology department have opened a lot of doors for me in my research at UD, and as a result, I’m well-prepared for my next endeavor, whether that’s graduate school, medical school or a job.

I’m so grateful. Thank you.