Information for current and prospective PRISM students about program activities and other events. Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

The next few weeks will be exciting ones for our PRISM students.  As some of our PRISM students secure exciting summer research plans, others will be graduating and moving on to their next exciting endeavor.  We of course look forward to our annual PRISM Symposium and hope to see everyone there! 
In This Issue:

Congratulations to Yessenia Lopez -
PRISM's 2015 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher

After reviewing the nominations that were submitted by mentors, this year’s clear winner of this prestigious honor is Yessenia Lopez.  Yessenia joined the lab of Dr. Demi Cheng in June 2013 to pursue a project related to Alzheimer’s Disease, seeking to determine if the pesticides maneb (MB) and mancozeb (MZ) increase the expressions of β-amyloid precursor protein (AβPP) and β-amyloid peptide 42 (Aβ42). During her time in Dr. Cheng’s lab, Yessenia transformed from mere science student into young scientist, showcasing her ability to think critically, work independently, and collaborate effectively.  In the words of her mentor, “She takes pride in her lab work, she gets truly excited about results, and the high quality of her research reflects this.” Yessenia has applied for post-bachelor study to broaden her experience in research after graduating from John Jay. She also plans on applying to PhD programs to fulfill her career goal to be an independent scientist. 

We congratulate Yessenia and her mentor. Dr. Cheng, and we invite everyone to hear Yessenia speak at this year’s Symposium, where she will be our honored student presenter. 

Some Dates to Know

April 3 - April 11:               
-  Spring Break

April 14:               
-  Symposium Posters Due by Midnight!!

April 14:               
-  CJA Event: Lab Tours (and Lecture) at JJC

April 14:               
-  Lecture by Yingying Tang (OCME): "Modern Genetic Techniques & Molecular Autopsy in Sudden Unexplained Death Cases" - Room 05.67 at 4 p.m.

April 15:               
-  Deadline to RSVP for Symposium

April 15-April 27:               
-  PRISM Poster Revisions, Printing, and Mounting

April 22:               
-  Microscope Day at John Jay

April 29:               
-  PRISM Symposium
May 6
-  PRISM Monthly Meeting - Albert Einstein College of Medicine
May 9 :               
-  ACS Conference at QCC

June 3:               
-  JJC Commencement

June 9:               
-  PRISM Visits Albany

July 22:               
-  CUNY Undergraduate Research Conference at JJC


PRISM Attends Society of Toxicology Conference in San Diego, CA

The 2015 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Conference was held in San Diego, CA this past March.  The SOT Conference is the largest conference of its kind, bringing together the top toxicologists not only from the country but from around the world.  For our students, it is a unique opportunity to mingle among their field’s leading scientists and share new ideas. 

This year, four PRISM students attended and presented posters about their scientific research at John Jay.  These students were Anna Lopez from Dr. Lents’ lab, and Yessenia Lopez, Jiwon Seo, and Jazlene Montes, representing their mentor Dr. Demi Cheng, who accompanied the students to this conference.  PRISM was also able to send five additional students, who were able to benefit from the conference experience, even though they were not scheduled to present there this year.  

For the full story about the SOT conference, visit the PRISM website.  Also, look out for our May newsletter, which will feature PRISM researchers who attended the Experimental Biology Conference in Boston. 


Mark Your Calendars for PRISM-Sponsored GRE Prep Course

All junior or senior level students with plans to attend graduate school are expected to sign up for and attend Dr. Pilette’s summer GRE Prep Course.  It is tentatively scheduled to run mid-June through July on Fridays at John Jay.  This is an amazing opportunity for you to receive expert test prep guidance at no cost to you.  This is a full course with the preparation book also provided to you at no cost.  You can sign up by emailing Dr. Pilette at  Anyone interested but with a potential conflict should contact Dr. Pilette to discuss potential alternative arrangements.  The deadline to sign-up will be announced in the May newsletter.

PRISM Symposium Updates and Reminders:

Presenting Students – Your posters are due April 14 at midnight.  Please remember to use all guidelines and templates.  Visit the prism website here for all guiding documents and submission instructions, or to view some good posters from last year’s students.  Also, please remember to RSVP to for the Symposium to confirm that you are conflict-free and to let us know if you have any additional guests.  Click here for an electronic copy of your invitation.  You will receive emails closer to the Symposium with absolute final details, but for now, please plan to be in the student cafeteria between 2:45 and 3:00 p.m. that day to set-up. 

Senior Presenting Students – Please report to the lobby of the first floor, outside of JJ’s Café by at least 1:30 p.m. on 4/29 to represent PRISM in the college wide research week poster session.  When that session ends, we ask that you immediately travel to the cafeteria space to join the rest of the PRISM students in preparing for the next sessions.  More details and confirmation to follow by email.

Other StudentsWe are really hoping you can join us for at least some part of the PRISM Symposium.  Please be sure to RSVP to by April 15 if you plan to attend, and please be sure to note which sessions you will attend.  Click here to review the invitation.

Microscope Day at John Jay

Don’t miss the Microscope Day festivities going on right here at John Jay on Wednesday, April 22.  There are various speakers with presentations that will touch on various aspects of forensic science, aided in some way by the use of microscopy.  You may attend any or all sessions, running between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  For a full agenda and further details, please click here for the event flyer or contact Prof. Peter Diaczuk.

Prof. Delgado-Cruzata Visits QCC to Guest Lecture

This past March, PRISM mentor Lissette Delgado-Cruzata visted our partner school, Queensborough Community College (QCC), to give a guest lecture entitled, “DNA Methylation, an Epigenetic Modification Tells Us About Tissues, Lifestyle and Disease."  Her visit was aimed at the forensic science majors who are part of the CUNY Justice Academy. 

Prof. Delgado-Cruzata’s talk whet the appetite of students by linking biological principles learned in foundation courses to more advanced topics related to epigenetics and forensic analysis.  Afterwards she was able to meet individually with interested students to talk more about her work, her career path, and the opportunities that await them at John Jay.  

Big Plans Ahead for PRISM Summer Researchers and Graduates!

Please join us in congratulating some of your peers who have received good news about summer programs and graduate school program acceptances.  Visit the PRISM website for the full story and the names of these outstanding students.  We’ll update it as we hear more!
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Our mailing address is:
PRISM, John Jay College
524 West 59th Street, Room 05.61.00
New York, NY 10019