Students and professors present research

Northwestern College students Samantha Hoy and Katee Wyant, and professors David Arnett and Karissa Carlson, presented their respective research projects at the Iowa Academy of Science’s 124th annual meeting on April 20 and 21 in Mason City, Iowa.

Dr. David Arnett, professor of chemistry, gave a talk about his research project, “Single-Molecule and Fluorescence Lifetime Studies of Calmodulin-eNOS Complexes.” Arnett began research on this subject two years ago while on sabbatical at the University of Kansas. His project used a series of fluorescence techniques to understand how the enzyme endothelial nitric-oxide-synthase (eNOS) functions when it is activated by calmodulin (CaM).

Assisting Arnett on his project was junior chemistry major Katee Wyant. Wyant, of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, presented a poster, “Factors Influencing Fluorescence Quenching in Calmodulin-eNOS Complexes.” Her research included a series of experiments that explored the factors impacting fluorescence quenching when CaM binds to and activates eNOS.

Also presenting a poster at the annual meeting was Samantha Hoy, a senior biology health professions major from Liscomb, Iowa. Hoy’s honors research project, “The Effects of HIPEC Treatment on HSP90,” was conducted with Dr. Karissa Carlson, assistant professor of chemistry, in collaboration with Dr. David Strom’s laboratory at Des Moines University. Hoy completed a summer research program at Strom’s lab in 2011 and continued her honors research project at Northwestern.

The goal of Hoy’s research was to better understand the clinical effectiveness of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC, a cancer treatment procedure. HIPEC utilizes the combination of heat and chemotherapy to enhance the death rate of metastatic cancer cells. In her research, Hoy focused on the effect of HSP90, a protein that is produced in response to heat stress, in HIPEC treatment.