Marisa MarketFourth-year biology student Marisa Market took top prize at this year’s Ontario Biology Day.

UWindsor undergraduates sweep provincial biology competition

Fourth-year biology student Marisa Market took top prize at this year’s Ontario Biology Day when she won the Corning Award for best oral presentation overall. She competed in the cancer biology category against researchers from neuroscience and plant biology.

“We have received major grants for our research and I have put in a lot of time and hard work,” says Market. “It's very rewarding to be recognized for my work, especially at the provincial level.”

Market works in Lisa Porter’s cancer research lab studying the interaction between proteins that regulate cell cycle, because versions of these proteins are associated with the development of breast and lung cancer.

Another top award winner was fourth-year student Georgette Nader from Barbara Zielinski’s lab, where researchers study cell structure of the invasive sea lamprey in hopes of developing conservation measures. Nadar won the Canadian Society of Zoologists Outstanding Research Award.

“Winning a top award is an absolute dream,” says Nader. “It’s truly a privilege, not just for me but also for my entire lab and goes to show that hard work does pay off and I could not be more thrilled with the outcome.”

More than 100 undergraduate students from across Ontario competed in the annual oral presentation competition, held in March at Carleton University in Ottawa. UWindsor students won five of the 11 awards on offer. Other winners for best within their section included:

  • Alex Zubic from Trevor Pitcher’s lab in reproductive biology
  • Stephanie Cervi from Dennis Higgs’ lab in neuroscience
  • Sean Power from Christina Semeniuk’s lab in animal physiology

Dr. Pitcher, assistant professor in biology, made the trip to Ottawa with the students.

“I was incredibly proud of how they handled themselves,” he says. “They were professional, mature and are a shining example of what UWindsor produces.”