Danielle Caruso, a Middlesex County College student and recipient of a NASA Space Grant Fellowship award, was selected as the student speaker at the Mid-Atlantic Space Grant Directors meeting, at Johns Hopkins University’s Mount Washington Conference Center in Baltimore.
Her presentation was titled: “A Look at TLR4 and MyD88 in Glioblastoma Using Immunohistochemistry.”
“I wanted to test for antigens in tissues samples to see if they are present,” Ms. Caruso said. “The tissue samples were taken from patients over 20 years ago who had died from a cancer called Glioblastoma. This cancer is a type of brain cancer, and it forms in the astrocytes (star-like cells that make up supportive tissue) in the brain. The cancer is very aggressive and deadly. The antigens I tested for are called TLR4 (a receptor protein in immune cells) and MyD88 (an adaptor protein in the TLR4 signaling pathway). These proteins work together to get rid of any foreign invaders in your body and they are found in many different other cancers, such as colorectal, esophageal and breast cancer. But when cancer forms, these proteins will promote cancer, preventing your body from becoming healthier.
“In order to see if TLR4 and MyD88 are in Glioblastoma, I performed a laboratory test called Immunochemistry, which is a technique used to test for antigens using their respective antibodies in samples of tissues. I performed Immunohistochemistry in the JFK Neuroscience Institute lab. My results showed 100 percent of the tissues used had positive results for TLR4 and MyD88 antigens. This means that they do in fact play a role in cancer formation and also immunosupression, which in essence means your immune system is shutting down.”
Ms. Caruso was one of six MCC students who received a $5,000 grant from NASA to perform scientific research with their professors.
She said the experience of making the presentation was “amazing.”
“Everyone seemed attentive and interested in the work I was presenting,” she said.
“Although I was nervous, I feel the presentation went quite well and it was an incredible experience that I will remember forever.”
Ms. Caruso plans to attend Rutgers University after she graduates from MCC, and become a cancer researcher.
Established by Congress in 1988 and implemented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (also known as Space Grant), which funds Ms. Caruso’s Fellowship award, contributes to the nation’s science enterprise by funding research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia.
New Enrollment Services Building Opens at Middlesex County College
Middlesex County College formally opened its new one-stop enrollment center, West Hall, with a ribbon-cutting attended by College, County and State officials.
West Hall will house the offices of Admissions, Academic Advising, Career Services, Financial Aid, Registration, Student Account Services, Veterans Services, and the deans of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
“We celebrate the opening of our newest building – one to be used by all current and future students for enrollment services,” said College President Joann La Perla-Morales. “When the founders of the College welcomed the first class there were 760 students. Today we have 12,000 students in credit classes and an additional 10,000 in noncredit classes. We have grown and we have had to change with the times. Our new West Hall will help us change and improve services for our students and bring together the staff to provide these services supported by new technology.
“We are most grateful to both the County of Middlesex and the State of New Jersey for making the funding available for this construction,” she added.
For more stories about Middlesex, scroll down:
South Hall Science Building Formally Opened: Classes to Start in January
Middlesex County College Student Speaks on NASA Research at Regional Conference
Kenneth Armwood, Freeholder liaison to MCC, said West Hall will soon become a hub of the campus.
“In a short time from now, students will be running around, checking off their to-do lists for registration, enrollment and financial aid,” he said. “They’ll meet with their advisors and take advantage of the career services center. They’ll probably stop and talk to one another and their professors. This will be the services hub of the College, easing stress and freeing up time for students to focus on their studies and contribute to Middlesex County College’s legacy of achievement.
“My fellow Freeholders and I believe that education is a pillar of our society. Through education, we obtain knowledge of our world and undergo learning experiences that shape our lives. When students are armed with those tools, their potential is unlimited. That is why I am proud to say that the Freeholder Board contributed $6 million toward West Hall’s construction. The County has always been dedicated to giving its students the very best educational opportunities, especially here at Middlesex County College. West Hall’s opening is yet another example of our commitment.”
West Hall, which cost $12.7 million, was built through Chapter 12 funding, the traditional way that county colleges in New Jersey are able to construct buildings. The County sells bonds, and the State and County then split the debt service.
It is 30,000 square feet and is nearby two large parking lots.
“We’re very excited about this new building because we will serve students in a more efficient manner,” said Brian Clemmons, dean of enrollment management. “Students can sign in from anywhere – home, their mobile phone, or inside West Hall. They will then go to one terminal to get assistance with any type of enrollment issue. Most of them will only need to see just one MCC representative. Wait times should improve dramatically.”
Donald Drost, executive director of facilities management, said the College will submit West Hall for LEED certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized mark of excellence that provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Crabiel Hall, which was completed in 2011, received a Silver ranking and Mr. Drost expects West Hall to earn a Silver or Gold mark.
After the ribbon-cutting, College retirees held a reunion in the new building, 50 years to the week after the first classes began. More than 100 retirees attended, including some from the founding of the college all the way to those who retired this spring.
“It was a great place to work,” said Mary Reilly, who began MCC in 1966 and was the chair of the Secretarial Science Department. “It was like a wonderful family.”
South Hall Science Building Formally Opened; Classes to Start in January
Middlesex County College formally opened a new building called South Hall, the two-story, 36,000-square-feet facility includes 14 science labs dedicated to general biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, genetics, microbiology and general science. Classes will begin in January of 2017.
“We’re all excited about the new facility,” said Parag Muley, chair of Natural Sciences. “It looks spacious and inviting. Students and faculty are going to find it to be state-of-the-art, and a really good educational space. It’s going to be equipped with the latest and the greatest equipment for training. We are eager to get started. We can’t wait.”
South Hall, which cost $18.2 million, was funded through the State of New Jersey’s Building Our Future Bond Act, along with a 25 percent match from the County.
“It took many steps to complete this project and to arrive at this day,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios, who spoke at the ribbon-cutting. “South Hall has been designed as a facility where students can experience in-depth, hands-on training in a wide range of scientific studies. It illustrates our shared dedication to offering quality education in state-of-the-art facilities to prepare our students for growing and in-demand fields.
“My fellow Freeholders and I will always be proud to contribute to the education of Middlesex County, and are proud to have contributed $3.4 million to the project, to match the funds the College received from the State of New Jersey’s Building Our Future Bond Act. And Building our future is exactly what we are doing. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. One day, the scientific breakthroughs made in these laboratories may go on to change our world for the better.”
South Hall sits on land that held two smaller buildings, South 1 and 2, which predated MCC when the site was an Army Arsenal. South 1 was used as a maintenance shop for the Arsenal and South 2 was a tank repair shop. When the College took them over, they became classrooms and student support offices. Most recently, they were the temporary home for the James Monroe Elementary School when a fire destroyed its building in 2014.
Dorothy K. Power, chairman of the MCC Board of Trustees, recalled the history.
“What a difference from the old Arsenal that once occupied this space, and in the interim, provided classrooms for our young James Monroe Elementary School students and teachers in grades 1-5 starting on a cold windy day in March 2014,” she said. “The change that has taken place on this plot of land over the last six decades is remarkable. On behalf of our Board of Trustees, congratulations to all who made this happen and good luck to all the students who study here.”
College President Joann La Perla-Morales echoed her remarks.
“Although the old South Halls have gone, our connection to the past is constant,” she said. “What connects the first days of the college on the arsenal site to our present is the continuing commitment of everyone at the College to provide access, opportunity and excellence for the residents of Middlesex County. We are most grateful to both the county of Middlesex and the State of New Jersey for making the funding available for this beautiful facility.”
In fall of 2016, MCC opened West Hall, a new enrollment center. Donald Drost, executive director of facilities management, said the College will submit the two buildings for LEED certification. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized mark of excellence that provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Crabiel Hall, which was completed in 2011, received a Silver ranking and Mr. Drost expects West Hall and South Hall to earn a Silver or Gold mark.
Categories: Public 2-Year Schools