MARC U*STAR Program

Student Profiles

Current MARC Students

Jacob Montoya

I am a junior, exercise physiology major, from Denver, CO. My research interests include metabolism, performance, and rehabilitation. My current research looks at the effects of heart rate variability on lactate production and consumption. By studying heart rate variability I look to understand the effects of the autonomic nervous system on exercise. I hope to continue my education and receive my Ph.D. in Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology and eventually open my own performance clinic working with world class athletes.

Serena Mancha- General Biology

I am hispanic, born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I am currently attending Fort Lewis College and working on a general biology major with a minor in chemistry.  The research I did during the summer of 2012 with Dr. David Blake, my mentor, investigated anti- herpes simplex virus 3 (HSV3) affects of sattabacin. The research showed that sattabacin inhibited HSV3 growth in human fibroblast cells.  Cytotoxic properties and gene function alterations in human fibriblast cells after exposure to sattabacin were also investigated.  The results of this research were presented at the SACNAS 2012 National Conference in Seattle, WA.  I’m hoping to participate in a research project in veterinary science in the summer of 2013 and plan to graduate from Fort Lewis College in Spring 2014.   I will continue my education in a PhD/MVD program at a graduate school with a veterinary program.   

Pariss Trujillo- Biochemistry

I am currently in my Junior year at Fort Lewis College with a Biochemistry major.  My research is studying the metabolic pathway of Acidobacterium Capsulatum.  It is lacking a key enzyme in glycolysis called aldolase.  Were trying to identify all the enzymes it uses during consumption of glucose during glycolysis.  Also were trying to find all the key metabolites which will help in completing the metabolic map for this bacteria.  Future research will involve lysing methods in order to break open Acidobacteria Capsulatum cells for analysis through H1 and C13 NMR.  You may view a Power Point presentation of my research here.  My hobbies are skiing, hiking, and painting. Check out my summer research on the metabolic pathway of Acidobacterium Capsulatum on this power point.


Kristina Bell - Psychology

My name is Kristina Bell and I am a non-traditional senior at Fort Lewis. I am a wife and mother of 3 teenage daughters. My life is hectic but I love learning and enjoy research. I am currently a psychology major with hopes of attending graduate school to study neuropsychology.  My research passion is the neurological underpinnings of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other misunderstood, and often ignored, illnesses. I hope to one day research these illnesses using advanced neurological imaging in hopes of better understanding the effects these ailments have on the brain. In my “free time” I enjoy photography and spending time with my family.

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