Science Faculty Awarded Alden Trust for Zebrafish Lab

zebrafish2Dr. Jackie Myers and Dr. Chris Carbone, Assistant Professors of Biology, have recently been awarded a $75,000 grant by the George I Alden Trust. The grant will be used to purchase equipment for basic science research and development of a new zebrafish facility.

Students will have the opportunity to work with zebrafish in their course related laboratory experiences. Currently, students in the honors section of Biology 120 are utilizing the lab for one of the independent research projects. The students have set up different conditions to determine the effects of water quality to establish appropriate fish habitat conditions. Students interested in pursuing further Zebrafish-related research will have the opportunity to work directly with Dr. Carbone and Dr. Myers.

“During our transition to Holy Family University, we knew an animal model system was important for research,” Myers said. “We came from institutions where murine models were the primary research tool. Independently, we came to the conclusion that the Zebrafish model would be the most practical system and would easily integrate into the classroom. Through many research discussions, it became evident that Chris and I had a strong collaborative research interest. During the Spring of 2015, we began planning on how to make a Zebrafish research facility for faculty and students a reality.”

The addition of the Zebrafish will provide students with an exciting view into biomedical research.  

“Introducing a new variety of biology research at Holy Family provides students the opportunity to complete research-based internships internally,” Carbone said. “Additionally, improved research facilities provide us the opportunity to apply for research-based federal funding. The development of a sustainable research agenda will benefit student research and faculty scholarship for many years to come.”

Part of the Alden Trust offer included a stipulation that Holy Family University match the grant’s monetary funding, indicating the institution’s commitment to the Zebrafish project. This match was made possible through a bequest from Janet Mackiewicz’s estate. Mackiewicz earned three degrees from Holy Family University—Elementary Education/Psychology ’99, MEd ’09, and Art ’14. She passed away in May 2014 after a battle with cancer.

“Janet Mackiewicz left a gift to the University that is going towards exactly what she wanted—advancement of the sciences,” said Sister Maureen McGarrity, President of Holy Family University. “Janet’s name evokes many memories across the campus community, none more so than her never ending quest for education. With her help and generosity, we were able to match the funds of the Alden Trust grant and get the Zebrafish project off the ground. I’m excited and proud that we can use Janet’s gift towards this exciting endeavor.”