Investigating Birth Defects

From the September 2014 edition of Desktop News | Kristin R. Di Bona, a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences, received an award and cash prize for her research related to birth defects.

The Marie W. Taubeneck award is given annually by the Teratology Society in recognition of scholarship in the study of birth defects and developmentally-mediated disorders.

Di Bona earned the distinction for her graduate research, which focuses on the developmental and reproductive toxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles. She also conducted investigations into the pharmaceutical and nutritional roles of chromium (III), a nutrient found in the body that is needed to process certain sugars, proteins and fats, and the pharmacokinetics of ionic liquids, liquid salts that are often used as solvents and catalysts.

Candidates for the award are nominated by mentors and the final selection is made by a student affairs committee. Award recipients are selected for their level of enthusiasm for developmental and reproductive toxicology, their courage to pursue new methods and areas of research and their leadership among and mentoring of fellow students.

Di Bona, who conducts her research in the lab of Dr. Jane Rasco in the Department of Biological Sciences, will graduate with her doctoral degree in biology in December.