Retrovirus Research | Ohio Wesleyan University

Retrovirus Research

Ohio Wesleyan Senior Recognized for Outstanding Scientific Presentations

By Cole Hatcher

Myles Ross’ 23

Surname: Myles Ross’ 23
hometown: Marion, Ohio
Main: Biochemistry and Microbiology
Secondary school: Pleasant high school
Latest OWU connection experiences: Summer research in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University; Presentation of research results at three specialist conferences

Steed spent last summer using cryo-electron microscopy to “characterize the effects of IP6 on the Jaagsiekte Sheep Retrovirus (JSRV) Assembly” as part of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) opportunity at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. to investigate.

In addition to presenting his findings at the Ohio Wesleyan’s recent Summer Science Research Symposium, Steed also gave poster presentations at these professional conferences and received the following recognitions:

  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minorized Students (ABRCMS) in November in Anaheim, California. A first-generation college student, Steed received the 2022 ABRCMS Presentation Award for the caliber of his presentation.
  • Ohio Branch Board for the American Society of Microbiology (OBASM) in September at Ohio State University. For this presentation, Steed received the 2022 Allen A. Ichida Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence.
  • Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS) in July in Hartford, Connecticut.

What I researched

“In layman’s terms, Jaagsiekte Sheep Retrovirus (JSRV) is a virus known to cause lung cancer in sheep. The genetic composition of JSRV is similar to that of other viruses such as HIV, so it was assumed that the structure of JSRV would be related as well.

“In addition, it was found that a chemical naturally produced in cells called inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is required for the formation of HIV structure and contributes to other diseases. However, little is known about the effect of IP6 on JSRV. To study these questions about JSRV, we used microscopy and biochemical laboratory techniques in hopes of identifying viral targets for treatment.”

my favorite moments

“My favorite moment at Cornell was exploring Ithaca. Ithaca is a very beautiful city with lots of waterfalls and restaurants and I got to explore it all with a great group of people I had the pleasure of working with over the summer.

“I also enjoyed learning what it was like to work as a PhD student. During the REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program, I essentially acted as a fully independent PhD student, which gave me the opportunity to see what it’s like to work at one of the leading institutions in biochemical research.

“My favorite moment at ABRCMS was getting the opportunity to hear from me dr Mae Jemison to hear about and from her experience as the first black woman in space dr Caroline Bertozzithe recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.”

mentoring support

“I would not have been able to get my internship at Cornell without the help of Danielle Bailey from Career Connection for help with the application process and for supervising dr Laura Tuhela Reuning (life sciences) and dr Kayce Tomcho (Chemistry).

In addition, I have also received great mentorship from two OWU alumni: dr Max Schroeder (Class of 2009) as well dr Claire Hoptay (Class of 2009). All of my mentors have helped me navigate the internship process and figure out what career path I would most like to pursue.”

Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose Ohio Wesleyan because I have strong relationships with my professors and the opportunity to get hands-on in the lab.”

My plans after graduation

“I have applied for this application cycle for Microbiology/Biochemistry Ph.D. Applied. Programs at Emory University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill and Cornell University. Applying to these schools was a challenging task and I am very grateful to all my mentors from OWU who helped me throughout the process. I would definitely not be where I am today without their constant support.”

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