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Student/Faculty Research Projects

(Please contact the faculty member to inquire about research opportunities)

Professor Paramjeet Bagga Bioinformatics, Genomics, Molecular Biology

  • Current research in my lab is focused on regulation of eukaryotic gene expression from a genomics perspective. My research lab develops and uses computational tools for studying conserved regulatory motifs in mammalian genomes and transcriptomes. More specifically, we study evolutionarily conserved sequence motifs which are involved in post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms through interactions with cellular proteins. For example, one of the recent projects in my lab utilized computational genomics methods to study the role of cis-regulatory G-quadruplex motifs in the expression of human genes involved in neurological abnormalities such as Autism, Parkinson’s disease, and Dementia.

    Computational methods for discovery and analysis of G-quadruplexes motifs are increasingly being recognized as vital tools for investigating their biological roles in the bigger picture of gene regulation. We were among the first researchers in the world to develop algorithms for computational prediction of unimolecular G-quadruplex motifs in nucleotide sequences. Computational/Bioinformatics methods and tools developed by my research team are being widely used by researchers around the world, resulting in over 600 citations in recent times. QGRS-Mapper, one of our web-based Bioinformatics software alone records over 400 unique average monthly users. It is being used in at least 90 different countries around the world, and from all 50 states in the U.S.

    Our projects are inherently inter-disciplinary. Although, my background is in genomics and molecular biology, I work closely with other faculty members who are mathematicians and computer scientists. I generally involve undergraduate students in my research projects. My research students have presented their research accomplishments at local, national and international conferences, and have won many awards. My students have also co-authored many research publications in prestigious international peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    Please see for a list of my publications and conference presentations.

Professor Kathy Burke Nursing

  • Burke, K. Data Driven Decision Making in High Performing Organizations. St Joseph Regional Medical Center, Annual Patient Care Services Strategic Planning Retreat. Paterson, NJ. February 2013.
  • Burke, K. The Baldrige Criteria and Performance Excellence. American Society of Quality. Spring 2013 Conference. March 2013.
  • Burke, K. Resuscitating Nursing Research. Options in Critical Care Northern NJ Chapter of AACN (April 4 & 5,2013, Fairfield, NJ
  • Burke, K. HRET Community Outreach Award. Age Wise Team of St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. Jan 25, 2013. NJHA 94th Annual Meeting.

Professor Larry D’Antonio Mathematics

  • “A Reader’s Guide to the Classification of Quadratic Forms in the Disquisitiones Arithmeticae,” Joint Math Meetings, held January 9-12, 2013 in San Diego.
  • “Cajori 2: Survey of American Undergraduate Courses in the 20th Century,” Frederick V. Pohle Colloquium, Adelphi University, April 3, 2013.
  • “A Pox on Both Your Houses! The Bernoulli-d’Alembert Smallpox Inoculation Controversy,” Eastern Region of the American Mathematical Society held April 6-7, 2013, Boston College.
  • “How much would you risk your life in order to save your life?” Northeastern Section of the Mathemtical Association of America held June 1, 2013 in Western Connecticut University.
  • “An Interesting Four-Body Problem: Euler, Knutzen, Kant and the Comet of 1744.” Euler Society Meeting, held July 23-25,
    2012 at Adelphi University.

Professor Julie Fitzgerald Nursing

  • Saint Anselm College – 21St Annual Conference for Nurse Educators: Meeting Practice, Challenges through Educational Redesign Poster Presentation: Incorporating QSEN Competencies into a BSN Leadership Course, North Falmouth, Massachusetts, May 30, 2013
  • Maternal Newborn Certification Course for Central Jersey Family Health Consortium: Extrauterine Transition, Neonatal Infections and Neurological Assessment of the Newborn. Maternal Newborn Low Risk Neonate Review and Update Course. Monmouth Medical Center Long Branch, NJ, June 12, 2012
  • Fitzgerald. J. Nurse of the Year. Occupational Health and Ambulatory Care. New Jersey March of Dimes. March 2013

Professor Donna Flynn Nursing

  • Flynn, D. Compassion Fatigue Self-Assessment Tool, Spirituality in Nursing Compassion Fatigue: The cost of caring. October 23, 2012, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
  • Flynn, D. & Centrella-Nigro, A. “The verdict is in: Using a Mock Trial to teach EBP” 9th Annual Nursing Research Day, AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center, April 27, 2012, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Flynn, D. & Centrella-Nigro, A. “The verdict is in: Using a Mock Trial to teach EBP” New Jersey Organization of Nurse Executives, June 7, 2013, Princeton, NJ

Professor Scott Frees Computer Science

  • Bagga, P.S., Frees, S., Crum, M., Menendez, C. (2013), EXOME-WIDE COMPUTATIONAL PREDICTION OF EVOLUTIONARILY CONSERVED CIS-REGULATORY G-QUADRUPLEX MOTIFS, Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the RNA Society, Davos, Switzerland.
  • Crum, M., Menendez, C., Frees, S. and Bagga, P.S. (2012). Distribution of evolutionarily conserved cis-regulatory G-quadruplex motifs in 5’-untranslated regions of human genes. Annual MACUB conference. Adelphi University, New York, USA.
  • Menendez, C.,Crum, M., Frees, S. and Bagga, P.S. (2012). Development of a database of homologous cis-regulatory motifs in mammalian mRNAs. Annual MACUB conference. Adelphi University, New York, USA.

Professor Carol Frishberg Chemistry

  • “STEM Outreach for Middle School Students”, Annual conference of the Council for Opportunity in Education, September 2012, in NYC.
  • Received a perfect score for the grant proposal “Upward Bound Math-Science at Ramapo College”. The proposal was funded $1.3 million for five years.

Professor Max Goldberg-Rugalev Mathematics

  • M. Goldberg and S. Kim, Using a dyadic decomposition of the time until diffusion densities overlap to define a new diffusion distance, Joint Mathematics Meetings, AMS Session on Brownian Motion and Stochastic Processes, San Diego, CA, January 9-12, 2013.

Professor Margaret Green Nursing

  • Greene, M. J. (2013). “A Phenomenological Perspective to Understanding the Meaning of Health and Health – Related Lifestyle Practices in Postmenopausal Women.” 17th Annual Nursing Research and Evidence – Based Practice Conference. NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY. June 2013.

Professor Eric Karlin Plant Ecology

  • Elizabeth DeSmet & Eric Karlin. 2011. A phylogenetic study of Sphagnum subgenus Sphagnum based on plastid sequences. COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference, Keene State College, Keene, NH, October 28 and 29, 2011.
    • Wetland plant ecology
    • Ecology and taxonomy of Sphagnum (peat moss)
    • Biological conservation

Professor Seung-Sup Kim Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Biochemical and Structural Studies of Bacterial Recombination Proteins including RecR, RecO, RecF, RecA and SSB and their Multi-Complexes from Various Bacterial Strains
  • Biochemical and Structural Studies of Macromolecular Complexes: Protein-Protein, Protein-DNA and their Multi-Complexes
  • Structural and Functional Studies of Oligomerization and Multi-Complex Formation among Bacterial Replication and Recombination Proteins and their DNA Binding Target
  • Research Students: Alicia Miller and Sean Eccles, Project Title: Molecular Coloning and Over-Expression of Bacterial Recombination Proteins SSB, RecF, and RecA from Deinococcus radiodurans, TAS Student Research Symposium; Oral presentation, New York American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium; Manhattan, NY: April 27, 2013., Poster presentation, Ramapo College Poster Day; Mahwah, NJ: May 1, 2013.

Professor Amruth Kumar Computer Science

  • Problets is an on-going research project to develop intelligent tutors for programming concepts. It has been supported by several grants from the National Science Foundation. Students who have worked on the project have gone on to present their work at international conferences held in such locations as Denmark, Hawaii, Italy and Spain. Additional information about the project can be found at Information about how students can participate in the project can be found at
  • “A Mid-Career Review of Teaching Computer Science I”, Proceedings of The Forty-fourth SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education}, SIGCSE 2013, Denver, CO, 3/6-9/2013, 531-536.
  • “The Effect of Interleaving an Alternate Task During Tutoring and Testing”, Proceedings of Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE 2012), Seattle, WA, 10/3-6/2012, 1024-1028.
  • “A Study of Stereotype Threat in Computer Science”, Proceedings of Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2012), Haifa, Israel, 7/3-5/2012, 273-278.

Professor Donovan McFeron Mathematics

  • “Knot Parameterizations”

Donovan McFeron, Geena Cockcroft, and Rebecca Fiorillo.

Poster presentations:

    1. Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, CA. January 2013.
    2. University of Notre Dame’s Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematics Research Conference. March 2013.
    3. Ramapo College Poster Day. April 2013.

Professor Rob Mentore Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Melissa Ciandella, John Viola, and Robert Mentore, Binding Interactions Between Fibrinogen and Monomolecular Films of Acrylic Polymers. 12th Annual Student Research Symposium, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ 07430, April 17th, 2013. 15th Undergraduate Research Symposium, Hudson-Bergen Chemical Society, Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ, April 26th, 2013. 61st Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, The New York Chemistry Students’ Association of the American Chemical Society’s New York Section, City College of the City University of New York, Manhattan, NY, April 27th, 2013.

Professor Tom Owen Biology

  • Kvartin, I. and T. Owen. 2013. Investigating the role of the human androgen receptor in myoblast fusion into myofibers. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Hussain, A., A. Haidar, and T. Owen. 2013. The role of SIT-1 in osteoblast differentiation. Ramapo College, Annual Meeting of the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB), TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Holland, K. and T. Owen. 2013. Quantitative PCR: now at Ramapo College. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Holland, K., B. Marks, and T. Owen. 2013. Characterization of a novel gene, clone 135, potentially involved in regulation of bone mass. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Heravi, D. and T. Owen. 2013. Effects of various dentifrices on oral bacteria. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Shahamat, S. and T. Owen. 2013. Sensory ataxic neuropathy in golden retriever dogs due to a deletion in the mitochondrial tRNA-tyr gene. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Gregory, N., S. Shidid, and T. Owen. 2013. Effects of resveratrol on Ros 17/2.8 osteosarcoma cells. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Galperin, B., E. John, and T. Owen. 2013. Dental pulp stem cells for osteogenic differentiation. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Favre, M. and T. Owen. 2013. Inhibition of growth in human and rat osteosarcoma cells by retinoic acid. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Emmet, E., G. McConoville, and T. Owen. 2013. The effect of Sit-1 overexpression in Ros osteoblast formation. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Dyckman, S. and T. Owen. 2013. Use of EDU for monitoring cell proliferation. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Doctor, D., L. Geyman, and T. Owen. 2013. Testing the anti-cancer effects of curcumin, a turmeric extract. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Cueva, T. and T. Owen. 2013. The correlation between normal flora found in the human oral cavity and increased antibacterial and antibiotic resistance. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Castro, S., A. Potenski, and T. Owen. 2013. Determining the effects of RAGE on Osteoblastic Differentiation. Ramapo College TAS Student Research Symposium.
  • Arena, A., T. Owen and D. Leonardi. 2012. The effect of polyclonal antibodies on Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation on calcium hydroxyapatite and porcelain fused to metal surfaces. Annual Meeting of the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB).

Professor Elaine Patterson Nursing

  • Patterson, G. E., Burke, K., & Amen, M. Malaria – Expanding in the US (poster presentation). Rutgers University College of Nursing. Annual Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Somerset, NJ. November, 2012.

Professor Emma Rainforth Environmental Science

  • Rainforth. E.C. 2012. ‘Consequences of Fracking. Saving the Natural World: 50th Anniversary of ‘Silent Spring’: Ramapo College of New Jersey, December 2012.
  • Rainforth. E.C. 2012. ‘New Jersey’s Public Lands: an invaluable resource for geology education”. Geological Association of New Jersey 24th Annual Meeting, October 12-13, 2007. Geology and Public Lands: Field Guide and Proceedings, Geological Association of New Jersey 29th Annual Conference and Field Trip.

Professor Cristina Sterns Nursing

  • Perez – Stearns, C. Lessons in leadership from Disney: Breaking ground for Hispanic nursing students. National League for Nursing Education Summit. Anaheim, CA. September 2012.

Professor Ash Stuart Biochemistry & Bioinformatics

  • Evan Clayton, Maria Khawaja, Jessica Lovejoy and Dr. Ash Stuart, Structural and Expression Analysis of Susceptible Respiratory Genes in Asthmatic Pathways using Bioinformatics Tools Role of Major Gene players in Asthmatic Pathways By Ramapo College, Presented at the TAS Research Symposium and also Ramapo College Poster Day.

Professor Eric Wiener Environmental Science

  • Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, for over 25 years Dr. Wiener has been actively involved in research and other scholarship related to forest restoration ecology and sustainable forest management by small landholders in Peruvian and Brazilian regions of the Amazon basin. Since joining the Ramapo College faculty in 2002, Dr. Wiener has been conducting extensive field research with strong student involvement about accelerated ecological change in forests of the New Jersey / New York Highlands. In recent years, Dr. Wiener has also been conducting field research about raptor migration via the Ramapo Mountains, and the restoration and ecology of native wildflower meadows. Dr. Wiener’s research interests also include sustainable landscaping and environmental stewardship.
  • Selected list of conference presentations stemming from collaboration between Dr. Eric Wiener and Ramapo College students:
  • Finocchio, M., Wiener, E. 2016. Tree mortality, canopy openings and plant species composition in a hardwood forest of the New Jersey Highlands. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Mayberry, M., Wiener, E. 2016. A native wildflower meadow at Ramapo College of New Jersey: establishment, maintenance and data from the first two years. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Batren, Z., Wiener, E. 2016. Two Fall seasons of raptor migration data from the Ramapo Mountains: helping understand regional trends. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Bara, D., Wiener, E. 2015. Spatial distribution of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedlings and saplings in a forest tract along the highest ridge of the New Jersey Highlands. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Adrion, L., Wiener, E. 2014. Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) health across habitat gradients in the presence of woolly adelgids (Adelges tsugae). Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, University Park, Maryland, USA.
  • Wlodawski, B., Myers, A., Wiener, E. 2014. Severe weather and tree mortality in a mixed hardwood forest of the New Jersey Highlands. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, University Park, Maryland, USA.
  • Wiener, E. M., Clark, M., Farrell, M., Rodgers, K., Camargo, K., Burke, S. Capozzi, Coraggio, P., Sposato, N., Jones, J., McArdle, M., Ratajczak, M, Zalme, O.  2011.  Differences in forest dynamics across ridge sites in the New Jersey Highlands. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Montclair, New Jersey, USA.
  • Zalme, O., Ratajczak, M., Newhouse, M. Wiener, E.  2011.  Microhabitat use by songbirds on a capped landfill during three autumn migration seasons. -Annual Meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
  • Klein, M., Wiener, E. M.  2009.  Tree selection by foraging, male red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus) in a New Jersey Highlands forest.  Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Ewing, New Jersey, USA.
  • Farrell, M., Wiener, E. M. 2007. Impacts of tree seedling browsing by white-tailed deer on forest dynamics in the New Jersey and New York Highlands.  Annual Meeting of the Eastern Colleges Science Conference, Bronx, New York, USA.