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The student seminar selection committee was formed in Spring 2021 to provide BCBP trainees with the opportunity to host and network with seminar speakers of their choosing as part of the BCBP UNC Seminar Series. Nine students are serving on the seminar committee for the 2021-22 academic year, including Thanh Phan Phan, Edgar Faison, Derek Bolhuis, Mikayla Feldbauer, Abigail Ballard, Aki Braceros, Jeff Bonin, Dalia Fleifel and Rodney Park. The committee serves under the guidance of and in collaboration with the department seminar organizer Dr. Saskia Neher.

This group of dedicated students have secured two graduate-student invited speakers in the 2021-2022 BCBP seminar schedule, and are confirming a third speaker for the Spring.

Ora Schueler-Furman PhD
Ora Schueler-Furman PhD

The first speaker Dr. Ora Schueler-Furman presented her work virtually on “modeling peptide-mediated interactions – elucidating molecular details of biological regulation” on 8/24/21. She was invited and hosted by Mikayla Feldbauer, a second year BCBP student. Dr. Shueler-Furman is a professor at the Hadassah Medical School at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Her expertise is in computational structural biology and bioinformatics.


Dr. Lydia M. Contreras a diverse faculty
Dr. Lydia M. Contreras

The second speaker is Dr. Lydia M. Contreras from the University of Texas at Austin who will be speaking on February 22nd for a virtual seminar. She is an associate professor in the department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology where her research focuses on RNA structural biology interfaced with protein engineering.


This student committee will also invite and host a local North Carolina speaker in the Spring semester and the hope is that the seminar can be held in-person.

Students serving on the seminar committee have been involved in every part of the decision-making process.

Thank you everyone for your efforts!