Science society presents new research

On April 20, Seton Hall University hosted the Theobald Smith Society (TSS) Meeting inside the Main Lounge of the University Center. The event showcased new research and included various speakers.

TSS is the New Jersey Branch of American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the largest single life science society in the world. The society includes over 50,000 scientists and health professionals.

Photo courtesy of Tin-Chun Chu

Tinchun Tina Chu, president of TSS’ New Jersey Branch and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Seton Hall brought the annual spring meeting for TSS to Seton Hall’s campus.

“I decided to bring the annual spring meeting to SHU to provide the faculty and students the chance to meet with the world renowned scientists on campus,” Chu said. “And yes, this is the first time that we host TSS annual meeting on SHU campus.”

Peter Shoemaker, the Dean of Arts and Sciences spoke, as well as students and keynote speaker Dr. Vincent Racaniello, a Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University.

Racaniello was the first to clone a ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus when he worked with Dr. David Baltimore, one of the 1975 Nobel Laureates who is known for his discovery concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell.

Shoemaker shared his thoughts as the event showcased not only core components of the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences, but also the importance of research studies within the Seton Hall community. The event’s importance held greater weight as the new medical school plans to open in Nutley this upcoming summer.

“It is my hope that this event has raised Seton Hall’s profile in STEM research and teaching within the region and nationally,” Shoemaker said.

The event included oral and poster presentations from various aspects of microbiology. The topics ranged from bacteriology, virology, molecular to environmental microbiology. Chu expressed via email that the students were exposed to many aspects of microbiological research. Also, the students garnered an understanding of the latest technology and scientific discoveries in the field.

“Many students thanked me after the meeting for the opportunities,” Chu said. “One student said she enjoyed every moment of the event.”

“I was hoping that through this event, all attendees including faculty and students from SHU and other N.J. Institutions would benefit from networking and exchanging research ideas,” Chu said. “I also considered the event as a celebration of N.J. microbiologists’ scholarship. Furthermore, I hope to promote Seton Hall University and to recruit potential promising research students.”

Senior biology major, Tim Iverson said he was nervous, yet excited to present his research.
Students from different universities attended the event as well. Representatives from Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Drew University and professionals from Merck, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson.

“[The event] will raise and expand the horizon of scientific research at SHU,” Chu said.

Timothy Guerrero can be reached at

Author: Timothy Guerrero

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