Pitzer College Students Present at Genetics Society of America Conference

Claremont, Calif. (June 16, 2011) — Pitzer College students Janice Cho '11 and Liana Engie '11 presented at the Genetics Society of America's 52nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference held March 30-April 3 in San Diego, California.

Cho and Engie were part of Professor Jennifer Armstrong's research group that gave a presentation entitled "Analysis of the Effects of the CHD1 Chromatin Remodeling and Assembly Factor on the Structure of Polytene Chromosomes."

Engie also presented "Quantifying Polytene Images," which outlines a method of quantitation she developed to extract numeric data out of fluorescent images by using the brightness intensities of each pixel. The code accounts for nonspecific antibody staining and background by applying a mask that only exposes the chromosome. The technique has allowed for more definite conclusions to be made. Variations of the technique were applied to a variety of experiments including a code that calculates area and luminescence of individual objects within the mask.

Cho majored in human biology and Spanish at Pitzer College. Engie, a double major in physics and molecular biology, was awarded a 2011 Fulbright to Indonesia.

The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional membership organization for geneticists and science educators. Its members work to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level. GSA is dedicated to promoting research in genetics and to facilitating communication among geneticists worldwide.

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