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November 19, 2012

ULM biology seniors receive funding from national honor society

TriBeta, a national biological honors society, funded the research of two seniors in the biology department at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Amit Rajkarnikar of Rayville and Satish Dahal of Nepal were two of the 12 students to receive funding from the South-Central Region, and the only two students from a Louisiana university to be awarded grants.

Rajkarnikar received $300 to conduct research on "Flood tolerance in Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera) in interior bottomland hardwood forests and swamps."

Rajkarnikar has been conducting research under the guidance of Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, ULM associate professor of biology.

Dahal received $725 towards lab supplies for his research on "Assessment of Secreted and GPI-linked Extracellular Leucine-Rich Repeat Proteins as Possible Ligands for the Trans-membrane Protein PAN-1 in C. elegans," under the direction of Dr. Chris Gissendanner, ULM associate professor of basic pharmaceutical sciences.

"As the faculty adviser for the Nu-Gamma chapter of the TriBeta National Biological Honor Society, I am extremely pleased with two of its members receiving awards to conduct research," said Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, ULM associate professor of biology.

"Both Amit and Satish submitted research proposals which were reviewed externally and then funded based on merit. This is an excellent opportunity for our students to get recognized not only at the local and regional levels but also at the national level. I also think that it will definitely encourage more TriBeta members at ULM to apply for research grants in future."

The students will finish their research by April 2013.

According to its website,, TriBeta is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.

Since its founding in 1922, more than 200,000 students have received lifetime membership, and more than 553 chapters have been established throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

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