Sylvia Kennerly

Sylvia Kennerly
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Sylvia Kennerly is an aspiring researcher majoring in Biochemistry at Eastern Washington University. Growing up in Seward, Alaska, Sylvia developed a fascination with science at an early age that has evolved to her interest in the intricacies of cellular pathways and the role of biochemistry in human health. Driven by her curiosity, Sylvia engaged in a research project with Dr. Burgis in winter quarter of 2023 exploring the expression of variant ITPase on human neuron cells. For her 2023 summer research internship, she worked with mentor Dr. Jason Ashley investigating specific pathways affecting osteoclasts.

As a student with strong interest in pursuing a career in biochemistry, Sylvia has set her sights on earning a PhD in biochemistry. Through further research and laboratory experience, she hopes to make a positive impact towards human health and disease research. Sylvia’s unwavering commitment to scientific inquiry and their determination to grow and learn new fields makes her a promising scholar. In addition to her academic pursuits, Sylvia enjoys spending her free time outside exploring the Spokane area in the summer with her family and taking road trips to National parks. Her favorite travel destination was the cloud rainforests of Costa Rica.

2023 EWU Faculty Research Mentor:  Dr. Jason Ashley

Research Title: Overexpression of Fringe syltransferase in osteoclastogenesis

Research Presentation

Abstract: Osteoclasts, the multinucleated cells crucial for bone resorption, are a critical component in both physiological and pathological skeletal remodeling. Osteoclastogenesis, the process of differentiation of the monocyte/macrophage originating precursors to osteoclasts, relies heavily on RANK signaling. However, the size, activity, and lifespan can be influenced by other pathways,such as Notch signaling. Notably, Notch signaling is regulated by selective glycosylation through the Fringe family of O-fucose-specific ß1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases (O ß1,3 GnTs). To investigate the impact of individual Fringe glycosyltransferases on osteoclastogenesis, we conducted experiments exploring the overexpression of the individual Fringe glycosyltransferases [Lunatic (LFNG), Manic (MFNG), and Radical (RFNG)] found to influence mammal Notch pathways. These full-length coding sequences were obtained from a mouse bone marrow cDNA library and inserted into the pMXs-Puro vector, the Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus (MMLV)-derived gammaretroviral system. Retroviral particles were generated through transient co-transfection with VSV-G envelope plasmids into Platinum-E packaging cells. Following infection of RAW264.7 cells, immortalized macrophage/osteoclast precursors, and primary cells collected from male C57BL/6 mice we confirmed overexpression via RT-PCR, and subjected variable seeding methods to RANKL and MCSF in primaries to stimulate osteoclastogenesis. At the conclusions of differentiation, we stained cells with acridine orange (AO) stain as well as for tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase (TRAP) activity to assess resulting morphological variations. We found that LFNG-overexpressing (OE) cell lines in primary cultures did[…]

McNair Scholars Present at EWU’s 2024 Student Research & Creative Works Symposium

EWU McNair is proud of our 6 scholars who presented at this year’s symposium. Since the beginning of the symposium at EWU in 1997, McNair has encouraged scholars to participate, either to present a prospectus of the their upcoming summer research, or to present research done in the last year. Presenting research is an excellent … Read more

McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Accepted to Washington State University PhD in Molecular Biosciences

Congratulations to McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly! Sylvia has been accepted to the Washington State University Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biosciences program, with funding. Washington State University’s SMB Ph.D. program provides an integrated graduate curriculum and rotating laboratory experiences, including National Institutes of Health Training Program opportunities. Their program overview states: Molecular Biosciences is a … Read more

McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Accepted to University of Kansas Medical Center Interdisciplinary Graduate Program PhD in Biomedical Sciences

Congratulations to McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly, who has been accepted to the University of Kansas Medical Center Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS), with full funding. IGPBS is a PhD first-year program allowing students to complete core curriculum before determining their PhD program through faculty mentor alignment. IGPBS’ interdisciplinary nature is clearly demonstrated by eclectic … Read more

EWU McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Accepted to University of Oregon PhD

Congratulations to EWU McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly! Sylvia has been accepted to University of Oregon’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program, with funding. From the Chemistry PhD at University of Oregon’s Website: “[…]  we take a cross-disciplinary, interdepartmental approach to research and graduate training. Institutes and centers facilitate scientific investigation at the boundaries of traditional … Read more

McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Attends Society for Glycobiology (SFG) 2023 Annual Meeting

McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Attended the Society for Glycobiology (SFG) 2023 Annual Meeting on Big Island, Hawaii with Mentor Dr. Ashley. Running from November 5-8, the 50th anniversary of this SFG event brought together “leading glycobiologists from around the world to discuss fundamental mechanisms by which glycans and glycan-binding proteins regulate cell and organismal physiology … Read more

EWU McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Completes McNair Summer Research Internship

Congratulations to EWU McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly for completing her McNair Summer Research Internship! She worked with mentor Dr. Jason Ashley on her summer 2023 research, “Overexpression of Fringe syltransferase in osteoclastogenesis”. Sylvia’s research was presented August 16, 2023 at the McNair Summer Research Symposium.   Sylvia’s research looked deeper into the overexpression of Fringe enzymes, … Read more
Arcelia and Sylvia, Board of Trustees

McNair Scholars Present Research to EWU Board of Trustees

Recently, McNair scholars Arcelia Madrigal and Sylvia Kennerly had the opportunity to present their research to the EWU Board of Trustees, to offer examples of the breadth and depth of undergraduate research being done at Eastern Washington University. Arcelia, a first-generation college student, will graduate from Eastern Washington University in Spring 2023 with a BA … Read more
2023 Symposium

17 McNair Scholars Present at EWU’s 2023 Student Research & Creative Works Symposium

On May 10, EWU held the 2023 Student Research and Creative Works Symposium. The Symposium is back in person since 2022, allowing excellent shared engagement as scholars discussed their research (both proposed and completed) with fellow students, faculty, and the EWU community. Many scholars shared their work in poster format in the PUB, while others … Read more
Sylvia Kennerly Selected

Sylvia Kennerly Selected as an EWU McNair Scholar and Awarded Summer Research Internship

Congratulations to new McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly! Sylvia was selected by the McNair Scholars’ selection committee on the basis of her passion for research, commitment to attaining a PhD, and overall potential for success in graduate school. The federally-funded TRIO Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program at EWU selects motivated and talented juniors and seniors who … Read more