MERIT Scholars

Dr. Christine Morra is a New York State licensed optometrist who provides comprehensive eye care at MetroEye MD in Manhattan, NY. She earned her BS in Biology from the State University of New York College at Geneseo outside of Rochester, then completed four years of optometric school to earn her doctorate from the State University of New York College of Optometry cataract surgery.

How many National Merit Scholars are there?

She performed her postdoctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Brad Yoder, Professor of Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology at Tufts University investigating ciliogenesis and cilia mediated signaling pathways in C. elegans. Dr. Morra also provided teaching instruction under the guidance of her MERIT Teaching Mentor, Dr. Heather Tinsley, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Montevallo. During her fellowship, she taught guest lectures and served as lab instructor for Introduction to Biology and Cell Biology courses at the University of Montevallo.

MERIT Scholar-At-Large Dr. Melissa LaBonty received her BS in Biological Sciences from Ohio University and her PhD in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology from Tufts University. She currently performs her postdoctoral research under the mentorship Drs. Markus Bredel and Susan Nozell in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UAB elucidating mechanisms of glioblastoma formation and treatment.

MERIT Scholar-At-Large, Dr. Karina Kemp, received her BS in Biology from Kansas State University and her PhD in Integrative Biomedical Science from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She currently performs her postdoctoral work under the mentorship of Dr. Jim George at the University of Alabama, examining immune responses in polycystic kidney disease.

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