The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship announces Gaelle Mardy, a 2015 Jim Moran Scholar, will present her research on a cost-effective technique for the detection of HIV reactivation, at tonight’s President’s Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence in the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and Mardy’s presentation starts at 7 p.m.
Mardy’s research will benefit scientists in the future who set out to develop less expensive methods of administering ELISA tests. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a lab technique used to detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reactivation within the blood. However, because of the test’s high cost and tendency of HIV to be undetected while latent, many times the test is unaffordable or ineffective.
“I am honored that I was selected to be part of the President's Showcase and am excited to be part of the great research being conducted at FSU,” said Mardy. “I was born in Haiti where HIV affects many people, and would like to help fill the need for better treatment.”
A second-year biochemistry major at Florida State University, Mardy began conducting her research after being awarded an FSU 2016 IDEA Grant. The grant provides select undergraduate students with a summer stipend of up to $4,000 to fund their self-designed work on a topic, project, problem or creative idea.
The Jim Moran Foundation, in partnership with FSU, annually selects two African-American high school seniors as Jim Moran Scholars -- one from South Florida and one from North Florida. Both recipients must be role models and have received admission to FSU with an identified financial barrier. Each then receives a four-year, needs-based scholarship provided through the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship.
Since spring 2016, Mardy has been a standout student and member of Associate Professor Jonathan Dennis’ chromatin lab team in the Department of Biological Science. During her remaining time at FSU, Mardy plans on completing her honors thesis and serving in a leadership position in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. She is involved in Lady Spirithunters and the Center for Leadership and Social Change, and she plans on one day helping underserved communities as a physician or medical researcher.