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SBU senior Nishtha Tripathi to be inducted into competitive ASBMB Honor Society

Apr 08, 2024

St. Bonaventure University senior Nishtha Tripathi of Austin, Texas, is among 31 undergraduate students nationwide who were accepted into the competitive American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Honor Society for 2024.

Nishtha TripathiTripathi is pursuing majors in biology and behavioral neuroscience and a minor in English. She is also a student in the university’s Honors Program.

“I am very proud of Nishtha’s accomplishments in the past four years. She actively sought high-impact experiential learning opportunities in research and service activities on and off campus,” said Dr. Xiao-Ning Zhang, professor of biology and chair of the biochemistry program. “During the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a high demand for case management at the Cattaraugus County Health Department, Nishtha was one of the volunteers who extended their helping hands to assist.”

Tripathi is president of the ASBMB Student Chapter at SBU. She has been actively involved in research since her first year as a Bonaventure student, but she was a junior in high school when she first learned of the opportunities that would be available to her at SBU.

“I first developed my interest in research after being a member of the High School Student Research Program at St. Bonaventure University as a junior in high school and conducting research under the guidance of Dr. Sean Ryan, who is my mentor now. That program is also what inspired me to commit to St. Bonaventure University,” Tripathi said.

During the summer of 2021, Tripathi participated in the Dr. Arnold T. Borer Summer Research Fellowship in Molecular or Cellular Biology at the university under the guidance of Ryan, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology.

“I was involved in studying differential gene expression in genes influencing neural crest cell migration and chondrocyte formation in larval zebrafish treated with 3,5-Dichlorosalicylic acid, a water detoxification byproduct,” Tripathi said. In layman’s terms, the research seeks to inform regulatory decisions regarding water treatment procedures, using zebrafish as a model organism.

During the summer of 2022, she participated in the University of California at Irvine Summer Institute in Neuroscience Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program. Working under the guidance of Dr. Kevin Beier in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Tripathi was involved in investigating the neural circuitry changes and behavioral output in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease progression in rodent models.

This past summer, Tripathi was involved in identifying and validating key microglial activation morphological changes after single mild TBI (smTBI) and repeated mild TBI (rmTBI) in rodents through the Georgia Institute of Technology Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Sciences (SURE) Program. Her research served to shed light on the molecular changes that occur in microglia after traumatic brain injury (TBI). She worked under the guidance of Dr. Michelle LaPlaca in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Tripathi has taken on several leadership positions in campus organizations and has embraced a range of volunteer activities during her time at St. Bonaventure. She has volunteered at the Cattaraugus Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and served as an emergency medical services first responder on SBU’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT).

After graduation in May, Tripathi will pursue a medical degree at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences while also participating in the competitive METEOR (Mentored Experience To Expand Opportunities in Research) Program at GW.

Acceptance by the ASBMB Honor Society is a competitive process and nominees must be ASBMB Student Chapter members who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in academics, undergraduate research and science outreach. Tripathi hopes her induction encourages other females to enter STEM fields.

“I hope that this position allows me to serve as a role model for students, especially young girls, who have been discouraged for having certain interests ‘not fitting’ of their gender, religious beliefs, ethnic background, or socioeconomic status,” she said.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).