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Oyster research earns Creighton undergrad cross-country trip

Mar 6, 2022
3 min Read
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Rhiannon McCracken

New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden will be Rhiannon McCracken’s stage March 12, when the Creighton biochemistry major will present a research poster before a panel of judges.

Along with four other Creighton students, she’ll be part of the inaugural BIG EAST Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium, scheduled to run concurrently with the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Her topic concerns an RNA sequence found in Crassostrea gigas, a species of oyster, and questioning whether the sequence constitutes the first known mammalian riboswitch, and, if so, assessing the implications for gene expression.

“I joined Dr. Julie Soukup's lab during the second semester of my freshman year, and I have been working on this project since the beginning of my sophomore year,” McCracken says. “I learned all the necessary techniques the summer between my freshman and sophomore year.

The symposium will allow me to gain more presentation experience and explain my work to an in-person audience.
— Rhiannon McCracken

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Learn more about McCracken’s Creighton journey, in which she arrived hoping to study medicine, but quickly discovered a passion for scientific research.