Female student point to presentation poster

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Julian F. Hillyer, associate professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, will deliver the keynote address during the Northeastern Illinois University Student Center for Science Engagement’s Eighth Annual Student Research Symposium on Sept. 16. The event is co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health MARC NU-STAR (Maximizing Access to Research Careers Northeastern Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research) Program at Northeastern.

Hillyer, who established Vanderbilt’s immunology and physiology laboratory, studies the biology of pathogens in the mosquito hemocoel (body cavity), focusing on aspects of physiology and immunology that limit systemic infections. Hillyer’s lab employs molecular and imaging techniques in efforts to expand our understanding of the biology of mosquito hemocytes (immune blood cells), pericardial cells (nephrocytes) and hemolymph (insect blood) propulsion in the mosquito hemocoel. This research is expected to contribute to the development of novel pest and disease control strategies, and is of interest to vector biologists, insect physiologists, comparative immunologists and evolutionary biologists.

“Dr. Hillyer is not just a leading scientist in his field, but also a role model for our students,” said Biology Professor Joel Olfelt, who is the director of the Student Center for Science Engagement (SCSE). “He serves as an example that intellectual curiosity and research lead to important careers in science.”

The symposium showcases the research conducted through the SCSE’s summer internship program during which Northeastern science students work with faculty members on a broad array of research projects.

All events are open to the University community, including Hillyer’s keynote in the Golden Eagles Room from 11 a.m. to noon. Student oral presentations will take place in the Golden Eagles Room from 9:15-11 a.m. and 3-5 p.m., and the student poster presentations will take place from noon-1 p.m. and 2-3 p.m. in Village Square.

Julian F. Hillyer