Biotech majors become HU’s first published undergrads

Four Harrisburg University of Science and Technology students recently earned the distinction of becoming the university’s first published undergraduates, thanks to excellent supervision by Professor Madhukiran Parvathaneni, a BTEC faculty member who championed the article and is its corresponding author.

The article, authored by senior Biotechnology majors Samantha Bernard, Ehab Abdelsamad, Paisley Johnson and Daniel Chapman, appeared in the May 9 edition of the Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials, setting a precedent for other students and faculty, said Dr. Mrunalini V. Pattarkine, chair of HU’s Biotechnology Department.

The seniors, three of whom graduated from HU May 11, submitted the article, “Pediatric Leukemia: Diagnosis to Treatment – A Review,” to the scholarly journal April 17. It was accepted for publication May 3.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of them,” Pattarkine said. “Very few undergraduates, as well as graduates, have work published. This will be a motivation for other students. Through the publication, students and faculty members can see that ‘if they can do it, we can do it too.’”

As undergraduates, all students must participate in at least one internship at HU. They also are encouraged to tackle research projects.

Bernard, Abdelsamad, Johnson and Chapman spent countless hours on their research project in Professor Parvathaneni’s Pharmacology class (BTEC 311).

In addition to outlining the diagnosis, phases and treatments of Leukemia, the article argues that the key to curing Leukemia stems from a genuine understanding of the differences and similarities between two disease types: Acute Lymphocytic and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

In the article, the authors note:

“The continued awareness of these diseases in

every aspect allow us to further research to advance medical

procedures, develop technologies, and not least importantly, further

research into areas that would have been out of reach to us.

Producing the article was a valuable critical thinking exercise for students, Pattarkine said.

Submitting it to a scholarly journal, and seeing it published, she said was a tremendous “extension of a classroom education, and how it is applied to a real-world situation.”

The article will appear online at: