Research Project

Research findings by two Jamestown Community College students may deepen the connection between Lyme disease and the white-tailed deer population in New York state.

Katie Trank of Perrysburg and Gabriel Hrysenko of Dunkirk presented their methodology and findings in “Analysis of Borellia in Lipotena cervi (Deer Keds) as a Model of Infection in the New York White-Tailed Deer Population” to members of the Penn-York Section of the American Chemical Society earlier this fall.

The research project, conducted under the supervision of Jacqueline Crisman, associate professor and coordinator of JCC’s biotechnology program, focuses on the possibility of a new strain of Lyme disease carried by deer flies. While transmission of the infectious disease has long been considered tick-borne, Ms. Trank and Ms. Hrysenko have compiled evidence on possible transmission by Lyme disease positive deer flies.

Ms. Trank graduated from JCC with a biotechnology degree in May 2012 and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in basic science nutrition with a minor in cell and molecular biology. She also hopes to enter a doctor of osteopathic medicine program.

Ms. Hrysenko, who will graduate with a biotechnology degree next spring, plans to obtain bachelor’s and graduate degrees program in neurophysiology.

“These students are at the top of their classes and are great examples of how undergraduate research can be successful as a teaching tool to deepen student understanding of science,” said Dr Crisman. “Katie and Gabe have worked hard to accumulate their data and we all are very proud of them.”

The students’ research activities were made possible by funding provided by the National Science Foundation to integrate undergraduate research in community colleges. For more information about this national movement, visit the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative at

Details on JCC’s biotechnology program and undergraduate research opportunities can be obtained by visiting or calling 338-1000.