Stephen Howard '20

Stephen Howard

Major: Natural Science
Bio: Stephen Howard grew up in Norwalk, CT before coming to Fordham University in New York City as a Natural Science major concentrating in Organismal Biology and minoring in Classical Civilization. He hopes to pursue a career as a medical doctor in the Metropolitan area.

Title of Research: Localization of Enzymes in Hemocytes of American Lobster
Partner: Frances Murray
Mentor: Dr. Vernon and Dr. Hamilton
Abstract: Superoxide Dismutases (SODs) are enzymes that alter reactive oxygen species and play a significant role in innate immune systems. We studied SODs in the cytosol hemocytes of American Lobsters. The objectives of this project were to find and develop methods of locating SODs using confocal microscopy and studying the co-migration of SODs with hemocyanin. We extracted hemocytes from the ventral sinus of the lobster and implemented cellular and biochemical experiments to enzymes. We were able to localize SOD 1 and SOD 2 using immunofluorescence techniques in conjunction with confocal microscopy. We concluded that SOD 1 and SOD 2 are in the cytosol granules of hemocytes, and that the SODs are bound to the hemocyanin in the hemolymph. Additionally, we wanted study what enzymes are present in granules of the cells and observe cell aging. To answer the question of the enzymes within the cell we used API ZYM tests to locate oxidases in the granules of the hemocytes. Many enzymes present in the hemocytes are lysosomal enzymes, supporting the hypothesis that the hemocytes do have a role in innate immunity. Also, we initially studied the aging of hemocytes. Evidence of cell maturity was found with the presence of ß-galactosidase.