Effects of psychological stress on DNA integrity

" This experience helped pave the way for me to receive acceptance into medical school. Medical schools look highly upon undergraduate research and it created a great learning experience for how to handle myself in professional situations. "


Supervising Faculty:

Dr. Dana Howard Bovbjerg



Jessica Manculich


Area of Research:  Health psychology/biobehavioral medicine


Description of Research:

This mind-body research investigates the impact of psychological stress and other factors on DNA integrity. Background and baseline variables include demographic, behavioral, psychological, and genetic factors.


Duties of Students:

  • Preparation of study materials
  • Administering questionnaires to participants
  • Scheduling participants for research visits
  • Assisting and monitoring responses in the laboratory stress protocol
  • Data collection, coding, and entry
  • Conducting database bibliographic searches
  • Meetings with research team members
  • Other responsibilities consistent with background and training


Additional Requirements:

  • Two semester commitment is required
  • 1 or 2 credits per term
  • Comfort with computer applications
  • Highly responsible and dependable individual
  • Able to work in Shadyside
  • Good organizational skills
  • Dedication to research
  • Attention to detail
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to work autonomously


Terms offered: fall, spring and summer


Number of Students: 3