On Saturday, April 21, junior biology major Yonathan Ararso gave a poster presentation at the 2012 Spring Conference for the Virginia Collegiate Honors Council Meeting held at Randolph-Macon College. Yonathan presented research conducted in the summer of 2011 under the supervision of Hampden-Sydney College biology professor Dr. Kristian Hargadon. Yonathan’s research focused on comparing the gene and protein expression profiles of immunosuppressive molecules in two melanoma cancer cell lines, the highly aggressive B16-F1 melanoma and the poorly tumorigenic D5.1G4 melanoma. Yonathan identified TGFbeta1 and VEGF-A as two immunosuppressive molecules that were more highly expressed in the highly aggressive tumor. He will continue this research as part of a Senior Departmental Honors Project in Biology with Dr. Hargadon to evaluate the roles of these two immunosuppressive factors in the suppression of dendritic cells, an immune cell whose function is critical to the activation of anti-tumor immune responses.