Undergraduate Student Spotlight

Summer Mashayekh

     Summer has been featured as Georgia State University’s Undergraduate Student Spotlight, for the month of July, 2015. Every month a new undergraduate is featured.


     Summer is a senior in the Biology department on a pre-veterinary track, and preparing to graduate in December. She is the President and Co-founder of the Pre-Veterinary Medical Professional Society and Treasurer/Safety Officer of the Equestrian Club. Additionally, she volunteers at local animal hospitals and plans to go on to veterinary school after graduation.

     Summer has been working with Dr. Chris Cornelison, in collaboration with the Crow Laboratory and Zoo Atlanta, on the Snake Fungal Disease Survey. There she has been sampling the reptile collection and working with a team of graduate students to extract DNA and use a diagnostic qPCR method to identify pathogen presence and quantify pathogen burden. Specifically, she has been studying the snake fungal disease caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola which causes swelling of the face, ulcers, crusty scales and cloudiness of the eyes and is contributing to the endangerment and eradication of certain reptilian species.

     At Zoo Atlanta, Summer has collected samples from different reptiles such as snakes, bearded lizards, tortoises, as well as their enclosures to identify the presence of this troubling fungus. She plans on continuing her work in the Crow lab as an undergraduate researcher.