Niageria Q. Lusk


Contact Information:

North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University
Greensboro, NC 27411

Classification: Senior
Major: Biology


  • “Getting to Know NASA: Student Research Internship Experience at Langley Space Center”
    • NC Opt-Ed Alliance Day (October 2011), Poster presentation
  • “Antimicrobial Activity of Hand Sanitizers: A Comparative Study”
    • NC LSAMP (September 2012), Poster presentation
    • ABRCMS (November 2012), Poster presentation
    • Beta Kappa Chi (March 2013), Poster presentation
    • NC Academy of Science (April 2013 ), Oral presentation
  • “Developing a novel class of antibiotics: targeting essential metabolic pathways to combat antibiotic resistance”
    • Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School Summer Research Symposium (August 2013), Poster presentation
    • ABRCMS (November 2014), Poster presentation


I am a Senior Biology student at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in pursuit of my bachelor's degree. My career goals are to ultimately obtain a PhD in the Biomedical Sciences. I have several research interests.

I got my start with research experiences at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Langley in the Summer of 2011. I was a part of the Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars (LARSS) Program. The program was for six weeks; I worked under the mentorship of Allen Jackson. My project included working in the 3D printing and Micro-CAD lab. NASA uses a system of rapid prototyping to model parts of various items such as space shuttles. Practical items such as replacement nuts and bolts, keys, and similar items can also be built. The Fabrications department purchased the MakerBot: Thing-O-Matic to automatically print three dimensional items from inexpensive ABS plastic. A G-Code is generated from the accompanying software and the Maker-Bot begins building the model based off of the 3-D image the program simulates. The ABS plastic is then extruded from the tool head once the tip reaches 225 degrees Celsius. The build times differ for every item, depending on size.

My next research experience was at Robeson Community College, where I worked under the advisement of Dr. Nirupama Mohapatra . We used three strands of bacteria (E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa) to test the effectiveness of different hand sanitizers in killing bacteria. The use of hand sanitizer has gained popularity as a quick and easy way of disinfecting hands and has become an alternative to hand washing through soap and water. The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of different hand sanitizers in the market in inhibiting bacterial growth.

In the summer of 2013 I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I was placed in the Microbiology and Physiological Systems Department and Dr. Jon Goguen served as my mentor. Our goal was to develop a unique class of antibiotics which will serve to counter the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance by taking advantage of β-lactamase processing to release the active component of a pro-drug.

Research Advisor

  • I am currently participating in on-campus research, where Dr. Robert Newman is my research advisor.