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Marshall University - Biological Sciences Newsletter
December 2014

BSC Undergraduate Tuition Waivers Granted for Student Research

    Tuition waivers have been granted to six BSC undergraduates so that they can work on the following research projects: Jessica Cantrell, working with Dr. Jayme Waldron on "Diet analysis of Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus larvae present in lime-treated streams of West Virginia;" Arrin Carter, working with Dr. Elmer Price on "Implantable fibrin cylinders that direct neural stem cell migration and maturation;" Nathan Fleshman, working with Dr. Jayme Waldron on "Techniques for studying salamander movement;" Raven McMullen, working with Dr. Suzanne Strait on "Creation of a global database of Marshall University's mammal collection;" Ana Ramirez, working with Dr. Nadja Spitzer on "The effects of fructose on adult neural stem cell differentiation;" and Stephen Phelps, working with Dr. Jeff Kovatch on "Investigation of chemical signaling among aggregated freshwater bivalves and the effect on collective metabolic rates."

    Congratulations to all, and we look forward to hearing the results of your research!

Congratulations to Student and Faculty NASA Scholarship Winners

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    The following BSC undergraduate student-faculty pairs have been awarded NASA-sponsored funding for research projects: Austin Akers/Dr. Dasgupta (Pharmacology, Physiology, and Toxicology, School of Medicine) for "Transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) receptors and lung cancer;" Joshua Leonard/Dr. Spitzer for "The effects of fructose on adult neural stem cells;" Cynthia Peck/Dr. Quinones (Chemistry) for "Self-assembled monolayers on the modified surface of zinc oxide to Increase the longevity of solar cells;" Clarissa Schauseil/Dr. Salisbury (Pharmacology, Physiology, and Toxicology, School of Medicine) for "The effect of PI3K inhibitors on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in breast cancer cell lines;" and Reagan Stafford/Dr. Valentovic (Pharmacology, Physiology, and Toxicology, School of Medicine) for "Examination of cellular mechanisms of renal cytoxicity by cisplatin."

    Congratulations to all the students and faculty who have worked on their preliminary research and their proposals, which made it possible to apply for these awards. Watch for Sigma Xi Research Day in the spring, when these students will have research posters hanging in the hallways!

Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia Wolfe
The scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell.

Stuffed_Cells_cartoon

BSC's Brain Awareness Program Hosts Happy Fifth-Graders!

Brain_Awareness_Happy_Kids

    On October 24, the Brain Awareness Program in BSC hosted 16 students from Martha Elementary School's 5th grade gifted class for a morning of science education. The students dissected preserved frogs and participated in hands-on demonstrations of brain, eye, and heart anatomy and function. The students were very excited to be on campus, in the Science Building, and in a working laboratory - BSC's Ecology Lab. As they dissected the frogs themselves, they received guidance from Sammi Adkins, Robert Cooper, Matt Blake, Cassie Brown, Dusty Vance, Amy Parsons-White, Dr. Antonsen, and Dr. Spitzer.

    Students had a great time finding and identifying the different anatomical structures of their frogs and talking about how they worked. They asked excellent questions that were insightful and fun for their instructors, allowing them to expand on interesting anatomical and physiological concepts. The experience was rated as "amazing" and scored as 11 and 14 out of 10 by the students. Their teacher reports high levels of interest in science careers and science education at Marshall University in discussions after the visit. The Brain Awareness Program is directed by Dr. Spitzer and aims to promote STEM education by presenting science using fun, hands-on activities. The flagship event of this program is the annual Brain Expo associated with international Brain Awareness Week in March.

Winter Commencement is December 14

    For those of you graduating this semester, the Winter Commencement ceremony is Sunday, December 14, at 2 p.m. at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. For more information, visit the Registrar's website.

Are You Looking for a Research Internship or Capstone?

    The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program offers a wide variety of paid research internships around the US. Students work with scientists on the laboratories' ongoing research; internships last either 10 weeks during the summer, or 16 weeks during the spring or fall. Visit this page to see a list of participating laboratories and their research. You may also wish to read about the program or explore the FAQ. Although laboratories begin reviewing summer applications in February, SULI is an ongoing program.

 

 

   There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. Enrico Fermi, physicist and Nobel laureate (1901-1954)

 

What’s New in Biological Science:Chemists recruit anthrax to deliver cancer drugs. From MIT: The bacterium that causes anthrax is so good at injecting proteins into cells that scientists at MIT are borrowing it as a mechanism for introducing anti-cancer drugs. The team is now testing this method for treating tumors in mice.

Selected BSC Contact Information

Dr. David Mallory, BSC Chair S-350 (304) 696-2353 mallory@marshall.edu
BSC Graduate Program Information   (304) 696-2427 biograduate@marshall.edu
BSC office, TA applications, various forms S-350 (304) 696-3148 smithmj@marshall.edu
Susan Weinstein, BSC News S-204 (304) 696-2428 weinstei@marshall.edu

 

Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right.

Department of Biological Sciences | One John Marshall Drive | Science Building 350 | Huntington, WV 25755 | (304) 696-3148