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Marshall University - Biological Sciences Newsletter
November 2015

Congratulations to Student and Faculty NASA Scholarship Winners


    The following BSC undergraduate student-faculty pairs have been awarded NASA-sponsored funding for research projects:

    Nicholas Nolan working with Dr. Piyali Dasgupta on Anti-invasive Activity of Non-pungent Capsaicin Compounds; Maya Menking-Hoggatt working with Dr. Nadja Spitzer on Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on the Wnt Pathway in Adult Neural Stem Cell Differentiation; Amanda White working with Dr. Derrick Kolling on Using Directed Evolution to Increase Lipid Formation in Chlorella vulgaris for use in Biofuels; and Clarissa Schauseil working with Dr. Marty Laubach on Appalachian Culture and STEM.

    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 be presenting their research posters in the hallways of the Science Building!

Scholarships Available from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

    More than 90 different scholarships are available from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. Scholarships have various selection criteria, so scan those available to find out whether one is appropriate for you! There are several that are specific to science and math majors, and some, such as the Leopold and Elizabeth Marmet scholarship, that are available to either undergraduate or graduate students. Many of the scholarships are based on need; for the 2015-2016 academic year, a total of $696,675 was awarded to 398 West Virginia students.

    The application will be available online on November 1, so it's not too early to begin reading each scholarship's requirements, and gathering your materials. The deadline for application is January 15, 2016; notification letters are sent to scholarship recipients in May 2016.

Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia Wolfe
The scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell. This month we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Stuffed Cells in the BSC News!

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 SULI online to see a list of participating laboratories and their research, to read about the program, and to explore the FAQ. Although laboratories begin reviewing summer applications in February, SULI is an ongoing program.

Brag Box An abbreviated list of recent BSC student and faculty accomplishments:
  • Casey Bradshaw, who completed her M.S. in BSC with Dr. Pauley, has successfully defended her dissertation at Penn State. Congratulations, Dr. Bradshaw!
  • Dr. Travis Cyphert's publication from his post-doc at Vanderbilt University has been accepted for publication by the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology. The citation is:
    • Cyphert TJ,, Morris RT, House LM, Barnes TM, Otero YF, Barham WJ, Hunt RP, Zaynagetdinov R, Yull FE, Blackwell TS, McGuinness OP. NF-κB Dependent Airway Inflammation Triggers Systemic Insulin Resistance. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015 Sep 16. PMID:26377563
  • Dr. Frank Gilliam has had two papers accepted for publication:
    • Chapman SK, KA Devine, C Curran, RO Jones, and FS Gilliam. 2015. Impacts of soil nitrogen and carbon additions on forest understory communities with a high-deposition history. Ecosystems in press.
    • Walter CA, MB Burnham, FS Gilliam, and WT Peterjohn. 2015. A reference-based approach for measuring the cover of forest herbs. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment in press.
  • Dr. Victor Fet has two new publications in systematics with zoologist colleagues from Italy, Turkey and Greece:
    • Tropea, G., E. A. Yagmur, and V. Fet. 2015. A revision of the Anatolian-Caucasian Euscorpius mingrelicus complex (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius, 203: 1-32.
    • Tropea, G., V. Fet, A. Parmakelis, P. Kotsakiozi and I. Stathi. 2015. A new species of Euscorpius from Bulgaria and Greece (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae). Euscorpius, 207: 1-15.

What’s New in Biological Science:Restoring vision with stem cells. (October 6, 2015; Université de Montréal via Age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) could be treated by transplanting photoreceptors produced by the directed differentiation of stem cells, thanks to findings published today by Professor Gilbert Bernier of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. ARMD is a common eye problem caused by the loss of cones. Bernier's team has developed a highly effective in vitro technique for producing light sensitive retina cells from human embryonic stem cells. "Our method has the capacity to differentiate 80% of the stem cells into pure cones," Professor Gilbert explained. "Within 45 days, the cones that we allowed to grow towards confluence spontaneously formed organised retinal tissue that was 150 microns thick. This has never been achieved before."

Selected BSC Contact Information

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


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