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Biology News 2010-2011 Academic Year

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Spring 2011

Congratulations to the following Biology students and faculty members for receiving awards at SOURCE in May 2011:

COTS Best Poster Presentation Award:
Green Flourescent Protein Tagging of the Trypanosoma cruzi flagellum - Sarah Smith with Biology Faculty Mentor Gabrielle Stryker.

Quantitative Histological Analysis: Calcineurin's Role in the Developing Retina - Andre Dickerson, Maria Godinez with Biology Faculty Mentor Daniel Selski.

COTS Best Oral Presentation Award:
Discovering Function: Late Stage Retinal Neurodevelopment - Jesus Iniguez with Biology Faculty Mentor Daniel Selski and Audrey Huerta, Geological Sciences.

WATERS Grant Best Poster Presentation Award:
Inquiry Based Field Research in the Seventh grade Classroom - Amber Palmeri-Miles, Brooke Wallace with Biology Faculty Mentors Holly Pinkart and Jason Irwin.

People's Choice, Best Poster Presentation Award:
Anthelmintic Activity of Plant Extracts on the Hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum - Sarah McNutt, Krystal McClellan and Amanda Berndt with Biology Faculty Mentor Blaise Dondji and Gil Belofsky, Chemistry.

Winter 2011

Biology faculty member Holly Pinkart has co-authored a paper that will be published in Environmental Microbiology titled, "Diversity of extremophilic purple phototrophic bacteria in Soap Lake, a Central Washington (USA) Soda Lake." It may be viewed at the Wiley Online Library.

Biology students Joe Wilson, Neal Smith, and Amy Lentsch, 2002, graduated from dental school and are currently practicing dentistry in Yakima.

Biology student Misty Radosevich (2003) will receive her MD from Temple University in June and begin her residency at the Mayo Clinic in anesthesiology.

Biology faculty Blaise Dondji is a co-author of two recently published papers entitled "Geohelminth Infection in Rural Cameroonian Villages", Comparative Parasitology, 78(1):161-179. 2011; and "Prevalence of Waterborne Protozoan Parasites in Two Rural Villages in the West Province of Cameroon", Comparative Parasitology, 78(1):180-184. 2011.

Fall 2010

Image of CWU group at in Linfield Oregon, 2010

Image of CWU group at in Linfield Oregon, 2010
Front row left to right: Sami Abdul-Wahid, Dr. Andy Piacsek, Rachel Beckstrom, Sara Healas, Amanda Berndt, John Aaron, Jesus Iniguez
Back row left to right: Dr. Jason Irwin, Audrey Huerta, Dr. Blaise Dondji, Dr. Daniel Selski.

Biology Faculty members Drs. Blaise Dondji, Daniel Selski, and Jason Irwin and their students, Amanda Berndt, Jesus Iniguez, and Sarah Healas attended the Murdock College Science Research Program 19th Regional Conference on Undergraduate Research. The conference was hosted by Linfield College in Oregon on November 12-13, 2010. In addition to Biology faculty and students, other CWU faculty also attended.

Amanda was chosen to give an oral presentation on her research with Dr. Dondji on the effects of nitric oxide on experimental hookworm infections. Jesus presented a poster on calcineurin and axon growth. Sarah presented a poster on Altitudinal variation of freeze tolerance in the Pacific Chorus Frog.

An article published in the Daily Record October 1, 2010 quoted Biology professor Jason Irwin and graduate students Jamie Lamperth, Amber Palmeri-Miles, James Meidell and Brandon Fessler about their research on the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass project. The project involves 12 agency partners in a $1.2 billion expansion of I-90 Eastbound with $100,000 a year awarded to CWU to specifically study migration patterns. With the data derived from these migration studies, forethought will be given to migration patterns, genetic diversity, availability of resources, and reducing road kill of animals in the area. Other Biology faculty members involved in the project include Paul James, Kris Ernest, Steve Wagner and Dan Beck.

Image of Blaise Dondji in Hamburg, 2010

Image of Blaise Dondji in Hamburg, 2010
Pictured with Dr. Dondji (right) are Dr. Marcus Maurer, Universite-Charite, Berlin; Dr. Esther von Stebut, University of Mainz and Mr. Omer Ngouateu, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon.

At the invitation of the Volkswagen Foundation, Hannover, Germany, and the European Foundation Initiative for the African Research into Neglected Diseases, Dr. Blaise Dondji, Biology Faculty, attended the Grantee Meeting within the Africa Initiatives "Communicable Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa - From the African Bench to the Field" and "Neglected Diseases". This meeting was hosted by the Bernard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany, from September 3 - 6, 2010. He co-presented a talk entitled "Epidemiological and immunological investigations on cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and Leishmania/HIV co-infection in the Mokolo focus, Far North Province, Cameroon".

CWU Biology again participated in the annual "Science is Central" program. Over 300 local elementary school students received lessons on Plants from All Over the World and Reptiles. To date, over 1700 students have been offered tours from the Biology Department in 2010. Additional information about the "Science is Central" program can be found in this Ellensburg Daily Record Sept. 16, 2009 newspaper article.