Molecular Biology Major Received Drinko Research Grant

Monday, September 19, 2011

Westminster College senior molecular biology major Stephanie Woodward received an undergraduate research grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

"Does Thapsigargin Affect the Localization of Nuclear Protein Transport Factors, Such as Importin Beta, Importin Alpha, and Crm-1?" is conducted under the supervision of Dr. Karen Resendes, Westminster assistant professor of biology.

The research focuses on the role of calcium in altering transport in and out of the nucleus, the compartment of a cell that contains DNA, the master regulator and blueprint for cellular function.

"This research is important because proper regulation and control of access to the DNA is critical not only to the function and survival of a single cell, but also to the organism as a whole," Resendes explained.  "Drugs that alter nuclear transport, such as ones that cause changes in cellular calcium levels, can lead to cell death, so it is important to understand how these drugs function in the cell."

Woodward is a daughter of James and Laurie Woodward of Waterford and a graduate of the Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.  Click here for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

Contact Resendes at (724) 946-7211 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.