Scholarship and Student Collaborations

 

Research


My current research is divided between two areas of personal interest; (1) inhibition of microbial pathogenesis using short nucleotide strands, and (2) assessment of gene expression in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) during limb regneration.

 

Inhibition of Microbioal Pathogensis using short nucleotide strands:

 

Student Research Collaborations

2010.  Cargal, Timothy Eric.  Specific inhibition of biofilm synthesis in Staphylococcus aureus using siHybrids and nanoparticles.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2010.  Mack, Joseph.  Suppression of tetracycline resistance in Escherichia coli using siHybrids.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2009.  Barker, Julia.  Suppression of Ampicillin Resistance in Escherichia coli Using a Variety of Short Double Stranded Oligonucleotides.  Westminster Capstone Project. (Presented research at Disctrict Tri-Beta conference, Gannon University, March 20, 2010.)

2009-2010.  Fink, Emily.  Specific Inhibition of Operon-Based Biofilm Synthesis in Staphylococcus aureus Using siHybrids.  Westminster Capstone Project/Indpendent Study.  (Presented research at Disctrict Tri-Beta conference, Gannon University, March 20, 2010.)

2009.  Saraiva, Chase.  Inhibition of biofilm formation in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae using siHybrid Mediated Silencing. Westminster Capstone Project.  (Awarded second prize for poster presentation at Disctrict Tri-Beta conference, Gannon University, March 20, 2010.)

2008-2009.  Enterline, Kristen.  Suppression of ampicillin resistance in Escherichia coli using siHybrids.  Westminster Capstone Project/Indpendent Study.  (Awarded Outstanding Poster Presentation at the 30th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for Western Pennsylvania, Waynesburg University, April 18, 2009.)

2005-2006.  Harding, Rachel.   RNA interference: a Potential Solution to Plasmid Mediated Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli.  Hononrs Research Project .

2005-2006.  Um, Peter.  Inhibiting Operon-Based Biofilm Synthesis of Staphylococcus aureus Using siHybrid Mediated Silencing.  Westminster Capstone Project/Independent Study.  (Presented research at Disctrict Tri-Beta conference, Gannon University, March 26, 2006. Awarded Outstanding Poster in Applied RNAi Research at the 4th International RNAi Boston Meeting, Boston, MA, May 3, 2006.)

 

 

Assessment of gene expression in axolotl during limb regeneration:

 

Student Research Collaborations

2010.  Harvey, Forest.  The effects of bisphenol-a on expression of Hox D-11 gene in regenerating limbs of Ambystoma mexicanum.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2010.  Brandy Neely and Sirena Coon.  Expression of Hox genes in Ambystoma mexicanum during forelimb and hindlimb regeneration.  Independent Study.   (Presented research at Disctrict Tri-Beta conference, Gannon University, March 20, 2010.)

2009.  Coon, Sirena.  Expression of Hox genes in Ambystoma mexicanum during forelimb and hindlimb regeneration.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2009.  Neely, Brandy. The Effect of Varying Concentrations of α-Phenyl-tert-Butyl Nitrone on the Rate of Digit Formation in Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Limb Regeneration.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2008.  Alderson, Julie M.  The Effect of varying concentrations of α-Phenyl-tert-Butyl Nitrone on TGF-β expression during limb regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2008.  Bredniak, Kristen.  The Effects of Iodine Concentrations on Limb Regeneration and the Expression of Hoxa-13 in Ambystoma mexicanum.  Westminster Senior Capstone Project.

2007-2008.  Boucek, Ashley.  Vitamin D metabolites and their affect on Msx-2 gene expression in Ambystoma mexicanum.  Westminster Capstone Project/Indpendent Study.  (Selected to present research at 22nd National Conference of undergraduate Research [NCUR], Salisbury University, April 10-12, 2008)

2007.  Montgomery, Anna.  Temperature-Dependent Assay of HoxA13 Gene Expression During Limb Regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum.  Westminster Capstone Project.  (Selected to present research at 22nd National Conference of undergraduate Research [NCUR], Salisbury University, April 10-12, 2008)

2007.  Perschke, Shelly.  The Effect of Phthalates on HoxA13 Gene Expression in Ambystoma Mexicanum.  Westminster Capstone Project.  (Selected to present research at 22nd National Conference of undergraduate Research [NCUR], Salisbury University, April 10-12, 2008)

2003-2004.  Gonda, Rebecca.  Isolating the Dfd Homeotic Selector Gene from the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, and a Comparison with Dfd Homologs in Other Species.  Honors Research Project.

Other Student Research Collaberations

2006.  Barnes, Ryan.  The development of Nasonia vitripennis in Sarcophaga bullata host pupae lacking venom-suppressed immune systems.   Westminster Capstone Project.  (Departmental Recognition for Best Capstone Research and Poster Presentation and Selected to present research at 21st National Conference of undergraduate Research [NCUR], Dominican University of California, April 12-14, 2007)

2006.  Sacca, Nicole.  Determining PSR chromosome transmission in successive generations of Nasonia vitripennis.  Westminster Capstone Project.

2006-2007.  Schilke, Jonathan. The Hypermethylation of TMEM97 May Provide a Link Between the Gene and the Etiology of Ovarian Surface Epithelial Carcinoma.  Honors Research Project.

2005-2006.  Jerczenko, Chelsea.  Identification of a Conserved Gene Implicated in Hip Dysplasia in Canis familiaris With the Use of Microsatellite Markers.  Independent Study.  Co-Advised with Dr. Ann Throckmorton.

2005.  Parfitt, Katherine.  Effects of Cyanotoxin, Microcystin-LR, on Daphnia magna Motility, Mortality, and Bioluminescence.  Westminster Capstone Project.

2005.  Turovsky, Michael.  The Effect of Salt on the Fecundity of Daphnia.  Westminster Capstone Project.

2003-2004.  Edmiston, Logan.  Isolation of Genes Involved in Sex Determination in Volvox carteri.  Honors Research Project.

2003.  Zapko, Daniel. Using Representational Difference Analysis (RDA) to Identify Genetic Differences Between Two Different Strains of Organisms.  Merk Undegraduate Summer Research Grant.

2002.  Edmiston, Logan.  Isolation of Genes Involved in Sex Determination in Volvox carteri.  Merk Undegraduate Summer Research Grant.

 

 

Teaching Pedagogy


Two topics that I find to be a constant source of interest and concern within the biological sciences are scientific literacy and the human genome project. Students who understand the purpose and process of scientific literacy will reach their potential and have a greater appreciation of the biological sciences and processes that shape the natural world. As for the human genome, I have found that the general public, and even college graduates, have a very misguided understanding of current advances and applications within the field of human genomics. College graduates who understand the reality and potential for this field will be well prepared for future job markets as well as for social and ethical decisions that arise from new discoveries and applications.