Accomplishments: School of Life Sciences

September 6, 2017
Laurel Raftery, Andrew Andres, Ai-Sun "Kelly" Tseng, and Boo Shan Tseng (all Life Sciences), and Hong Sun (Chemistry & Biochemistry), have been awarded a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant to purchase a multiphoton fluorescence imaging system titled "MRI: Acquisition of a High Speed Multiphoton Laser-Scanning Microscope for Research and Training at UNLV." Raftery is the principal investigator, while Andres, Sun, Tseng, and Tseng are co-principal investigators....
June 20, 2017
Forty undergraduates recently were awarded scholarships through the office of undergraduate research's summer undergraduate research funding (OUR SURF) program. These scholarships support undergraduate research, scholarship, entrepreneurial, performance, or visual art projects in the summer months. A total of $39,000 in funding was contributed by the following 11 colleges/programs: Allied Health Sciences Community Health Sciences CSUN Engineering Fine Arts Honors Liberal Arts Nursing OUR-UNLV...
May 17, 2017
Donald Price (Life Sciences) is one of the authors of a scientific article titled "A Test for Gene Flow among Sympatric and Allopatric Hawaiian Picture-Winged Drosophila"   that recently was published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution.    
May 5, 2017
Michael Picker (Life Sciences) recently was awarded the 2017-18 Hermsen Fellowship by the Graduate College. The fellowship was established by a gift from Richard and Beverly Hermsen. This prestigious award is designated for outstanding doctoral students in the School of Life Sciences. Picker is pursuing a doctoral degree in biological sciences. Professor Helen Wing is his advisor.      
May 1, 2017
Nemanja Novakovic (Sciences and Honors) is the 2017 UNLV undergraduate recipient of the Regents' Scholar Award. The award is bestowed upon one undergraduate student from each NSHE institution for their academic achievements, leadership ability, and service contributions. Each honoree receives a $5,000 stipend. Novakovic is pursuing a double major in biochemistry and biological sciences, with an emphasis in cell and molecular biology. He’s conducted applied bioinformatics and HIV research in the...
March 22, 2017
Elizabeth Stacy (Life Sciences) and colleagues, including Donald Price (Life Sciences), published "Incipient Ecological Speciation between Successional Varieties of a Dominant Tree Involves Intrinsic Postzygotic Isolating Barriers" in the journal Ecology and Evolution. This study demonstrates that partial intrinsic postzygotic barriers may be among the first isolating barriers to arise during speciation between large, hybridizing populations of a long-lived species.
March 9, 2017
Vivian Sam and Matt Rader (Life Sciences) were featured in "Study Breaks," a national undergrad write-up. Both are pursuing biology degrees with concentrations in ecology and evolution.
February 16, 2017
Dennis Bazylinski (Life Sciences) and a team of international researchers recently published a research article titled “Origin of Microbial Biomineralization and Magnetotaxis During the Archean” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that shows magnetic navigation by swimming bacteria may be more ancient than previously thought. Bazylinski’s research team shows genomic evidence that magnetotaxis, the production of magnetosomes (intracellular magnetic crystals in certain bacteria)...
February 15, 2017
Ai-Sun "Kelly" Tseng (Life Sciences) published an article, “Seeing the Future: Using Xenopus to Understand Eye Regeneration” in genesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development. Graduate student Cindy Kha’s images were selected for the journal cover illustration. This invited review article is part of of a special issue focusing on biological advances and emerging technologies using the frog, Xenopus, as a model organism.  Tseng’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that enable...
January 10, 2017
Frank van Breukelen (Life Sciences) received a four-year, $797,810 National Science Foundation grant to study hibernation in tenrecs. The current views about mammalian hibernation were developed using traditional models such as the ground squirrel. In these models, hibernators periodically rewarm to active levels between bouts of depressed metabolism. In this proposal, a unique model of hibernation will be used. Common tenrecs (Tenrec ecaudatus) originate from Madagascar and in contrast to all...
January 5, 2017
Dennis Bazylinski (Life Sciences) and a team of researchers recently published a research article titled "Measuring Spectroscopy and Magnetism of Extracted and Intracellular Magnetosomes Using Soft X-ray Ptychography" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Biomagnetism refers to phenomenon where living creatures, such as bacteria, algae, fish, and birds, can detect and use local magnetic fields to their advantage. The so-called magnetotactic bacteria are an ideal model for...
January 4, 2017
Helen Wing (Life Sciences) has received a three-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant worth $445,008. It is a continuation of a research project that now has received nine years of continual NIH funding. The project focuses on virulence gene regulation in the bacterial pathogen Shigella.  Nucleoid structuring proteins found within bacterial cells play an important role in compacting and organizing DNA, but they often silence the transcription of genes that they sequester. Molecular...