Accomplishments: School of Life Sciences

April 4, 2018
Helen Wing (Life Sciences) and a group that included 16 members of her research team (seven undergraduate students, six graduate students, two technicians and one post-doctoral fellow) published a paper, "Insights into Transcriptional Silencing and Anti‐Silencing in Shigella flexneri: a Detailed Molecular Analysis of the icsP Virulence Locus," in the journal Molecular Microbiology.  Often virulence genes in bacterial pathogens are controlled by sets of DNA binding proteins that antagonize each...
March 26, 2018
Mira Han (Life Sciences) was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award for her research project, “Using Indel Rate Variation to Understand Evolutionary Constraints on Distances Between Functional Elements in the Genome.” Han will use the five-year, $574,068 award to study how insertion and deletion mutations impact the evolution of distances between functional elements, such as transcription factor binding sites in the genome. These prestigious awards are given to “faculty who have the...
March 23, 2018
Jenifer Utz (Life Sciences) gave a research presentation entitled, "Voluntary Self-Assessment Quiz Use Improves Exam Performance, Especially for Learners with Low Prior Knowledge" at the Intermountain Teaching for Learning Conference. This research was a collaborative project with Matt Bernacki (Educational Psychology and Higher Education).
March 20, 2018
Scott Abella (Life Sciences) has partnered with University Libraries to showcase his research on conservation in America's national parks system in the digital exhibit space in the Leisure Reading Zone on the second floor of Lied Library. "Conserving America's National Parks" pulls images and information from Abella's 2015 book of the same name, examining the status of conservation challenges and successes in America’s 408 national parks from 1916-2016. Each screen in this digital gallery...
March 14, 2018
Lawrence Walker and Fred Landau (both School of Life Sciences) recently published a book,  A Natural History of the Mojave Desert. In it, the authors explore how a combination of complex geology, varied geography, and changing climate has given rise to intriguing flora and fauna — including almost 3,000 plant species and about 380 terrestrial vertebrate animal species. Of these, one quarter of the plants and one sixth of the animals are endemic. Walker and Landau, who, combined, have spent more...
March 13, 2018
Matthew Le Claire (Liberal Arts), Erdogan Kaya (Education), and Michael Isaacs (Life Sciences) are this year's recipients of the Graduate College's Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards. 1st Place - Matthew Le Claire (College of Liberal Arts) 2nd Place - Erdogan Kaya (College of Education) 3rd Place - Michael Isaacs (School of Life Sciences)
March 1, 2018
The National Science Foundation will fund Kurt Regner and Eduardo Robleto's (Life Sciences) proposal, REU SITE: Mechanisms of Evolution (DBI 1757316 - $333,830).  REU Sites offer paid summer undergraduate research internships supplemented with workshops on careers in science.  The overarching goal of this proposal is to engage undergraduates with hypothesis-based research projects that examine one or more mechanisms of evolution. Since 2007, the REU program has sponsored 110 undergraduates with...
February 27, 2018
Erin Cassin (Life Sciences) attended and presented her work at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM in Washington D.C., earlier this month. Her work is based on a collaborative project between the lab of professor Philippos Tsourkas and the lab of professor emeritus Penny Amy in the School of Life Sciences. Cassin, an undergraduate researcher, earned first place at this national conference in the poster presentation category for microbiology with her poster presentation, "...
February 15, 2018
Jacklyn Newsome (Life Sciences) successfully defended her master's thesis in the Schiller Laboratory of Applied Bioinformatics in December. She worked on personalized diets and a new single-cell technology called the GigaAssay. Both have been licensed commercially.  
February 8, 2018
Ai-Sun "Kelly" Tseng (Life Sciences) and members of the Tseng laboratory recently published a research article titled "A Model for Investigating Developmental Eye Repair in Xenopus" in the journal Experimental Eye Research. This study showed the unexpected finding that frog embryos can fully regrow their eyes after injury. The authors also identified a method to control eye regrowth. Further studies of this model can lead to new strategies for eye repair and regeneration. This study was...
January 24, 2018
Jenifer Utz (Life Sciences) has been awarded $649,407 from the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education for a project titled "Developing the Skill and Will to Succeed in STEM." Katie Rafferty, Christy Strong, Donald Price (all Life Sciences), and Matt Bernacki (Educational Psychology and Higher Education) are Co-PIs.  The new program provides three years of scholarship support to a total of 25 academically talented undergraduate biology majors with documented financial...
November 22, 2017
Alexis Sauceda-Quintero (Life Sciences) was selected to give an oral presentation of his research at the recent 2017 annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Phoenix. An undergraduate researcher in the lab of Kelly Ai-Sun Tseng (Life Sciences), Sauceda-Quintero presented “Regrowing a Tail: Does Regeneration Catch up to Normal Size?” in which he described his findings on determining if natural tadpole tail regeneration resulted in a normal-sized appendage. He...