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BioBits Newsletter
University of Delaware
February 2012
In This Issue:
Faculty News
Staff News
Research News
Student News
Alumni News
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Welcome to the BioBits
E-Newsletter from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware.   We are excited to share our news!   

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Boord Photo 2

Faculty News . . .

Dr. Robert L. Boord (Professor Emeritus) joined the department in 1962 and established a research program investigating the structure and phylogeny of the cranial nerves. Much of his research focused on elasmobranchs (sharks and skates) and was carried out at our marine laboratories in Lewes, Delaware as well as at marine laboratories in England and New Zealand. Throughout his distinguished research career he made significant contributions to the field of neurological sciences for which he was presented the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. Dr. Boord was actively involved in the establishment of the physical therapy program, now part of the College of Health Sciences, and for several years, he taught comparative, neuro and gross anatomy; always within an evolutionary context. Although Dr. Board officially retired in 1992, he is regularly spotted in Wolf Hall and McKinly Lab. He continues to assist with dissections in Dr. Roger Wagner's (also Professor Emeritus) course, BISC442, Vertebrate Morphology, and the students thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to benefit from Dr. Boord's expertise and enthusiasm. We are very grateful that some of our treasured faculty never learned the meaning of the word "retirement".
Campbell PhotoStaff News . . . .

Many alumni of BISC207 Introductory Biology have benefited from the dedicated efforts of staff member Sue Campbell, the course Supervisor and Coordinator of Laboratory Services. Her careful work ensures that the 1500 BISC207 students per year come into labs that are stocked and ready to go. A department lab supervisor since 1979, Sue supported many courses before focusing on Introductory Biology. She uses her training and years of experience to work with a myriad of faculty, teaching assistants and students, and to develop new labs as well as perfect old favorites. For the past several years Sue also co-authored the Lab Manual for BISC207. Sue is passionate about reducing waste in the teaching labs and has spent three years devising and implementing changes in protocols to reduce BISC207 lab waste. We estimate that she has saved more than 20,000 weigh boats, test tubes and pipettes from disposal, which reduces the monetary and environmental costs of the course. For her efforts, Sue was awarded the 2010 Pearson Higher Education Sustainable Solutions Award. Teaching is Sue's favorite part of her job and she has taught the BISC207 lab many times. She takes great pride in giving students a small class environment and personal interactions to foster learning. We are lucky to have her in BISC207. Thank you Sue!


Galileo PhotoResearch News . . .

Research in the laboratory of Dr. Deni Galileo, Associate Professor, focuses on mechanisms that operate during normal vertebrate brain development and similar mechanisms that have gone awry to enable cancer cell motility, particularly in the brain. One protein studied is L1CAM, which is expressed by neurons during brain development to allow their migration and axon extension. This protein is made abnormally by several types of malignant cancers, such as ovarian, uterine, colon, and melanoma. Dr. Galileo's research students have shown that malignant glioblastoma (brain) and breast cancer cells abnormally express the L1CAM protein that causes the cells to migrate more rapidly in a dish and to spread farther in an animal model. The increased motility is particularly difficult to stop because the cells utilize two different types of cell surface receptors to bind to L1CAM. The Galileo lab is investigating different approaches to stop L1CAM protein from binding to these receptors and to inhibit the resulting stimulatory signals inside the cells. They hope to find ways that can be used to treat patients with malignant cancer types, such as brain, breast, melanoma, and others where L1CAM is now known to cause the cells to migrate and spread. 

Read more....  


Student News . . .

The Department of Biological Sciences honors and financially supports outstanding students through named awards. One of these is the Richard M. Johnson award, given to an exceptional undergraduate junior who best exemplifies the objectives of the biological sciences honor society, Beta Beta Beta (promotion of scholarship, dissemination of biological knowledge, and encouragement of research). The 2011 award co-winners, Bruce Aldred and Christine McGrath, not only embody these principles but have made additional contributions to the UD community. Bruce served as a peer facilitator for BISC 207 and 208 honors courses for three years, and indulged his love of filmmaking by producing a variety of films for non-profit and campus offices. He will graduate with an honors B.A. degree in biological sciences and will attend medical school in the fall. Christine will earn an honors B.A. degree in both biological sciences and foreign languages and literature. She was an undergraduate researcher in the Infant Motor Behavior Lab, a member of UD's Women's Varsity Rowing team and a member of the US National team for the Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1. Christine will enter veterinary school in the fall. Both Bruce and Christine were recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Their impressive academic achievements and rich undergraduate experiences are a tribute to the spirit of the Richard M. Johnson award.



Alumni Photo Feb BioBits
Alumni News . . . .  

Marcia Watson earned her B.A. in psychology with high honors in 1974, and received her Ph.D. in biological sciences with Dr. Milton Stetson in 1985. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UD from 1985-1994. Dr. Watson then held various administrative positions at UD, including serving as the Assistant Director for Academic Policies and Planning in the Provost's Office, Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. Since January 2010 she has been Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Adelphi, MD. Her administrative duties are related to compliance with accreditation policies as well as with regulations of the University System of Maryland and the State of Maryland. Dr. Watson also serves as the administrative liaison to UMUC's shared governance councils. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches an upper-level undergraduate biology course online. Dr. Watson maintains her interest in field biology through active involvement with the Patuxent Chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society and with the Maryland Entomological Society.

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Contact Info

Department of Biological Sciences

University of Delaware

105 The Green

118 Wolf Hall

Newark, DE  19716