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BioBits Newsletter
University of Delaware

May 2012

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

Quick Links

Hold This Date:
Biological Sciences
Convocation - Friday, May 25
Commencement -
Saturday, May 26
Alumni Weekend - June 1-3
Join us on
Alumni Weekend -
Biological Sciences Showcase
The Department of Biological Sciences will host its 2nd Annual Biological Sciences Showcase during UD Alumni Weekend on Saturday, June 2nd from 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. in Wolf Hall.  This year, you'll find us in the lobby of Wolf Hall, Room 100, and other nearby rooms. We will feature video clips from faculty about their research and teaching, posters of students' research projects, activities and  demonstrations.  Our Showcase overlaps with the Blue Hen Brunch on The Green in front of Wolf Hall, so please stop by and reconnect with BISC faculty and students and see what we've been up to! For more information and/or to register for Alumni Weekend. 
Click here . . .
Dr. Robert Hodson


Faculty News . . .


When it comes to introducing science majors to biology, few faculty have had the impact of Professor Robert Hodson. During his 43 years at UD, Professor Hodson has taught thousands of undergraduate students, developed innovative laboratory exercises, authored the lab manual for BISC208, increased the writing emphasis in labs, trained graduate students, advised Beta Beta Beta, and inspired everyone, including fellow colleagues, with his excitement for teaching. Did he ever parlay his department seniority into an excuse to slow down?  No, he approached each semester with more enthusiasm than ever before, often being heard to mutter "I just love what I'm doing!"   Professor Hodson joined the department in 1969 where he was hired to teach plant physiology to graduate students; however, he soon began teaching introductory biology to undergraduates. Although he did research on green algae, even spending a sabbatical in Australia with a Chlamydomonas researcher, he considers the most enjoyable aspect of his career to have been teaching both conventional and honor students. He modestly admits that his proudest moment was receiving the University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000. He was also recognized by Alpha Lambda Delta, the Freshman Honors Society, with its Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994. Dr. Hodson will be greatly missed after he retires from teaching at the end of this semester; but he plans to continue to help, as needed, with the department's teaching goals. His legacy will influence our introductory biology courses for years to come, and we extend best wishes and sincere thanks to a truly inspiring teacher and friend. Good luck Professor Hodson!

Selva Research Photo
Figure shows the importance of extracellular signaling protein in fly eye development.  Shown are two magnifications of a normal fly eye (wild type, left) and a fly eye mutant, a gene required for extracellular signaling protein processing (alg10/alg10, right).
Research News . . .


Dr. Erica M. Selva, Associate Professor, joined the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences ten years ago following completion of her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. The focus of Dr. Selva's laboratory is to understand the cellular signaling pathways that drive organismal development using the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly as a model. Her group harnesses the powerful genetic tools available with this organism to define cellular events that shape the dynamics of the extracellular environment and cellular responses that influence development in live organisms. To this end, the group focuses on the Wnt/Wingless (Wg) and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling transduction pathways because these conserved signal transduction pathways are of critical importance for the development of both vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. Therefore, what is learned in Drosophila will translate to our understanding of these pathways during human development. Furthermore, these studies may also shed light on how dysregulation of these signaling pathways leads to human cancers. So far, Dr. Selva has had 22 undergraduate and 4 graduate students contributing to various aspects of this research.  Read more . . .

Boyd PhotoMore News . . .


Congratulations to Dr. Fidelma Boyd, a recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences 2012 Outstanding Scholar Award.  Dr. Boyd was recognized at the Celebration of Achievement and Success Event which was held on May 16, 2012.


Cole, Katharine Alumni
Dr. Katharine (Holderness) Cole

 Alumni News. . . .


Dr. Katharine (Holderness) Cole (B.A., 1976) has recently accepted the position, to begin this June, of Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Services for the University of Tampa. After leaving UD, Dr. Cole received her Ph.D. in Pathology from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine. After a postdoctoral position at the National Cancer Institute, she began her faculty career back at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 1998 she moved to the University of South Florida where she is currently Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies.



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Contact Info

Department of Biological Sciences

University of Delaware

105 The Green

118 Wolf Hall

Newark, DE  19716