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BioBits Newsletter                                    
University of Delaware
April / May 2013
In This Issue:
Save this Date! Alumni Weekend
Research News
Staff News
Student News
Alumni News
"Kudos to You"!
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!   

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Join us on Alumni Weekend

Biological Sciences Showcase

The Department of Biological Sciences will host its 3rd annual Biological Sciences Showcase during UD Alumni Weekend on Saturday, June 1st 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. Our Showcase overlaps with the Blue Hen Lunch with the UD Mascots on The Green in front of Wolf Hall, so please stop by and reunite with faculty, view demonstrations, talk with students about their projects, test your knowledge of biological specimens, and learn more about the research centers in the department.
Also, be sure to join us at 11:30 a.m. in 100 Wolf Hall for the "Imaging Biology" talk by Roger Wagner, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences. Prof. Wagner will talk about interesting ways of imaging biological specimens including three-dimensional imaging and modeling of biological structures. Come learn and enjoy some fantastic images. Three-D glasses and popcorn will be provided. For more information and/or to register for Alumni Weekend click here. . .  
Dr. Wagner
Dr. Roger Wagner preparing for Alumni Weekend.
Dr. Ulhas Naik
Research News . . .
Professor Ulhas Naik, director of the Delaware Cardiovascular Research Center has recently received a four-year, $1.53 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to support his research on the role of stress pathways in cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. This research aims to clarify the role of ASK1 (apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1) in regulating blood platelet function. Dr. Naik and his team previously found that ASK1 protein is expressed in platelets and is activated during blood vessel injury or atherosclerotic plaque rupture. It is hoped that a new thrombotic drug can be developed centered around ASK1 deactivation, which would prevent excess clotting or thrombus formation without affecting the normal wound healing. The Naik laboratory is currently focused on the positive and negative regulators of platelet activation during thrombosis and mechanisms of new blood vessel growth.  Read More . . .


Tim Julie Photo
Julie Stewart and Tim Leefeldt
Staff News . . .


In this day and age, one can rarely find a room in the Department of Biological Sciences that does not have a computer. Regular maintenance by expert personnel is essential. Fortunately we can always count on our computer support specialist team, Tim Leefeldt and Julie Stewart. Tim joined our department in Feb 2002. In addition to providing support for teaching labs, research labs, and office computers, some of his major projects include the redesign of the department's website, setup and maintenance of secure network shares, setup of a department kiosk to showcase seminars and awards, and support for the department's video conferencing rooms. In addition, Tim regularly trains faculty and staff in the use of computing resources and acts as a liaison between Biology and the rest of the UD technical support community. Julie is a new addition to our computer support specialist team.   Julie received her B.S. in psychology from Penn State University and worked for a few years with individuals with a rare genetic illness associated with chronic hunger called Prader-Willi. Seeking a career change, Julie trained in helpdesk support and took a desktop support position at DuPont. In Fall 2012, Julie joined our department and we are happy to have her on staff.   Julie currently works with Tim and focuses on supporting lab PCs, performing monthly updates and regular computer maintenance. We thank Tim for all of his hard work over the years and welcome Julie to the department.

HHMI Grp Photo
(Pictured L to R)  Allison McCague, Christine Dang, Megan Dumas, Monica Pirigyi, Helen Schmidt, Laura Powell, Zachary March and Nicholas Lombardi  (Not Shown:  Kahina Ghanem)
  News . . .

The tragic and senseless Boston Marathon bombings in April occurred just as the "Experimental Biology 2013" meeting was set to open at the Boston Convention Center. The lockdown of the city no doubt affected travel plans for hundreds to thousands of scientists and students from around the world. For a group of UD undergraduate students and faculty it meant a quick change of plans and a return to campus, instead of leaving on a train from Wilmington Friday afternoon. However, by 7:00 am the next day, the group was on board train 160 and scheduled to arrive in Boston just in time for an undergraduate poster competition sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). It is commendable that our students were able to rush to the convention center upon arrival, set up their posters and remain composed during the judging. We are proud to report that two students, Allison McCague (Biological Sciences) and Zachary March (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) won Honorable Mention Awards. This group of very talented research students also included Christine Dang, Megan Dumas, Kahina Ghanem, Nicholas Lombardi and Laura Powell from Biological Sciences, and Helen Schmidt and Monica Pirigyi from Chemistry and Biochemistry. The EB meetings draw tens of thousands of researchers from around the world. For our students, whose research and travel have been supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Undergraduate Science Education Program grant, this was a great opportunity to not only participate in poster competitions (both ASBMB and The American Physiological Society), but also to present their work in a topical scientific session and to meet and talk to scientists with similar research interests. The University's HHMI grants have sponsored undergraduate research and travel to the annual EB meeting every year since 2001.  Read more. . .  







Clark Lecture Photo

2013 Dr. Arnold Clark Memorial Lecture

(Pictured L to R)

Dr. Elaine A. Ostrander and Dr. & Mrs. Howard Hudson

 News . . .


The Department of Biological Sciences is grateful to Howard Hudson, M.D. (Class of 1963) and his wife Pat for their generous sponsorship of the Arnold M. Clark Memorial Lectureship. Dr. Hudson was born and raised in Wilmington, DE. After graduating from UD with a degree in biological sciences, Dr. Hudson received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an anesthesiologist in Allentown, PA. In 2005, Dr. and Mrs. Hudson established the Clark Lectureship as a tribute to the mentoring and guidance that Dr. Clark provided Dr. Hudson during his undergraduate career. Last month we were delighted to have Dr. and Mrs. Hudson on campus for the 7th Clark Lecture entitled "Both Ends of the Leash: Good Dogs with Bad Genes Inform Human Health" delivered by Dr.Elaine Ostrander, Chief of the Cancer Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of NIH.

 "Kudos To You!"
College of Arts & Sciences
Alumni and Faculty Awards Ceremony 
Grp Photo ArtsSciences Awards
(Pictured L to R)  Dr. David Smith, Dr. Salil Lachke,
Dr. Florence Schmieg and Dr. Jennifer Nauen
Four of our faculty were recognized this month at the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni and Faculty Awards Ceremony.  Dr. Florence Schmieg received the Excellence in Advising Award and Dr. David Smith received the Lifetime Service Award.  Dr. Jennifer Nauen was recognized for her promotion to associate professor and Dr. Salil Lachke was honored for being named a 2012 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and for receiving the Alcon Research Institute 2013 Young Investigator Grant. 
Kudos to Our Graduate Students!
2013 Grad Awards

(Pictured L to R)  Brandy Haines-Menges, Clinita Randolph, Padma Srinivasan, Santiago Suarez, Rachel Marine

(Not Shown:  Carrie Barnum, Megan Carpenter, Serge Ongagna-Yhombia and Brian Whitaker)

Padma Srinivasan received the University Dissertation Fellows Award, and Rachel Marine received the University Graduate Fellows Award.  Santiago Suarez, Serge Ongagna-Yhombi, Brandy Haines-Menges, Carrie Barnum and Clinita Randolph received University Graduate Scholars Awards. Megan Carpenter and Brian Whitaker won poster awards at the Philadelphia Infection & Immunity Forum and have been invited to give an oral presentation at the Eastern Branch American Society of Microbiology Meeting in December. 
Lowe Photo
Dylan Lowe
Alums Recognized by NSF
Dylan Lowe (Class of 2012) has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) predoctoral fellowship.  Dylan is currently a graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco in the Biomedical Sciences Program. 
Erica Boetefuer (Class of 2012) received an honorable mention for an NSF fellowship.  Erica is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in molecular biology.  Read more . . . 
Kudos to Elizabeth Hetterly
Fulbright Award Winner
Graduating senior, Elizabeth Hetterly, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award for 2013-2014 to work in Mumbai, India with the non-profit organization, the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action. 
 Phi Beta Kappa Inducts New Members

Five of our seniors were inducted into the Alpha of Delaware Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on May 4th. Congratulations to Kevin Colodner, Leah Hall, Melanie Kirkpatrick, Allison McCague, Kelsey McGlade and K. Michael Rowley. Also recognized at the Phi Beta Kappa induction was sophomore, Hannah Anderson.  She was presented the Clift and DeArmond Award, which recognizes the second-year undergraduate at the University of Delaware who shows the most outstanding scholarly potential in a Phi Beta Kappa curriculumRead more . . .

Alumni News to Share...
Sujata Bhatia, who earned bachelor's degrees in biology, biochemistry and chemical engineering and a master's degree in chemical engineering at UD, all in 1999, was recently awarded the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  Dr. Bhatia is the assistant director for undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering, the assistant dean of the Harvard Summer School and an associate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  Read more . . .
Alum Bhatia Photo
(Pictured L to R)  Dr. Sujata Bhatia receiving award from Dean Cherry A. Murray

New Baby Announcement     Congratulations!


The Department of Biological Sciences would like to welcome the arrival of Moira, the new daughter of Research Associate Dr. Mary Boggs and her husband Nick.  Moira was born on December 26, 2012 and weighed 6 lbs. 11 oz. and was 19 inches long.  Moira joins her big brother, Liam who is 2 years old. 



We also welcome the arrival of Anoushka, the new daughter of our Assistant Professor Salil Lachke and his wife Deepali.  Anoushka was born on March 1, weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. and was 20 inches long.  Anoushka joins big sister Nikita who is six years old.    





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Contact Info


Department of Biological Sciences

105 The Green

118 Wolf Hall

Newark, DE  19716



University of Delaware