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March 2015

Spring Educator Expo is March 10

Interested in becoming a teacher? MU's Career Services' annual Spring Educator Expo is Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center, room BE-5. This event will feature local and regional school systems, as well as non-teaching educational organizations. The Expo offers you the opportunity to talk with these recruiters, and possibly even interview on that day. For more information, please call MU Career Services at (304) 696-2370 or email

This Year's Spring Job-A-Palooza is March 25

The Spring 2015 Job-A-Palooza, a part-time job and internship fair, will be held in the Memorial Student Center Lobby, on Wednesday, March 25, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The continually-updated list of companies participating can be found here.

Summer Internships at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Kirtlandia Research Internship Program offers summer internships to college students interested in the natural sciences. Students selected to participate have the opportunity to spend eight weeks working with Museum curators on research projects. Completed applications are due March 15, 2015; selected applicants are then contacted and interviewed, and awards are announced by mid-April. For more information about this interesting opportunity, visit this site.

Find BSC on Facebook: Search "Marshall University Biological Sciences"

BSC has a Facebook group, which is a place for Marshall University Biology students, graduates, faculty, staff, and friends to share science news, departmental activities, research opportunities, job postings, alumni updates, and whatever else strikes (y)our fancy!

Stuffed Cells by Zedmalia Wolfe
The scientifically-correct adventures of an archaean, a plant cell, and an animal cell.


Research in Progress: Deborah Moore

Deborah Moore grew up on a farm in the small town of East Lynn, WV. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Marshall in 2013, double majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology and Microbiology. As a sophomore, she began working with Dr. Wendy Trzyna after having her interest sparked while taking Microbiology. During this time she started her work with Acanthamoeba, a single-celled eukaryotic microbe. Her undergraduate project involved characterizing selected strains of Acanthamoeba at the phenotypic and genotypic levels. There are hundreds of different isolates, many of which can tolerate a range of environmental conditions, yet very little is known about how these strains differ at the molecular level.

Now a Masters student, Deborah's project has been to develop and standardize a rapid plating assay using isolates of Acanthamoeba castellanii. The assay is being used to evaluate the effect of environmental contaminants on growing and dividing cells, or to screen bacterial strains for their pathogenic potential. Deborah has been standardizing the assay conditions and is currently using it to evaluate various strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that differ in pathogenicity. She will be testing strains of both known and unknown virulence. This rapid screening assay has the potential to provide a cost-effective alternative method for determining bacterial virulence, and could ultimately contribute to better patient care by allowing patients to be treated in a more timely manner, as compared to the time and expense presently required for carrying out these types of studies in animal models. Other student researchers in the lab are using this assay to evaluate the effects of atrazine and MCHM on eukaryotic cells.

Deborah is a GA in Biological Sciences, teaching undergraduate labs while finishing her thesis research. She hopes to attend medical school after completing her MS degree.

Departmental Seminar Series Dates for March

BSC's Departmental Seminar series is hosting two faculty speakers in March. On Wednesday, March 4, Dr. Mindy Armstead from the IST Department will speak; and on Wednesday, March 11, new BSC microbiologist Dr. Jennifer Mosher will be featured.

BSC graduate students Brad O'Hanlon and Shelby Timm will present their research on March 25 and 30, respectively.

All of these seminars will be from 4-4:50 p.m. in room 374 on the dates listed. This is a great way for you to find out about some of the research that is going on in your department!

What’s New in Biological Science:3-D vaccine spontaneously assembles to pack a powerful punch against cancer, infectious diseases (ScienceDaily, February 9, 2015). Researchers have developed a novel 3-D vaccine that could provide a more effective way to harness the immune system to fight cancer as well as infectious diseases. Once injected under the skin, the vaccine spontaneously assembles into a scaffold (see photo at right), and is capable of recruiting, housing, and manipulating immune cells to generate a powerful immune response. The vaccine was recently found to be effective in delaying tumor growth in mice. (Summary from and full story available here.)

Selected BSC Contact Information

Dr. David Mallory, BSC Chair S-350 (304) 696-2353
BSC Graduate Program Information   (304) 696-2427
BSC office, TA applications, various forms S-350 (304) 696-3148
Susan Weinstein, BSC News S-204 (304) 696-2428

Download pdfs of this or any past issue of the Biological Sciences Newsletter by clicking on the archive links to the right.

Department of Biological Sciences | One John Marshall Drive | Science Building 350 | Huntington, WV 25755 | (304) 696-3148
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