Dr. Daniel Fologea Highlighted in Boise State University’s Focus Magazine
“My favorite thing about my job is when students get it, when they understand something and are able to use it,” he said. “It is better than having beautiful food on my plate. It is just the best.”
To read the full article please follow this link. Teaching is the Beautiful Food on His Plate
Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. Student, Sheena Bryant, Has Been Featured as a Minority Graduate Fellow in the Quarterly NASA Educator
Sheenah Bryant, a student in the Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. Program, was featured in an article entitled “A Potawatomi Daughter Embraces the Culture of Science”. Sheenah is the recipient of the NASA Office of Education Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (ASTAR) Fellowship which includes three years of funding and three full summers of internship opportunities. Sheenah will be doing her internship at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, working with NASA scientists who collect and analyze biological data from samples exposed to various aspects of the space environment.
Boise State Physicist Extracts Lessons from Sea Squirts
There are a bewildering variety of chemical processes and mechanical forces at play in a single living cell. While much remains to be learned, progress has been made in determining which molecules within cells trigger specific biochemical reactions. Researchers refer to the components of these biochemical systems as “modules.” Meanwhile, mechanical forces and the molecular signals a cell uses to regulate them remain relatively unexplored.
Now, a newly formed research team, financed by an innovative Scialog Award, will attempt to discover at least a few mechanical modules by focusing on a specific system of broad interest — cell extrusion in epithelial sheets. Epithelial tissues line organs, cavities and blood vessels throughout an animal’s body; epithelial cells form sheets by connecting to one another via their lateral membranes.
The researchers — Adriana Dawes (Ohio State University), Matthew Ferguson (Boise State University), Dinah Loerke (University of Denver) and Megan Valentine (University of California, Santa Barbara) — have each received $50,000 to come together to attempt to modify and study epithelial cell extrusion in Botryllus schlosseri, also known as the star ascidian, golden star tunicate or sea squirt. Click here to read more about the sea squirts article
NIH-funded Research Aims to Silence Bacteria
Communication is an essential survival skill among all species, even the microscopic variety. But while humans generally use words and gestures to express needs, and animals screech, bark and howl, bacteria communicate using chemical molecules.
Understanding that chemical language is the goal of Boise State biochemist Rajesh Nagarajan, who recently received a $395,813, three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to solve the problem.
Specifically, Nagarajan will look at how bacteria make the signal molecules to communicate with their neighbors. This communication happens only when bacteria need it in order to form a critical mass and attack, and different bacteria use different enzymes to, in essence, speak a specific language understood only by other targeted bacteria.
Click here to read more about silencing bacteria
Biomolecular Sciences Program to Award First Ph.D.
When Cheri L. Lamb is hooded at Saturday’s Spring Commencement ceremony, she’ll not only have achieved a hard-earned goal, she’ll also be the first student to earn a Ph.D. in biomolecular sciences from Boise State.
The interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts and Sciences focuses on preparing students to satisfy the needs of a growing biotechnology and medical community in a 21st-century world.
The first of its kind in Idaho, the program allows researchers to solve problems by transcending the boundaries between the the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics and computer science. The interdisciplinary nature of the program distinguishes it from other programs in biomedical research.
The biomolecular sciences Ph.D. program was started in 2012 and Lamb will receive her degree after only four years of study. “Cheri is a talented researcher and is able to graduate about a year and a half earlier than the national average,” said Denise Wingett, professor and director of the program. “Her research has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications as well as manuscripts under peer review.”
Lamb’s research has been investigating the consequences of exposure to an environmental toxicant called TCDD — specifically, how exposure to TCDD affects liver fibrosis, which is a reversible wound healing response. She worked in the lab of Kristen Mitchell, associate professor in Boise State’s Department of Biological Sciences, and benefited from the training, service and support provided by the Biomolecular Research Center (BRC) staff.
“I am confident that the interdisciplinary training and skills that Cheri has amassed will benefit her as she pursues the next step of her career,” said Mitchell. “The way members of my laboratory think about research and develop experimental approaches has been broadened and strengthened by interacting with other graduate students and faculty in this interdisciplinary program. That has just opened the door to new resources for addressing increasingly complex problems in biomedical research.”
Lamb said her journey toward her doctorate has changed her in many ways and serves as an inspiration. “To me, this Ph.D. means inspiring other women to go after their dreams and be the best they can be,” she said. “It means inspiring a love for science in my daughter and showing her she can do whatever she wants to do and become whatever kind of person she wants to become.”
Immediately upon graduation, Lamb plans to apply her interdisciplinary training to biophysical research investigating the functionality of transmembrane cellular transporters. These transporters could lead to new methods of non-invasive delivery of drugs or treatment materials into living cells to control cellular functions.
Research by Daniel Fologea was featured in a story from Inside Science
Research by Daniel Fologea was featured in a story from Inside Science titled “X-Rays Help Deliver Drugs with Pinpoint Accuracy.” The story referenced a presentation Fologea made at the February meeting of the Biophysical Society, where he briefly outlined his work with liposomes. These small artificial fat molecules can travel harmlessly throughout the body carrying medication, which can then be delivered to a specific site when hit with X-rays at a precise moment. Read the article here.