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Dr. Eric Hayden to be honored at the Graduate College Award Ceremony

Eric Hayden, Biology Dr. Hayden has been selected to receive an honorable mention for the Boise State Graduate College Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award. Menotring is a valuable element of graduate education; this award recognizes and celebrates the considerable efforts of faculty who consistently serve as effective mentors and to encourage and promote a culture of mentorship across the university. We are very proud of all the hard work Dr. Hayden puts into his students and students across the campus community. Congratulations!

Dr. Eric Hayden was Awarded a NASA Grant

Eric Hayden, Biology This is a three year $661,104 grant from NASA to study how early mutations in ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules. Follow the link to read more! Grant to Understand RNA Mutations Could Help Explain Evolution of Life

Dr. Ken Cornell Highlighted in Boise State University’s Focus Magazine

Dr. Cornell “I worked at a bush school in Kenya and a lot of my students were routinely sick from parasitic diseases,” he said. “Many had reoccurring diarrhea, which often were due to Giardia or amoebas, and the drugs to treat them were not readily available or were too expensive. In young kids, the diarrheal diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites were a common cause of infant mortality by dehydration.”
To read the full article follow this link. Engineering more effective treatments for Giardia

Dr. Ken Cornell Recently Co-authored an Article in the Journal of Colliod and Interface Science

Dr. Cornell Entitled “Urea-derived graphitic carbon nitride (u-g-C3N4) films with highly enhanced antimicrobial and sporicidal activity”. Thurston JH, Hunter NM*, Wayment L*, Cornell KA DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2017.06.089

Neha Misra, Biomolecular Sciences Doctoral Candidate, Passed Doctoral Defense

Neha MisraNeha Misra successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled Development of a Cholera Toxin CTA2/B Based Staphylococcus Aureus Vaccine to Prevent Bovine Mastitis. Neha will be hooded at Boise State’s 2017 Fall Commencement.

Ken Tawara, Biomolecular Sciences Doctoral Candidate, Passed Doctoral Defense

Ken TawaraKen Tawara successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled Oncostatin M Promotes Breast Cancer Metastasis: Increased Expression of Pro-angiogenic Factors, Inflammatory Cytokine Expression, and Circulating Tumor Cell Numbers. Ken will be hooded at Boise State’s 2017 Fall Commencement.

Nisha Shrestha, Biomolecular Sciences Doctoral Candidate, Passed Doctoral Defense

Nisha ShresthaNisha Shrestha successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled Lysenin Channels as Single Molecule Nano-sensors and Nano-switches for Controlled Membrane Permeability. Nisha will be hooded at Boise State’s 2017 Fall Commencement.

Dr. Daniel Fologea Highlighted in Boise State University’s Focus Magazine

Daniel Fologea in lab“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

Jonathan Reeck, Biomolecular Sciences Doctoral Candidate, Passed Doctoral Defense

Dr. Jonathon ReeckJonathan Reeck successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled The Role of Col11a1 in Chondrocyte Phenotype Regulation During Cartilage Development and Disease. Jonathan will be hooded at Boise State’s 2017 Spring Commencement.

Hunter Covert, Biomolecular Sciences Doctoral Candidate, Passed Doctoral Defense

Dr. Hunter CovertHunter Covert successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled Inflammatory Cytokines in the Breast Cancer Metastatic Cascade. Hunter will be hooded at Boise State’s 2017 Spring Commencement.

Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. Student, Sheena Bryant, Has Been Featured as a Minority Graduate Fellow in the Quarterly NASA Educator

SheenahSheenah 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

FergusonThere 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

Daniel Fologea in labResearch 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.