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Can you identify these Birds? Print
birds
 
Have you ever seen a bird and wondered what kind it was or what it was doing? Did you know there are ~30 species to identify on campus alone? Do you already enjoy birding and are looking to meet like-minded people?  If so, come join the fledging West Chester University Student Birding Club!  Any experience level welcome!

Birds are one of the most diverse, strikingly beautiful, and highly visible groups of animals.  Learning to identify birds by sight and sound can provide years of free entertainment.  Whether or not you can tell an American Crow from a Fish Crow, a Northern Flicker from a Pileated Woodpecker, or a House Sparrow from a Song Sparrow, come and join us! 
 
 
New BioFaculty: Fall 2015 Print
donze
We welcome Dr. Teresa Donze-Reiner as a new assistant professor in the Department of Biology. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) in 2004, her Master’s degree in Biology in 2006 from the University of Nebraska - Kearney, and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from UNL in 2011.
 
Dr. Donze-Reiner’s research interests include understanding how plants defend themselves against insect pests and pathogens, including viruses. She has worked on many model plant systems such as Arabidopsis, soybeans, switchgrass, and sorghum to identify key genes that are necessary for resistance against biotic stresses. As a postdoctoral researcher at the UNL, she studied the defense response of susceptible and resistant switchgrass genotypes against greenbug aphids infestations. She also worked on understanding gender development in buffalograss, a common turf grass.
 
She will continue this research at West Chester University using both switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) as model systems.  She is excited about teaching Genetics and other biology classes at West Chester University and working with students to develop independent research projects.  In addition to her interests in research and teaching, she enjoys doing educational outreach activities with the surrounding community and K-12 education.
 
Neural Tube Research Funded Print

neural tube

Dr. Jessica Sullivan-Brown was awarded $10,000 by the West Chester University Foundation to study the roles of folic acid metabolism genes in neural tube development.

The neural tube is a precursor to the brain and spinal cord, and neural tube defects, like spina bifida, are common and severe congenital conditions. Dietary supplementation of folic acid decreases the incidence of neural tube defects; however, the effects of folic acid on neural tube development are unclear. Folic acid metabolism has many important cellular roles and is thought to be critical for rapidly growing tissues like the neural tube.

Graduate student Patricia Bianchino will be analyzing the RNA expression of folic acid metabolism genes in the neural tube to determine if expression is enriched in the neural tube.  She will be analyzing the expression of folic acid metabolism genes during neural tube development in the frog Xenopus laevis. Xenopus laevis is a commonly used model system for studying neural tube defects because neural tube development is similar to humans and many genes are conserved.

 
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