Faculty Awards Willa Dean Lowery Grant

Willa Dean Lowery Awards 2020

We congratulate our winner of the 2020 Willa Dean Lowery Fund to Support Research in the Natural Sciences:

Jean Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology

Uncovering Novel Mutations in Cell Fusion Genes Using Error Prone Polymerase Chain Reaction

Cell fusion is essential for the development of eukaryotic organisms. Sperm-egg fusion occurs during fertilization, muscle cells fuse to form muscle fibers, and placental cells fuse for proper implantation during pregnancy. Fusion has also recently been implicated in cancer development and progression. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms and regulation of cell fusion. Studying this process in budding yeast allows for identification of genes involved in fusion. Importantly, many genes and proteins are conserved from yeast to humans, which has allowed the identification of yeast fusion proteins that have subsequently been shown to be important in muscle fusion. Here, I propose a screen to uncover novel mutations in a known regulator of fusion in yeast. This project requires mutations to be made using polymerase chain reaction, which requires a thermocycler. We do not have a thermocycler capable of the long reactions required to make these mutants. Not only is this equipment required for the current proposal, it is also essential for most molecular biology research. Therefore, acquisition of a thermocycler would have a great impact on my growth as a teacher-scholar and allow me to conduct exciting projects with senior research students as well as inquiry-based labs.

Faculty Awards Willa Dean Lowery Grant

Willa Dean Lowery Awards 2020

We congratulate our winners of the 2020 Willa Dean Lowery Fund to Support Research in the Natural Sciences:

Heather Evans Anderson , Assistant Professor of Health Sciences

CRISPR gene editing in Ciona intestinalis

Gene editing via CRISPR has garnered global attention due to the recent actions of a Chinese scientist who used it to genetically modify a set of twin girls.  This egregious act brought the world’s attention to the powerful technology.  I see great potential to use CRISPR as an educational tool.  Previously I successfully used CRISPR in a semester long project conducted by undergraduates in a Cell Biology course (1).  Here I intend to harness the power of CRISPR technology to genetically modify an invertebrate organism (Ciona intestinalis) to investigate the regulatory mechanisms of heart development.  This proposal describes a set of specific research aims that will be conducted by undergraduate students at Stetson through an advanced genetics course in collaboration with Dr. Lynn Kee as well as several spin off senior research projects.  The proposed project will bring cutting edge technology in an innovative application to Stetson.  Funding provided by the Willa D Lowery grant would support several student projects that would lead to presentations at national level meetings and high impact peer reviewed publications. 

Faculty Awards Sabbatical

2020-2021 Sabbatical Awards

Congratulations to the recipient of the 2020-2021 Sabbatical Awards:

Yves-Antoine Clemmen, Professor and Chair of World Languages and Cultures (French),“An evening at the Grand Guignol, Bilingual Edition of Forgotten Plays from the French Theatre of Horror.”

Joshua Eckroth, Associate Professor of Computer Science, “Implementation and Deployment of Artificial Intelligence-Based Course Advising Software at Stetson University”

Ramee Indralingam, Professor of Chemistry, “An exploratory study of corporate re-branding via communicated identity”

Asal Johnson, Associate Professor of Public Health, “A Mediation Analysis of Bladder Cancer Survival in Florida; Neighborhood, Insurance and Treatment Effects on the Risk of Death”

Camille King, Professor and Chair of Psychology, “Obese-prone: Is biology destiny?”

Michael King, Professor of Biology, “Distribution of Fos-Immunoreactive neurons across the brain elicited by taste or visceral simulation in mice”

Mitchell Reddish, Professor of Christian Studies,“John of Patmos: From Text to Legends”

Michelle Skelton, Associate Professor of Health Science, “The effects of IgY Max™ on microbial diversity of the gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal symptoms, and overall health and well-being in a sub-clinical

Page Thanasiu, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education, “GAL Play: A Trauma Informed Model for Training Guardians ad Litem”

Daniil Zavlunov, Associate Professor of Music, “Opera in Russia during the Reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855): A Cultural History”

Wendy Anderson, Professor of Environmental Science and Studies, “Growing Food for Communities, not Commodities”

Krista Franco, Associate Professor of Theater Arts, “Storytelling through Digital Rendering Techniques”

Deborah Goldring, Professor of Marketing, “An exploratory study of corporate re-branding via communicated identity”

Danielle Lindner, Associate Professor of Psychology, “Examining Self-Objectification and its Consequences in Adolescents

Megan O’Neill, Quality Enhancement Program Director,“Writing Assessment at Small Liberal Arts Colleges”

Madhu Rao, Professor of Decision and Information Science, “Modelling and Analysis of Cumulative Warranties with Phase Type lifetime distributions”

Rajni Shankar-Brown, Professor and Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education, “Time for Recalibration: Engaged Scholarship for Equity and Social Justice in Education”

Rachel Core, Associate Professor, “Health and Disease in Global Asia”

William Nylen, Professor of Political Science, “Slamming the Door Shut: Educational Reform in President Bolsonaro’s Brazil”

Joshua Rust, Associate Professor of Philosophy, “Four Social Ontological Investigations”

Margaret Venzke, Associate Professor of History, “Essays on Ottoman Land Administration in the 16thCentury: A View from the Older Islamic Provinces in Eastern Anatolia and Syria, with a Particular Emphasis on Aleppo”

Nathan Wolek, Professor of Digital Arts, “Documenting the soundscape of coastal regions using audio field recordings.”