UIC Department of Biological Sciences
UIC Department Of Biological Sciences Home UIC Homepage UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Home


Search UIC Biology:

Department News



Joel Brown receives 2014 Silver Circle Award

April 17, 2014

Professor Joel Brown was selected as one of the twelve recipients of the 2014 Silver Circle Award for Excellence in Teaching. Congratulations!

Graduate Student Sandy Troxell-Smith wins UIC Undergraduate Mentoring Award for Graduate Students

April 17, 2014

Sandy Troxell-Smtih, E&E Graduate Student, was one of five graduate students selected to receive the UIC Undergraduate Mentoring Award for Graduate Students. This award is meant to honor the most outstanding, creative, and hardworking undergraduate mentors on campus. Congratulations, Sandy!

Graduate student working with Kate Warpeha wins 1st place at Student Research Forum

April 17, 2014

Congratulations to graduate student Shivesh Ghura (College of Medicine) who won the 1st Place award in the Graduate Division of Life Sciences at the all Student Research Forum April 8, 2014 with the poster “Flavonoids as potential therapeutics for neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease”. Shivesh is working with the Warpeha Lab in their IGNITE award collaboration with College of Medicine Dr. MJ LaDu (PI) Lab and College of Pharmacy Dr. CT Che Lab.

John Lussenhop Memorial Lecture held on February 17, 2014

April 17, 2014

The John Lussenhop Memorial Lecture entitled "Scorched Earth Strategy by Invasive Alien Plants" was given by AAAS Fellow John Klironomos, PhD of University of British Columbia.

Mason Fidino’s work with herons featured in Chicago Tribune

April 17, 2014

Mason Fidino, E&E graduate student and an employee of the Lincoln Park Zoo, is featured is in Chicago Tribune regarding landscaping and control of the black-crowned night heron colony in Lincoln Park. Click here to read the article.

Professor Mary Ashley's research on lemon sharks featured in New York Times Op-Ed page

December 20, 2013

Research by Mary Ashley, professor of biology, had shown that the lemon sharks return year after year and decade after decade to have their babies in the same sheltered waters in which they were born. Read the op-ed and research here.

Research on emerald ash borer by Charlie Flower, Chris Whelan, Joel Brown and Miquel Gonzalez-Meler discussed in UIC News article and featured in NSF's Science 360 picture

December 20, 2013

UIC research on the emerald ash borer suggests that woodpeckers and other native birds are finding this Asian invader a tasty snack and may be able to slow the its spread. Flower and Whelan discuss this pest and the implications of their research in a UIC News article. Read the research here.

A picture showing the effects of the emerald ash borer is also featured as the "Picture of the Day" in the National Science Foundation's daily news site, Science 360.

Assistant Professor Kate Warpeha named National Academies Education Fellow

November 13, 2013

Assistant Professor Kate Warpeha was named National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences for the 2013-2014 academic year. "This honor was bestowed by virtue of her selection to and enthusiastic participation in the 2013 National Academies Northstar Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology that was held from July 7-12, 2013 at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities."

"The Summer Institute included workshops, discussions, intensive team work and analysis, all focused on enhancing undergraduate education, with themes of active learning, assessment and diversity as the primary foci." Teams created or adapted a unit of teaching activities that they could take back and implement at their universities.

Professor Pete Okkema elected to LAS Exective Committee

November 9, 2013

Professor Pete Okkema was elected to serve on the LAS Exective Committee for one semester beginning January 1, 2014. Congratulations!

Rachel Poretsky, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolution, hosted two day Softward Carpentry Bootcamp

October 28, 2013

Nearly 30 students and faculty members participated in the first Software Carpentry Bootcamp hosted at UIC on October 17-18. With a motto of "scientific computing doesn't have to hurt," Software Carpentry aims to teach basic software skills to researchers in science, engineering, and medicine. Founded in 1998, they are now part of the Mozilla Science Lab. Instructors are volunteers and bootcamps take place all over the world. The UIC bootcamp was taught by instructors from local institutions such as UIC, UIUC, University of Chicago, and Argonnne National Lab with support from Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and LAS. The bootcamp included short tutorials and hands-on practical exercises, and participants were encouraged both to help one another and to try applying what they have learned to their own research problems. Attendees learned basic Python and shell programming, version control, and debugging, all in the context of dealing with scientific data and working more efficiently and productively. The response to the bootcamp was overwhelmingly positive and participation was enthusiastic.

Dr. Joel Brown, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, was featured in UIC News article

October 28, 2013

Clck here to read the article.

UIC chancellor receives $1.4 million to recruit transfer students in sciences

October 28, 2013

Click here to read the article.

2013 MCDB Graduate Open House

October 11, 2013

Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology will host an Open House on Graduate Study in MCDB on Friday, October 25th from 10am to 4pm.

Activities will include

- Faculty research presentations and lab demonstrations
- An overview of our graduate program
- Poster session and lunch with our graduate students
- Tour of research facilities

For further information and to register, please email Judith Edwards at jle422@uic.edu

Jessica Rucks and Dan Applegate to run Chicago Marathon

September 5, 2013

Graduate students Jessica Rucks (EE) and Dan Applegate (Neuro) will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 13th. Wish them luck! Check out Jessica's webpage about the race.

Professor Miquel Gonzalez-Meler and graduate student Michael Ricketts share pictures from their Alaskan field season

August 23, 2013

Click here to see pictures from Alaska.

Steve Sullivan and Project Squirrel featured in Chicago Tribune

August 21, 2013

Steve Sullivan, a PhD candidate in biology, was featured in a Chicago Tribunte story on Project Squirrel and the new phone app Sullivan developed. Click here to read the story.

Kate Warpeha and Lon Kaufman issued US patent

July 23, 2013

Patent #8,492,642 was issued to Kate Warpeha and Lon S. Kaufman. The title is 'Plant Biochemical systems and uses thereof'. The patent concerns making compositions of phenylalanine or a precursor to boost the plant's natural defense programming. The material can be applied to plant surfaces or adhered to seeds to fortify defense responses when young plants need it the most, during and after germination when seedlings are vulnerable to stress.

Congratulations!

Judith Edwards joins BioS as MCDB program coordinator

July 22, 2013

Please stop by MBRB 4150 and welcome Judith as the new MCDB program coordinator.

Joel Brown featured on a segment on WTTW's Chicago Tonight

July 31, 2013

Joel Brown, professor of biological sciences, was featured on a segment on WTTW's Chicago Tonight. Brown discussed the biology and habits of rats in the story on rats and rat abatement in Chicago. The entire story can be watched or read at the link below:

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/07/31/rats

Joel Brown's work cited in New Scientist article

June 6, 2013

Joel Brown's team's research on snow leopards is cited in New Scientist article entitled "Scared to death" by Ed Yong. Click here to read the article.

Cristian Martinez wins Mentoring Award; three others receive Honorable Mention

May 17, 2013

Jose Cristian Martinez (E&E) was awarded the first annual UIC Undergraduate Mentoring Award for Graduate Students. This new award recognizes the invaluable time, effort, expertise, and concern that UIC Graduate Students dedicate to mentoring undergraduate students in classroom, research, and other academic settings. Charlie Flower, Robin Mores and Sandra Troxell-Smith, all E&E graduate gtudents, receive Honorable Mention. Click here read the full announcement and click here to see photos of the winners.

2013 Commencement Pictures

May 16, 2013

Click here to see pictures from the 2013 Commencement.

Biology students receive awards

May 14, 2013

Osamah Hasan, a Biology undergraduate, earned a US State Department Critical Languages scholarship to study the Bahasa language at the State University of Malang in Indonesia. Click here to see the press release.

Three graduate students received awards. For photos and the flyer, click here.

Amy Belaire (E&E) received the Dean's Scholar Award which recognizes scholarly achievement and provides a $25,000 fellowship stipend and tuition waiver.

Matthew McCary (E&E) received the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship. He will receive a $25,000 stipend and tuition waiver for one academic year.

Michael Ricketts(E&E) received the 2013 Provost Award. These competitive awards are given twice a year to help fun student research.

Alex Alonzo's Retirement Party

May 13, 2013

Alex Alonzo retired after 12 years of service in the department's business office. Click here to see pictures from the retirement party.

Mark Lloyd's research displayed on campus banners

May 13, 2013

Mark Lloyd, an Ecology and Evolution graduate student, has his research on tumor evolutionary ecology displayed around campus on one of the "Images of Research" banners. Click here to see the banner.

2013 Undergraduate Awards Day Program and Pictures

May 9, 2013

The Biology Undergraduate Awards Day was held on April 17, 2013. Click here to read the program and here to see a collage of pictures from the event.

2013 Graduate Student Recognition Ceremony Program and Pictures

May 1, 2013

The Biology Graduate Student Recognition Ceremony was held on April 23, 2013. Click here to read the program and here to see a collage of pictures from the event.

Sandra Gibbons, Lecturer in Biological Sciences, featured in UIC News

May 1, 2013

Sandra Gibbons' teaching style and philosophy are detailed in this article. Read it here.

Anna Czupryna, PhD candidate in Biological Sciences, is profiled in the new issue of AtLAS

April 11, 2013

Anna Czupryna is profiled in an article entitled "Making a Difference in Global Health" in the Spring 2013 issue of AtLAS. Read it here.

Two Biology graduate students receive 2013 NSF Fellowships

April 10, 2013

Sandra Troxell-Smith and Abdel Halloway, both graduate students in the Ecology and Evolution Research Group, received the 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship which includes a $30,000 stipend and tuition waiver for three years.  Congratulations on this prestigious honor!! Click here to see photos of our two receipents.

Five Biology graduate students receive Bodmer International Travel Award

April 2, 2013

Two students will use the award to present papers during the summer of 2013: Sandra Troxell-Smith (E&E graduate student) in Belfast, Ireland and Yanina Tovpeko (MCDB graduate student) in Montecatini Terne, Italy. Three students will use the award for research travel : Sonny Bleicher (E&E graduate student) to Israel, Michael Ricketts (E&E graduate student) to Alaska, and Laura Manning (Neurobiology graduate student) to Germany. Click here to see photos of the awardees.

Congratulations and safe travels!

Sandra Gibbons, lecturer of Biological Sciences, receives the Silver Circle Award for Teaching Excellence for the third time.

March 26, 2013

Sandra Gibbons, lecturer of Biological Sciences, was one of 13 recipients of the Silver Circle Award. The recipients of this award are chosen by graduating seniors each year. She also received the award in 2006 and 2009. Congratulations, Sandra!

Joel Brown, Professor of Biological Sciences, was a keynote speaker at Wild Things Conference and his urban ecology and evolution interests were outlined in UICNews article.

February 19, 2013

Joel Brown was a keynote speaker at the fifth biennial Wild Things Conference held on February 8, 2013 here at UIC. This article explores some of his interests in urban ecology and evolution.

Janet Richmond, Professor of Biological Sciences, named University Scholar and her ground breaking work detailed in UICNews article.

Febrruary 19, 2013

Janet Richmond's work exploring the key mechanisms in learning and memory functions detailed in this article.

Kate Warpeha , Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is featured in a movie about research innovation at UIC.

Febuary 5, 2013

Kate is featured about three minutes into this eight minute video about research at UIC.

Amelie Davis, a postdoctoral researcher in Biological Sciences, was featured on WBEZ regarding her study about differential access to nature

January 11, 2013

Amélie was lead researcher on a study about how residents of Chicago’s Hispanic neighborhoods live farther from nature than residents of other neighborhoods. Her study was featured in this WBEZ article.

Welcome Rachel Poretsky and Jeremy Lynch, our newest faculty members!

January 1, 2013

Please stop by and welcome Jeremy Lynch in MBRB 4020 who started in October and Rachel Poretsky in SES 3254 who started January 1st.

Biology Colloquium and Jennifer Schmidt featured in AtLAS

December 14, 2012

The Biology Colloquium and Jennfer Schmidt are featured in the Winter 2012 Edition of AtLAS. Read the article here.

Anna Czupryna featured in three-part Chicago Tribune story on Serengeti rabies vaccination program

December 2-4, 2012

Anna Czupryna, Biology graduate student, is featured in Chicago Tribune front-page feature story on three successive days for her leadership role and research on the Lincoln Park Zoo's Serengeti rabies vaccination program. To read the articles, click here Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Howard Buhse received Sustainer Achievement Award

November 1, 2012

At the 17th Annual LAS Recognition Dinner, Howard E. Buhse, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, received the Sustainer Achievement Award for his long-term philanthropy to the Department of Biological Sciences. Click here to see the picture.

Thank you, Howard!

Mary Ashley received the LAS Faculty Service Award

October 2, 2012

Mary Ashley, Professor of Biological Sciences, was recognized for her extraordinary contributions made to LAS via involvement with College committees and initiatives and through her service to the Department of Biological Sciences. For more information, see AtLAS article.

Congratulations, Mary!

Research at UIC profiled on Channel 7

July 16th, 2012
Channel 7 recently did a story about research on naked mole rats at UIC by Professor Thom Park. To see a related story, please visit the Channel 7 website.

David Featherstone named runner-up for the Award for Excellence in Teaching

July 11th, 2012
David Featherstone, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has been named runner-up for the Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

Congratulations, David!

Janet Richmond selected as University Scholar

July 11th, 2012
Janet Richmond, Professor of Biological Sciences, has been selected as a 2012-2013 University Scholar. The University Scholars Program was created to honor outstanding teachers and scholars.

Congratulations, Janet!

Kate Warpeha wins Proof of Concept Gap Funding Award

July 10th, 2012
Kate Warpeha, Assisant Professor of Biological Sciences, has received the 2012 Proof of Concept Gap Funding Awards from the UIC Office of Technology Management. Dr. Warpeha received the award for her project, "Transformation of Critical Crop Plants to Engineer Improved Stress and Yield Characteristics". For more information, please visit the Office of Technology Management's website.

Congratulations, Kate!

Professor Howard E. Buhse, Jr. Retirement Symposium

May 3rd, 2012
Please join the Department of Biological Sciences in celebrating the 47-year career of Dr. Howard Buhse on Monday, May 7th, 2012. The symposium will take place at UIC, Student Center West, 828 W. Wolcott and will begin at 2:00 pm in Room A.

Moderator: Joel Brown, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, UIC
2:00-2:30 p.m. Joseph Frankel, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Iowa: "A Single Cell Jekyll and Hyde"
2:30-3:00 p.m. Jeffrey Salisbury, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic: "At the very center of every eukaryotic cell, there beats a heart of Centrin"
3:00-3:30 p.m. John Clamp, Professor, Department of Biology, North Carolina Central University: "Linking Molecular Phylogeny to Evolution in Peritrich Ciliates" 3:30-4:00 p.m. Eduardo Orias, Emeritus Research Professor,Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology,University of California, Santa Barbara: "Highly expressed genes show more extreme codon usage bias inTetrahymena vorax than in T. thermophile"

A reception will follow the symposium from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. in Student Center West, Conference Rooms B and C.

Paul Malchow wins Silver Circle Award

April 3rd, 2012
Paul Malchow, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has received the Silver Circle Award for Excellence in Teaching. Congratulations Paul!

Biology professor wins service award

March 29th, 2012
Professor of Biological Sciences, Mary Ashley, has received the first LAS Faulty Service Award. Congratulations Mary!

Biology graduate student wins travel award

March 28th, 2012
Sonny Bleicher, a graduate student in the Ecology and Evolution Group, recently received a Bodmer International Travel Award for summer 2012. Congratulations Sonny!

Biology Undergraduate wins award

March 23rd, 2012
Undergraduate Biological Sciences Student, Amulya Gampa, recently received the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium Award for Top Presentation from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Congratulations, Amulya!

Research by Drs. Richmond and Featherstone profiled on Science Daily

March 8th, 2012
Findings by Janet Richmond and David Featherstone, both Professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, pointing to a nerve protein linking learning and memory are reported in the Oct. 31 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Please visit Science Daily to read more about their findings.

Congratulations to Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients!

February 29th, 2012
The department would like to congratulate the 7 undergraduate biological sciences majors who were awarded the Olive and Alfred Kuehn Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year.
  • Cristina Cruz
  • Amanda Czekaj
  • Melissa Dihn
  • Dorota Gut
  • Hannah Koeppl
  • Kathryn Lerman
  • Margaret Tulowiecka
Congratulations!

Tricia Stark wins advising award

February 24th, 2012
The department would like to extend to congratuations to undergraduate biological sciences advisor, Tricia Stark. for winning the Provost's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. Congratulations Tricia!

Thomas Park's research findings on WBBM Newsradio

February 22nd, 2012
WBBM Newsradio reported this morning on new findings by biological sciences professor, Thomas Park, about subterranean-dwelling, oxygen-deprived naked mole rats. The tiny creatures have the ability to fend off brain cell damage even when choked of oxygen for long periods. The findings may yield new clues for better heart attack and stroke treatments in humans.

Visit the Channel 2 website to read the story and listen to the audio clip by reporter John Cody.

Learn about summer research opportunities

October 11th, 2011
On Tuesday, October 18th at 5:00pm in 4289 SEL, Dr. Justin Hines of the field research organization Operation Wallacea will be giving a presentation about opportunities available for students next summer. Choice of location includes the cloud forests and coral reefs of Honduras, the lush tropical rainforest and immense coral reefs of Indonesia, the rivers and estuaries of the Peruvian Amazon, the bush of northeastern South Africa, the desert & coral reefs of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and the coral reefs of Cuba. For 2012, we are very excited to announce our new project in Mexico!

Opportunities include:
  • Learning to dive on an uninhabited tropical island among world class coral reefs
  • Jungle trekking in pristine unsurveyed rainforests seeking out species new to science
  • Working on sustainable community development projects with the locals (Indonesia, Honduras)
  • Surveying birds and reptiles at a World Heritage Site (Egypt)
  • Surveying river dolphins, manatees, uakari and spider monkeys and macaws along the Peruvian Amazon
  • Performing big game surveys and assessing bush habitat (South Africa)
There are over 40 projects available for research assistants and over 150 individual research projects. So come to the presentation and hear more about what this exciting program has to offer!

For further details please visit www.opwall.com. If you have further questions, please contact the office either via e-mail at northamerica@opwall.com or by phone on (734) 418-2736..

Open House for Graduate Study in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

October 5th, 2011
If you are thinking about graduate study in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, please consider joining us for our upcoming open house event:

Open House for Graduate Study in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
Friday, October 21, 2011
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Click here to download a flier.

Activities will include:
- Faculty research presentations and lab demonstrations
- An overview of our graduate program
- Poster session and lunch with our graduate students
- Tour of research facilities

For further information and to register, please email Corinna Kitcharoen at ckitch1@uic.edu.

2011 Employee Service Recognition

September 26th, 2011
The department would like to take the opportunity to recognize the following employees for their years of service:
5 years
Boris Igic
Iryna Safatiuk
Sang Thai
David Wise
10 years
Beth Brand
Ronald Dubreuil
Corinna Kitcharoen
Roberta Mason-Gamer
Brian Zeid
15 years
Aixa Alfonso
Hormoz BassiriRad
25 years
Joel Brown
Robert Malchow
35 years
Lillie Love

Welcome new faculty members!

September 8th, 2011

The department would like to welcome its two newest faculty members, Kate Warpeha and Hua Jin. To find out more about Kate and Hua's research, please see the faculty research page.

UIC Biologists Poll Pollinators for Urban Agriculture

September 1st, 2011
Research currently being conducted by Assistant Professor Emily Minor and Visiting Research Assistant Professor Kevin Matteson related to a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation was recently profiled on UIC News. The research focuses on how different city landscapes and neighborhoods affect the variety and quantity of insect pollinators. The full article can be found here.

UIC Biologists Poll Pollinators for Urban Agriculture

July 27th, 2011
"Eat locally, grow locally" has become a mantra of today's move to a more sustainable lifestyle. But growing fruits and vegetables in your own neighborhood often depends on some helping hands -- or legs and wings -- from an army of insect pollinators, notably bees.

Emily Minor, assistant professor of biological sciences at UIC, and Kevin Matteson, a visiting research assistant professor working in Minor's laboratory, received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how different city landscapes and neighborhoods affect the variety and quantity of insect pollinators.

Read the full article here.

Spring 2011 Departmental Newsletter Available

May 31st, 2011
The Department of Biological Sciences's newsletter for Spring 2011 is now available for download. You can view the current issue, as well as back issues, here.

Susan Liebman's Research Finds Two Gene Classes Linked to New Prion Formation

May 31st, 2011
A number of diseases have now been shown to be due to protein misfolding. One such disease is mad cow disease, in which the prion protein forms toxic fibers that lead to death of neurons. In a yeast model of this phenomenon, Professor Susan Liebman and colleagues at UIC, University of Heidelberg, and MIT, have identified genes that accelerate or decrease prion fibril formation. Interestingly, these gene products also modulate the protein that causes Huntington's disease. This work provides potential new insights into the mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding.

Amy Belaire selected as a finalist in poster competition

May 10th, 2011
Graduate student, Amy Belaire (E&E), has been selected as a finalist in the IGERT Poster Competition for her submission "It's a small world: Mapping connections in urban ecosystems with network analysis". This poster is the result of work done by Amy, along with other LEAP Fellows, Andrew Dribin (Art and Architecture), Douglas Johnston (Biological Sciences), and Douglas Lynch(Biological Sciences), for their LEAP capstone project. Dr. Emily Minor, Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences, was the group's advisor for this project. Dr. Mary Ashley, Professor in Biological Sciences, is the director of LEAP.

The 24 competition winners will present their posters in the atrium of the National Science Foundation. The top 10 finalists will receive a $3,000 travel award, while the other 14 finalists will receive a $1,000 travel award.

Congratulations, Amy!

Michelle Frack's volunteer work profiled in the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark

May 5th, 2011
Volunteer work with school children at Brookfield Zoo by Ecology and Evolution graduate student, Michelle Frack, was profiled in the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark (a companion publication to the weekly Chicago Journal). The article can be read here.

Biological Sciences Graduate Students take home university awards

April 26th, 2011
This year, many graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences received awards from UIC.

First, Basil Iannone (E&E) and Kritika Pershad (LMB) received Dean's Scholar Awards. Basil's research is aimed at "Utilizing multiple approaches to understand the ecology of Rhamnus cathartica invasion and management," while Kritika's is focused on "Engineering the Forkhead-associated domain for phage display and improved thermal stability."

Anna Czupryna (E&E) received a Chancellor's Graduate Research Fellowship for her ongoing research on "Ecology and Demography of Domestic Dogs in Villages West of Serengeti National Park, Tanzania."

Crystal Guzman (E&E) received a Provost's Award to support her research on "Seedling Establishment Limitation of Tropical Tree Seedlings: Barriers to Forest Restoration."

Finally, Biological Sciences students displayed their artistry in the Image of Research competition, which is an annual interdisciplinary exhibit competition where students submit an image with aesthetic appeal created by the student along with a brief statement describing how the image relates to the student's research. David Clarke (E&E) won second place overall, Danielle Nunnelly (LMB) took third, and Michael Jorgensen (E&E) and Jenny Zambrano (E&E) placed among the finalists.

Congratulations to all our grad students on their awards!

Alan Molumby receives Silver Circle Award for Teaching Excellence

April 12th, 2011
Alan Molumby, Clinical Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences, received the Silver Circle Award for Teaching Excellence from Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. The recipient of this award is chosen by graduating seniors each year.

Congratulations, Alan!

Jennifer Schmidt quoted on LiveScience

March 10th, 2011
The website, "LiveScience", quotes Jennifer Schmidt, associate professor of Biological Sciences, on the mysterious feeding behavior of one of the ocean's "gentle giants," the whale shark. Click here to read the article, "Whale Shark Feeding Frenzies Mystify, Enlighten Scientists".

Thomas Park Quoted in the Washington Post

March 9th, 2011
An article discussing how the study of naked mole rats is advancing cancer research in The Washington Post quotes Biological Sciences professor, Thomas Park. The article, "Researchers try to understand naked mole rats' resistance to cancer", can be found here.

Joel Brown's Research Profiled in the Washington Post

March 9th, 2011
This past Sunday, Washington Post Metro columnist, John Kelly, profiled the squirrel and urban ecology research of Biological Sciences professor, Joel Brown. Read the article, "In the urban game park, nut-gatherers rule", here.

Aixa Alfonso Named Visiting Associate Dean in the Graduate College

March 3rd, 2011
Dr. Aixa Alfonso, Associate Professor in Biological Sciences, has joined the Graduate College as a Visiting Associate Dean for the spring semester to provide leadership for our diversity and recruiting group. Professor Alfonso is committed to increasing the numbers of underrepresented students who participate in research experiences, and has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students throughout her professional career. Professor Alfonso was the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduates site for eight years and she has also mentored students in the Graduate College's Summer Research Opportunities Program.

Project Squirrel Named One of the Most Visited Citizen Science Projects of 2010

January 5th, 2011
The Science for Citizens Blog recently named Project Squirrel one of the top ten more visited citizen science projects from their Project Finder.

Two Biological Sciences Faculty Receive UIC's Researcher of the Year Award.

December 15th, 2010
Two professors in Biological Sciences, Simon Alford and Donald Morrison have been named UIC's Researcher of the Year Award.

Congratulations!

Biology Graduate Students Receive the Provost's Award for Graduate Research

November 8th, 2010
Two graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences have been selected to receive the Provost's Award for Graduate Research. The award is intended to recognize outstanding researchers among UIC graduate students, to enhance the quality of their research, and to assist in their progress toward completion of their advanced degree.

Eun Sun Kim's project "Investigating the role of genetic diversity and pollination biology as potential causes for reproductive failure in Asclepias lanuginosa", and Dragomira Markova's project, "Patterns of Gene Expression and Gene Silencing in North American Elymus (Triticease: Poaceae) Allotetraploid", won these awards.

Congratulations!

Employee Service Recognition Month

November 4th, 2010
November is Employee Service Recognition Month at UIC. This year, the Department of Biological Sciences will celebrate the dedication and service of the following members of the department: Howard Buhse: 45 years
Alvin Murphy: 25 years
James Scios: 30 years
Wayne Sterling: 10 years
Farris Williams: 30 years

Biology Graduate Program Open Houses

October 14th, 2010
If you are thinking about graduate study in the biological sciences, please consider joining us for our upcoming open house events:

Open House for Graduate Study in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
Friday, October 22, 2010
10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.,
(For further information, and to register, please email Corinna Kitcharoen at ckitch1@uic.edu.)

Open House for Graduate Study in the Neurosciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
Friday, October 29, 2010
12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
(For further information, and to register, please email Bernadette Fredricks at bfred@uic.edu.)

Activities will include:
- Faculty research presentations and lab demonstrations
- An overview of our graduate program
- Poster session and lunch with our graduate students
- Tour of research facilities

Alan Molumby Quoted in Southtown Star / Chicago Sun-Times Article

August 17th, 2010
Alan Molumby, Clinical Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is the expert of note quoted in a Southtown Star/Chicago Sun-Times article about this humid summer's abundance of mosquito-chomping dragonflies. You can read the article here.

Paul Malchow Receives the UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching

August 12th, 2010
Paul Malchow, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, has been chosen as a recipient of the UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching (AET) for the 2010-2011 academic year. Recipients are selected based on their outstanding commitment to teaching and learning in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Congratulations, Paul!

Thomas Park's Research Featured by the National Science Foundation

March 19th, 2010
The National Science Foundation's web "Live Science" feature spotlights the work of Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences and John Larson, associate professor of physiology in psychiatry, involving naked mole-rats and how the rodents' peculiar life styles may reveal secrets to finding cures for human ailments and disease. Read the story here.

Two Undergraduates Receive Olive and Alfred Kuehn Scholarships

February 19th, 2010
Congratulations to Susan Kang, undergraduate student in Neuroscience, and Lucia Wu, undergraduate student in Biological Sciences, on receiving the Olive and Alfred Kuehn Scholarshop for the 2009-2010 academic year. They were among ten students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to receive the award this year.

Hank Howe Named Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

January 19th, 2010
Congratulations to Hank Howe, Professor of Biological Sciences, for being named Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor!

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Award was established in 2006 to commend exceptional faculty for their contributions to the LAS and UIC communities, as well as for their significant and sustained intellectual scholarship in their chosen fields. Each year, the Executive Committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences votes for superlative candidates in the humanities, social sciences, the natural sciences or interdisciplinary fields.

Hormoz BassiriRad Awarded UIC's Excellence in Teaching Award

January 12th, 2010
Congratulations to Hormoz BassiriRad, Professor of Biological Sciences, for being awarded UIC's Excellence in Teaching Award for 2009-2010!

Joel Brown Awarded Researcher of the Year Award at UIC

December 23rd, 2009
Joel Brown, Professor of Biological Sciences, was recently selected as the recipient of the 2009 UIC Researcher of the Year Award for the Basic Life Sciences. Congratulations, Joel!

Thomas Park's Research Featured in the Chicago Tribune

December 21st, 2009
Research on African naked mole-rats by Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences, and John Larson, associate professor of psychiatry, was the subject of a feature story in Sunday's Chicago Tribune.

Oliver Pergams profiled by Medill News Service

December 17th, 2009
A profile of Oliver Pergams, visiting research assistant professor of biological sciences, was provided to subscriber newspapers by the Medill News Service. You can view the article here.

AP distributes news article focusing on Thomas Park's research

November 30th, 2009
The Associated Press recently distributed a news article about research involving naked mole-rats, with a focus on work by Thomas Park, Professor of Biological Sciences. The article ran in hundreds of newspapers and on websites world-wide, including this one in the Chicago Tribune.

Jennifer Schmidt and Mary Ashley's research featured in atLAS

November 30th, 2009
Research done by Jennifer Schmidt, Associate Professor, and Mary Ashley, Professor, on the DNA of whale sharks was featured in "Voices of the College" in the Fall 2009 issue of atLAS, a publication of UIC's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Carrie Seltzer Receives Deiss Award for Biomedical Research

November 20th, 2009
Carrie Seltzer, PhD candidates in Biological Sciences, has been selected to receive a Deiss Award for Biomedical Research for the project "Distribution of a bat-dispersed tree in fragmented rainforest: dispersal limitation or site limitation?." This award intends to recognize outstanding researchers among UIC graduate students, to enhance the quality of their research, and to assist in progress toward completion of their advanced degree. Congratulations, Carrie!

Boris Igic Participates in LAS Meeting of the Minds

November 17th, 2009
Dr. Boris Igic partipated in LAS Meeting of the Minds: Evolutions of Darwin with four other faculty members from departments throughout UIC. LAS convenes a group of faculty once a semester to foster interdisciplinary exploration and intellectual collegiality. This semester's event celebrated the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth by sharing different disciplinary perspectives on the uses of evolutionary theory today.

Joel Brown to Deliver Lecture

October 20th, 2009
Dr. Joel Brown will deliver a lecture, entitled "Traveling the World in Search of Fear, Joy, and Adventure." The lecture will take place on Tuesday, October 20th at 3:30 p.m. in the Illinois Room of Student Center East. This event is free and open to the entire UIC community; all Honors College students are strongly encouraged to attend.

For information on Dr. Brown and his research, visit his website: http://www.uic.edu/labs/squirrel/brown/ or http://projectsquirrel.org/.

Oliver Pergams' Study Featured in Two Articles

October 9th, 2009
Two newspapers, The Oregonian and The Indianapolis Examiner, reported on a new study co-authored by Oliver Pergams, visiting assistant research professor of biological sciences, that looks at an association between a recent decline in hiking and backpacking and a drop in financial contributions to environmental and conservation groups. The Pergams study is reported in the journal PLoS ONE.
Read The Oregonian article here and The Indianapolis Examiner article here.

Emily Minor's Research quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times

October 9th, 2009
Emily Minor, assistant professor of biological sciences, is quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times article about a project to track the spread of monk parakeets in Greater Chicago.

Emily Minor's Research Picked up by the Associated Press

September 23rd, 2009
Emily Minor, assistant professor of biological sciences, is mentioned in an Associated Press story about a new research project involving the study of the movement and nests of exotic monk parakeets in the Chicago metropolitan area. The AP story has been carried by several newspapers and broadcasters around the state, including this one at CBS 2 Chicago.

Oliver Pergams' Research Featured in Various News Outlets

September 17th, 2009
Research by Oliver Pergams, Visiting Research Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences, has looked into the rapid change in the size and head shape of rodents over the last century, and the possible link between these changes and human influence and climate change. Various news outlets have picked up the story after this research was published in the journal PLoS One.

Further information on this research can be found at the following news sources: Science News, CBS 2 Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, WBBM 780, LA Times.

LEAP Fellowships Awarded

July 22, 2009
LEAP, the Landscape Ecological and Anthropogenic Processes program, has awarded 5 graduate fellowships for the 2009-2010 school year. The fellowships provide students with stipends and funds for travel and research while involving them in an interdisciplinary doctoral training program focused on understanding ecological processes in human-altered landscapes. The students awarded fellowships for 2009-2010 are: Amy Belaire, Biological Sciences; Andrew Dribin, Art History; Douglas Johnston, Biological Sciences; Douglas Lynch, Biological Sciences; and Genevieve Nano, Civil and Materials Engineering.

LEAP is funded by the National Science Foundation. See the LEAP website for more information about this program.

BioS Grad Student Wins NSF Fellowship

April 22, 2009
Carrie Seltzer, a second-year doctoral student in Ecology and Evolution, has won a highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to study how fragmented landscapes affect Tanzanian fruit bats -- important agents of pollination and seed dispersal. The NSF fellowship awards recipients $30,000 yearly for three years and provides allowances for tuition, fees, and travel.

Carrie, who is a student in Hank Howe's lab, will begin her fellowship this summer collecting data in Tanzania, and will Suse her research findings to write her doctoral dissertation and publish the results in peer-reviewed journals. Seltzer's work in Tanzania is also supported by funding from the Field Museum, Bat Conservation International, and the American Society of Mammalogists.

Congratulations, Carrie! To learn more about Carrie and her research, you can visit her website.

Jennifer Schmidt's Research Reported by United Press International

April 9, 2009
Research by Jennifer Schmidt, associate professor of biological sciences, about using genetic tagging to track threatened whale sharks is reported in a story carried today by UPI, United Press International. Read it by clicking here.

Jeffery Lab Research Filed by Medill Reports

March 19, 2009
A report on membrane protein research being done by Constance Jeffery, associate professor of biological sciences, and her students was filed by Medill Reports, a news service staffed by Northwestern University journalism students. The reports are often carried by area suburban and weekly newspapers.

To read the story, "UIC research on understanding proteins may lead to more effective treatment of infections", click here.

David Featherstone Quoted in the Chicago Tribune

March 6, 2009
David Featherstone, associate professor of biological sciences, is quoted in today's Chicago Tribune regarding research he's done with the common laboratory fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. The article, "Kitchen pest is a hero to scientists meeting in Chicago", is about the 50th annual Drosophila Research Conference taking place in Chicago.

Dr. Mary Ashley Receives Graduate Mentoring Award from the Graduate College

February 23, 2009
The Graduate College has awarded Dr. Mary Ashley a Graduate Mentoring Award for excellence and innovation in graduate mentoring. Professor Ashley is a member of the Ecology and Evolution group within Biological Sciences and is director of the Landscape, Ecological and Anthropogenic Process (LEAP) doctoral training program. Since joining the UIC faculty in 1992, Professor Ashley has advised over twenty-five graduate students. She has helped them to become confident and productive scientists while positioning themselves for rewarding careers either in or outside the academic world. She has supported the widely diverse interests of her students, whose research projects have ranged from the mating patterns of oak trees and the evolutionary genetics of tapirs and deer mice to the migratory habits of sandhill cranes, gene flow patterns in urban peregrine falcons, and the mating habits of sharks --- to name but a few. A champion of interdisciplinarity, Prof. Ashley received funding from the NSF in 2006 for a $2.8M IGERT training grant that provides 24 fellowships for doctoral students in the LEAP Program, which includes faculty and students from three colleges (LAS, Engineering, and CUPPA). Her scientific success and accessibility have made her a role model for women in science, and she served as the first senior facilitator of WISEST at UIC.

Congratulations, Dr. Ashley!

Faculty Quoted by the Press

December 30, 2008
Dr. Jennifer Schmidt was recently quoted in both the Washington Post and The National about "Sammy", a whale shark that the Atlantis resort is keeping in their aquarium in Dubai. Links to the articles are below

Rare Shark Makes Waves in Dubai
Plenty more fish in the sea? Sadly, not for much longer...

New Faculty Publications

October 24, 2008
Drs. Kate Warpeha and Lon Kaufman are authors on papers published in Plant Cell & Environment (November 2008) and The Plant Cell (December 2008) on ultraviolet light damage and light-induced nuclear bodies, respectively.

Graduate Program Open Houses

October 5, 2008
Open houses will be held for the Graduate Program in Neurobiology and the Graduate Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Develpmental Biology. For more information, please visit the main graduate studies page.

Drs. Gong and Minor Join Biological Sciences as Assistant Professors

September 2, 2008
Dr. Gong and Dr. MinorPlease join the Department of Biological Sciences in welcoming our two new Assistant Professors to the department: Dr. Liang-Wei Gond and Dr. Emily Minor. Dr. Gong is joining our Neurobiology Group, while Dr. Minor will be a part of the Ecology and Evolution Group.




Bodmer International Travel Award Applications Available

August 29, 2008
Professor Bodmer, an emeritus professor of Physics, established this award to permit students to travel abroad as part of their education in science. The award will be presented to junior or senior undergraduate students or first or second-year graduate students (those not yet admitted to candidacy) enrolled in the discipline of the Natural Sciences in LAS who want the opportunity to travel abroad for science related study, seminars, workshops or summer sessions.

LAS anticipates providing three or four awards in the 1500 dollar range this year. Awardees must provide a post-travel report to the College describing their work. For full consideration, please submit an application by Monday, January 12, 2009 to:

Tonia Nikopoulos
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (M/C 228)
University of Illinois at Chicago
601 S. Morgan
Chicago IL 60607

Interdisciplinary Symposium

July 22, 2008
An interdisciplinary symposium entitled "The evolution of developmental systems required for intelligent behavior" will be held August 12-15th at the Chicago Marriott - Medical District. The symposium brings together evolutionary biologists, developmental biologists, neuroscientists, psychologisits and bio-philosophers to work on the problem of integrating evolution-development with the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology. For more information and registration please go to http://www.uic.edu/depts/bios/evolutionmtg/.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Environmental Changes

May 19, 2008
A new interdisciplinary course will be taught by Biological Sciences Professor, Hormoz BassiriRad, and Krishna R. Reddy, Professor of Civil and Materials Engineering. It will run one week, from May 19 to May 23, and the seminars are open to others on our campus to attend. From the official description:
Planet earth has been experiencing increasing environmental assault from adverse human activities. This course provides an overview of current components of global environmental change including their causes and consequences. The course focuses on the sources and impacts of deterioriating air quality, water resources and quality, soil quality, greenhouse gasses, and global warming in native and urban ecosystems. The need for interdisciplinary knowledge to assess, manage and restore environmental quality is emphasized. Emerging strategies to prevent pollution through the development of recycling, green materials, emission reduction and clean manufacturing methods based on life cycle approaches are also presented and discussed. In addition to regular lectures, presentations also will be given by experts from industry, government agencies and other institutions involved in global environmental change.
General information on the course can be found here. You can download a full schedule of speakers and topics here.

Molumby and Featherstone Receive Silver Circle Award

April 1, 2008
Biological Sciences faculty members Alan Molumby and Dave Featherstone were both recipients of the 2008 Silver Circle Award for undergraduate teaching. Winners were chosen by graduating seniors. The Department of Biological Sciences received 2 of the 11 awards given this year.

Congratulations to Alan and Dave!

Article on Oliver Pergams' research in the Chicago Sun-Times

March 31, 2008
An article focusing on research by Oliver Pergams, visiting research assistant professor of biological sciences, appeared in the March 30th issue of the Chicago Sun-Times. Pergams and his colleague Patricia Zaradic have written several scholarly articles about the link between the decline in camping, fishing, trips to national parks and other nature or outdoors-related activities over the past generation with the rise in in sedentary, at-home video-related activities. The newspaper article, headlined "Great Lakes gives natural relief," also suggests nearby places Pergams and Sun-Times reporter Andrew Herrmann recommend to "get back to nature" with relative ease.

You can view the article here.

Joel Brown quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times

March 18, 2008
Joel Brown, Professor of Biological Sciences, is quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times about small wild animals seeking refuge in, and doing damage to automobiles during this cold and snowy winter. Read the article here.

Brian Kay's Thoughts on Mentoring on Science Careers Article

February 8, 2008
Brian Kay, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences, was recently interviewed by Science. His thoughts on the importance of mentoring to those pursuing science careers in academia can be found in the article, Global Feature: Mentoring.

Oliver Pergams' Research Carried by Reuters and AP

February 6, 2008
Research by Oliver Pergams, visiting research assistant professor of biological sciences, and colleague Patricia Zaradic which highlights the correlation between a reduction of outdoor and nature-related activities and a rise in more sedentary video and computer-oriented activities has received attention from several news outlets, including wire services Reuters and the Associated Press. (Click for each story.)

Their research article appears in the February 5th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The story has also appeared in outlets such as WebMD, The Canadian Press, and Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Naked Mole-Rats Bear Chili Pepper Heat

February 4, 2008
A press release on research by Thomas Park, associate professor of biological sciences, related to pain responses in naked mole-rats and possible applications for managing pain is available on UIC's website. You can read the article here.

Thomas Park's Research Highlighted in Nature

January 30, 2008
Research led by Thomas Park, associate professor of biological sciences, about the unique pain responses shown in naked mole-rats has been highlighted this week in the journal Nature. You can read the article here.

David Featherstone and John Wilk in the Chicago Flame

January 24, 2008
Associate Professor Dave Featherstone is on the front page of the Chicago Flame for his research on a gene that can turn on and off homosexual behavior in fruit flies.

John Wilk, a BioS Ph.D. candidate, is interviewed on page four. He is the winner of the Provost Award for outstanding graduate research.

David Featherstone's Research on The Tonight Show and NPR

January 10, 2008
Two recent entertainment shows made reference to research by David Featherstone, associate professor of biological science, where mutant male fruit flies had their sexual orientation manipulated both genetically and by using drugs.

The story was mentioned in the "headlines" feature on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" this past Monday evening. You can watch the segment here and clicking on the Monday, Jan. 07 episode. Select "Chapter 2 - Headlines" or drag the scroll bar below the video window to the second marked segment.

Featherstone's research was also referenced on the National Public Radio comedy quiz show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on Dec. 22. You can hear that segment here and clicking on "listen now."

David Featherstone Interviewed by CBC Radio 1

December 11, 2007
David Featherstone, associate professor of Biological Sciences, was interviewed yesterday by the CBC Radio 1 program "As It Happens" regarding his recently published research about mutant fruit flies which had sexual behavior changed using gene manipulation and/or drugs. A podcast of the interview is available for download.

The story also was carried by Fox News and several other online publications.

David Featherstone's Research Appears in the Chicago Sun-Times and The Times of London

December 10, 2007
Research findings reported by David Featherstone, associate professor of biological sciences, and his laboratory staff that show the ability to quickly turn on or off homosexual behavior in mutant fruit flies, using either gene manipulation or drugs, is the subject of stories appearing today in the Chicago Sun-Times and The Times of London.

LAS accepting applications for Bodmer Award

December 5, 2007
Arnold Bodmer, an emeritus professor of physics, and his wife Doris established this award in 2007 to permit students to travel abroad as part of their education in science. It will provide upper-level undergraduate and first- or second- year graduate students(those who have not yet passed the Qualifying Exam) resources to travel abroad for science-related study, seminars or workshops. Awardees must provide a post-travel report to the College describing their work. For full consideration, application should be received by LAS by January 1, 2008.

Application: Candidates are nominated by supervising faculty member. Applications go to LAS by January 1. The department requests all applications in by December 21, 2007. Download an application form.

John Wilk receives Provost's Award for Graduate Research

November 27, 2007
John Wilk was selected to receive the Provost's Award for Graduate Research for his project, "Using ecophenotypic responses in Baja California Isognomon Solander 1786 (Bivalvia: Isognomonidae) to expose evolutionary processes". The award is intended to recognize oustanding researchers amoung UIC graduate students, to enhance the quality of their research, and to assist in progress toward completion of their advanced degree.

Congratulations, John!

Biology Colloquium wins UIC College Bowl

October 31, 2007
The Biology Colloquium won the UIC College Bowl held on October 24th. Congratulations!

Miquel Gonzalez-Meler's research published

October 26, 2007
Dr. Miquel Gonzalez-Meler and his laboratory have studied the response of invasive plants to global change and found that plants exhibit metabolic flexibility in response to climate change. The September issue of Plant Physiology highlights the homeostatic nature of the respiratory activity per unit of mitochondria in photosynthetic tissues of the invasive CAM Opuntia ficus-indica as a function of age or in response to changes in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. Respiratory performance of plants in response to global change is then achieved by altering the number of metabolically active mitochondria.

Barbara Schaal recognized at UIC Awards Dinner

October 24, 2007
A story about findings by Oliver Pergams, Visiting Research Assistant Professor, on the fast change in genetic makeup and morphology of a field mouse common to the Volo Bog state natural area in the northwest suburbs, is carried today by United Press International.

Barbara Schaal recognized at UIC Awards Dinner

October 16, 2007
UIC Biological Sciences alumnus Barbara Schaal received the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award at the UIC Awards dinner on October 12th. The award recognizes outstanding success and national or international distinction in one's business, profession or life's work.

Peter Okkema Receives the Excellence in Teaching Award

October 10, 2007
Peter Okkema received the Excellence in Teaching Award at the UIC Faculty Awards Recognition Dinner on October 9th, 2007.

Joel Brown on Chicago Tonight

Aug 21, 2007
Joel Brown, professor of biological sciences, will be featured this evening in a story about urban wildlife on WTTW Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight." The segment is scheduled to run between 7:30 - 8 p.m.

Oliver Pergams' Research Highlighted

May 15, 2007
Findings by Oliver Pergams, visiting research assistant professor of biological sciences, linking an increase in use of electronic media with a decline in visits to national parks is highlighted in a column appearing in Sunday's Deseret Morning News of Salt Lake City. See columnist Jay Evensen's piece headlined "We'd rather surf Net than explore parks" and read it online by following this link.

5 Graduate Fellowships Awarded by LEAP Program

April 25, 2007
The Landscape Ecological and Anthropogenic Processes program (LEAP), an interdisciplinary doctoral training program with a focus on the ecology, management and restoration of human/natural landscapes, awarded fellowships to 5 incoming graduate students. The fellowships provide stipends for two years of study plus travel and research funds for 4 years.

Students receiving awards represent the multidisciplinary nature of the program. They are: Nicholas Brumm, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Charles Flower, Biological Sciences; Elaine Grehl, Public Administration; Basil Iannone, Biological Sciences; Michael Iverson, Urban Planning.

Dr. Mary Ashley heads the LEAP program which is funded by a $3 million NSF-IGERT grant. Fellowships will be awarded to 25 PhD candidates over a five-year period. See www.leap.uic.edu for more information.

New Course Offering for Graduate Students

April 25, 2007
In Fall, 2007, LEAP will offer BioS 540, "Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Integrated Human/Natural Landscapes" for the first time. A unique feature of the course is its focus on a specific Chicagoland challenge: creation of a comprehensive plan for developing and managing the newly established Openlands Lakefront Preserve at Ft. Sheridan. Any student interested in a broad, interdisciplinary approach to environmental management who is seeking a highly interactive course is encouraged to enroll. See the LEAP website or contact David Wise at dhwise@uic.edu for more information.

Thomas Lagen Receives INSPIRE Award

April 17, 2007
On April 10th, Thomas Lagen, Director of Finances for Biological Sciences, was awarded with the University's INSPIRE Award, which is given to individuals who embody UIC's Core Values:
Integrity: Respecting the dignity and worth of everyone by maintaining the highest degree of ethical and moral conduct.
Nurture: Supporting an environment that fosters individual and community growth.
Service: Responding courteously to the needs of the people we serve and striving to exceed their expectations.
Pride: Taking pride in ourselves and in the work we do.
Intellect: Supporting the pursuit of lifelong learning.
Respect: Treating every individual with respect as we would like to be treated ourselves. We are committed to diversity.
Excellence: Striving for excellence in all that we do.

Three WISEST Postdocs to Join Department

April 2, 2007
Beginning in August of 2007, Biological Sciences will host three female minority postdoctoral fellows. Support for the two-year postdoctoral fellowships comes from an NSF ADVANCE grant awarded to UIC in 2006 to promote and support women and minority faculty members in STEM fields. The recipients will work with faculty members in Ecology and Evolution.

Mary Ashley Uses Oak DNA for Murder Investigation

April 2, 2007
In a recent paper in Forensic Science International (2007, Vol 165:64-67), Mary Ashley reports on using DNA from plant leaves at crime scenes to place suspects at the scene. In the study, oak leaves from a murder suspect's car were compared to those from trees at the site where the victim was buried in central Florida. Ashley co-authored this paper with former UIC doctoral student Kathleen Craft and Sheriff Jeffrey Owens from the Marion County Sheriffs Office.

Peter Okkema Receives CETL Award

April 2, 2007
Professor Pete Okkema has been selected as a CETL award winner this year. Congratulations, Pete! To learn more about CETL (Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) and its programs, check out its website.

Oliver Pergams in the Sun-Times

February 19, 2007
An opinion piece coauthored by Oliver Pergams, visiting research assistant professor of Biological Sciences, appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times. See the article headlined "Microscopes vs. video games -- For the sake of our nation, schools must teach more science." Read it online here.

Joel Brown's Squirrel Research in the Chronicle of Higher Education

February 5, 2007
This week's Chronicle of Higher Education includes a profile of biological sciences professor Joel Brown and his research on squirrels. See article headlined "Chicago's Nutty Professor," which can be read on-line, for free, if accessed via a UIC computer.

Constance Jeffrey Receives SBS Award

January 30, 2007
Constance Jeffrey has been awarded the Society for Biomolecular Sciences' (SBS) 2007 Small Grants Award for her project, "Novel Method of Transmembrane Protein Expression at High Levels Suitable for Drug Screening."

Jeffrey has proposed a novel approach to addressing the expression of membrane-bound proteins such as G-protein-coupled receptors, in large quantities. The goal of the project is to use Escherichia coli's ability, under certain growth conditions, to produce intracytoplasmic membranes that might accommodate high levels of transmembrane proteins in a folded and functional manner. "The successful outcome of this research has the potential to relieve a major bottleneck in studies of many transmembrane proteins with a relatively straightforward and low-cost method, enabling many more important protein targets to be brought into the drug discovery and development pipeline," Jeffrey wrote in her grant application.

Her lab focuses on the structures and molecular mechanisms of cell surface receptors, multidrug resistance transporters, and other transmembrane proteins. Jeffrey receives an $18,750 grant and will present her research during SBS's 13th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Montreal in April.

Paul Malchow Appointed Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

January 29, 2007
In his new role, Dr. Malchow will be responsible for developing and implementing University-wide programs of teaching and learning with a focus on faculty development. This new position will include overseeing a number of teaching-related programs that operate out of the Office of Faculty Affairs, among them the Teaching and Learning Center, the College Teaching Preparatory Program, the International TA Program, and the Students for the Improvement of Teaching (SITS) program. He will also work closely with the Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and help to strengthen current faculty development programs such as mentoring, orientation for new faculty and administrators, and Opportunities for Civic Engagement.

Brian Kay Participates in 5-Year Study on Degenerative Retinal Diseases

January 29, 2007
Department Head Brian Kay is one member in a group of researchers exploring the use of nanotechnology to restore vision to damaged retinal cells. You can view the article here.

Ron Dubreuil's Ghost Protein Research - Podcast Available

January 25, 2007
Ron Dubreuil's research was recently profiled on Science Daily. Click here to view the article. In addition, a podcast is available at https://blackboard.uic.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/web/news/podcasts/OPApodcasts.xml.
Please note: you will need to use iTunes to access this podcast.

Sue Liebman's Alzheimer Findings Receive Further Praise

January 25, 2007
After being published by BMC biology, Dr. Liebman's paper became the most-viewed article of all time. In addition, the UPI piece has been picked by many small papers and online papers worldwide.

This work was completed with Sviatoslav Bagriantsev, a post doc in Dr. Liebman's lab. You can find the UIC press release here.

David Featherstone's findings reported in the Journal of Neuroscience

January 4, 2007
Through research funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, David Featherstone and his research team have discovered that fruit flies' ability to discern one sex from another may depend on the number of receptors on the surface of nerve cells. These findings were reported in the Dec. 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. You can read it by following this link.

Joel Brown's Work Profiled by the Associated Press

December 11, 2006
The Associated Press ran an article about the work of Joel Brown and his students about tracking the behavior of squirrels. More than 100 newspaper and broadcast outlets have carried the story so far. You can read it by following this link.

Joel Brown Discusses Black Squirrels

December 6, 2006
Joel Brown, professor of biological sciences, is quoted in an article appearing in today's Rockford Register Star headlined "You're not nuts, they're black squirrels." Read the article online by clicking on this link.

Oliver Pergams in USA Today

November 27, 2006
Oliver Pergams, research assistant professor of biological sciences, is quoted in the newspaper USA Today about the lack of outdoor exercise by American children and a corresponding rise in their use of electronic media. See article headlined "Groups aim to 'plant seeds' with kids" on page 6, section 1 of the November 22-23rd (Wednesday-Thursday) edition of the paper, or read it online by following this link.

Joel Brown in the Chicago Sun-Times

November 27, 2006
Joel Brown, professor of biological sciences, is quoted in Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times by "Outdoors" columnist Dale Bowman. Brown talks about the incidence of albinism in squirrels. Read the article on page 72A in the sports section of the paper, or read it online by following this link.

Naga Segev in the Chicago Sun-Times

November 22, 2006
Today's Chicago Sun-Times features an article describing the work of biological sciences professor Nava Segev and her students who discovered a mechanism for how molecules enter and exit cells. The findings are reported in this month's Nature Cell Biology.
See the article headlined "UIC team unlocks key cell mystery," or read it on-line by following this link.

Susan Liebman's Research Findings on Alzheimer's

November 21, 2006
The wire service UPI, United Press International, reports on research findings by Susan Liebman, distinguished professor of biological sciences, about a new method to screen for molecules that may help prevent development of Alzheimer's disease.
Update - January 25, 2007
Please go here for an exciting update on this item.

New Biological Sciences web site launched!

November 7, 2006
We hope you like the new look. Faculty and staff should take a good look and forward bug reports to def@uic.edu. Thanks!