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Biology News

Departmental News

  • Wofford's department of Biology has received national recognition for revisions to the first year curriculum designed to improve students’ knowledge and skills in the discipline. Read the full story in Wofford's Newsroom.

Faculty News

  • Wofford Biology Professor Chuck Smith along with colleagues from the University of Oklahoma, Georgia State University, San Diego State University and Zoo Atlanta published the results of their year-long study of pit viper snake reproduction that may change how biologist view animal reproduction in the wild.  Published in the September 12th issue of the journal Biology Letters, the researchers show for the first time in any vertebrate animal that females can reproduce without a male, suggesting virgin births may take place in nature far more than before thought.  This research was recently featured on BBC Nature, Discovery News, and NBC News.   
 

Student News 

 
  • Lindy Pence ’14 worked in ovarian cancer research this summer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ovarian cancer is very dangerous, as all cancers are, mostly because of the chemo-resistance that develops in a lot of women with ovarian cancer. Most women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with the disease in the advanced stage, where it has metastasized beyond the ovaries. Many of these women are very responsive to chemotherapy and surgery. Unfortunately, many of these women experience recurrence and chemo-resistant cells. Several pathways have been identified as being overactive in ovarian cancer cell lines, including mTOR and PI3K pathways, and these have been targeted individually with inhibitors. However, due to crosstalk between these pathways, the inhibitors have not proven to be an effective target therapy when used individually. This summer, Lindy worked with a dual mTOR-PI3K inhibitor to try to increase sensitivity of both the sensitive and resistant ovarian cancer cell lines to chemotherapy agents carboplatin and paclitaxol. Her results showed additive effects when the dual inhibitor was used with either chemotherapy agent, but no apparent synergy was seen in any of the cell lines.
                 LINDY PENCE RESEARCH 
 
  • This summer Kim Stauffer ’13 participated in the MUSC Summer Undergraduate Research Program in the lab of Baerbel Rohrer, PhD. Kim lived in Charleston, and even got to stay with a Wofford alumna! She studied ocular phenotypic variables in C57 (black) Mice, in the ophthalmology department. Kim looked at how three genetic variables (RD8 mutation, Leucine/Methionine RPE65 variable, and Nnt mutation) affected the Age-related Macular Degeneration disease model. Kim was able to work with the mice, and learn several new procedures, tests, and protocol. Kim’s 10-week internship at MUSC concluded with a presentation and a short paper to summarize her project.
            Kim stauffer's Summer Research 

W.  Ray Leonard Award   

 
The 2011-2012 recipients of the W. Ray Leonard Award go to Joseph McAbee and Arsalaan Salehani.  
 
              W. R. LEONARD WINNER 2011-12 
 
The 2010-2011 recipients of the W. Ray Leonard Award go Benjamin Barnette and Nathan Redding.
 
               W.R. LEONARD WINNERRESIZED 2011-12 
 
For a list of previous winners, visit W. Ray Leonard Award.