Category Archives: News

Emily Matthys ’13 ’16 receives national scholarship

Emily Matthys API AwardEmily Matthys recently received a national scholarship through the American Proficiency Institute (API) to help offset the cost of tuition while in her clinical practicum at the Marshfield Clinic.

According to the Medical Laboratory Observer:

“An appreciation for scientific advancements flows strongly among the winners of the 2016 American Proficiency Institute (API) scholarships. Five students enrolled in medical laboratory science programs across the United States won the awards to further their education.

“Now in our ninth year of awarding API Scholarships, I continue to be impressed with the caliber of students entering the medical laboratory science profession,” said Daniel C. Edson, President of API. “This year, a number of the scholarship winners are non-traditional students. They began their studies and careers in other fields, but found the clinical laboratory enticing enough to switch course.”

Ms. Matthys, who began her career as a field biologist, discovered the laboratory is where she excelled. “I think one of the most urgent issues clinical laboratory professionals will face is the spread of multi-drug resistant microorganisms,” she noted. “It will be rewarding to help identify and diagnose these infections to help inform treatment.”

Emily received her BS degree in Biology from Northern Michigan University and came to Michigan Technological University for a MS degree under Dr. Nancy Auer studying fisheries biology. After earning her MS degree, she took a position at Finlandia University teaching microbiology and it was there that she discovered medical microbiology and knew she wanted to pursue a third degree, in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) at Michigan Tech. She graduated our program in December of 2015, and started her clinical practicum at the Marshfield Clinic in the summer of 2016.

Karyn Fay, the director of our MLS program, noted that “Emily was a very positive role model for younger students while at Michigan Tech and this award is well earned!” “Emily comes to the practicum with a wealth of experience,” said Julie Seehafer, Ph.D., director of Laboratory Education at Marshfield Clinic. “With her technical knowledge and her leadership skills, she is likely to make an immediate contribution.”

We are very proud of Emily, and wish her the best as she completes her clinical practicum and enters the field of Medical Lab Science!


Tony Wilkinson ’80 named Director NY State Fish and Wildlife

DEC_Logo

The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced that Anthony (Tony) Wilkinson, Biological Sciences MS 1980, has been appointed to lead its Division of Fish and Wildlife:

Anthony (Tony) Wilkinson has been appointed to head up the agency’s four Fish and Wildlife bureaus and more than 350 employees whose missions are to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources.

“Tony Wilkinson brings a deep awareness of the issues that affect our state’s environment and our natural resources, and his decades of experience will fit in perfectly with the hundreds of colleagues here who share his passion,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Most recently Wilkinson was the Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern NY Program, where he developed and implemented conservation plans for various habitats and species, including migratory fish in the Hudson River Estuary. He previously served as the Director of Operations for the national Natural Heritage Program, and has worked as a biologist and a zoologist for state agencies in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.

Wilkinson has an undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in Biological Science from Michigan Technological University. He grew up in southern Pennsylvania and spent much of his youth hunting, fishing and hiking with his father. He is married with two older children and lives in Saratoga County.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the DEC team and look forward to working with the sportsmen and women of New York and our fish and wildlife staff on the sound management of our precious wildlife and fisheries resources,” Wilkinson said.

Congratulations, Tony!


New Faculty joins Biology this semester

Today, we take a look at and welcome faculty who have started with the Fall Semester.

Xiaohu Tang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences as an assistant professor. Tang earned his PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Prior to coming to Tech, Tang worked as a research scholar in the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology at Duke University’s School of Medicine.




New funding for Dr. Tumban

Ebenezer Tumban portriat
Ebenezer Tumban

From our Chair, Dr. Joshi:

Heartiest congratulations to assistant professor Dr. Ebenezer Tumban for receiving his first NIH-R15 grant worth $457,197 for developing a new vaccine to enhance protection against oral HPV infections in HIV patients. This is a three-year project starting September 1, 2016. Dr. Tumban joined us just two years back so this is a great achievement of obtaining substantial extramural funding so fast. Great job, Ebenezer!

The official Tech Today announcement:

Ebenezer Tumban (Bio Sci/LSTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $457,197 research and development grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.) The project is titled, “Development of a Multi-epitope L2 Bacteriophage VLPs Vaccine to Enhance Protection Against Oral HPV Infections in HIV Patients.” This is a three-year project.


Multiple faculty In Print

From Tech Today:

Amy Marcarelli
Amy Marcarelli

Amy Marcarelli  recently co-authored recently published book chapter: “Stream-lake interaction: understanding a coupled hydro-ecological system.” Pp 321-348 in: Jones JB, Stanley EH (eds) Streams in a Changing Environment. Academic Press.

*****
Casey Huckins
Casey Huckins

Casey Hucking co-authored “Genetic and phenotypic evidence for splake presence in brook trout and lake trout spawning habitats,”  in the Journal of Great Lakes Research 42(3): 738-742.

*****
Chandrashekhar Joshi
Chandrashekhar Joshi

Chandrashekhar P. Joshi (Dept. Chair Bio Sci) co-authored “Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) Mediated Functional Characterization of Two Genes Involved in Lignocellulosic Secondary Cell Wall Formation.” In Plant Cell lReports DOI 10.1007/s00299-016-2039-2.


Alumnus Bob Martin ’76 Receives American Society for Microbiology Award

Robert Martin
Robert Martin

Michigan Tech Alumnus Robert (Bob) Martin recently received the Hologic Joseph Public Health Award at the American Society for Microbiology’s recent Microbe 2016 meeting in Boston. In addition to earning his mater’s in Biological Sciences from Michigan Tech, Martin was the head of the U.P. state health lab, located on the Tech campus and also taught medical bacteriology. According to the ASM the Hologic Joseph Public Health Award “Honors a distinguished microbiologist who has exhibited exemplary leadership and service in the field of public health.” Martin is also a member of Michigan Tech’s College of Science and Arts Academy.



Tumban Honored by National Academies

Ebenezer Tumban portriat
Ebenezer Tumban

Original story by Mark Wilcox in 15 July Tech Today

A Michigan Tech professor has received a prestigious national recognition. Ebenezer Tumban (Bio Sci) has been named a National Academies Fellow in the Life Sciences for the 2016-17 academic year by the National Academies in Washington, DC.

In a letter to University President Glenn Mroz, Barbara A. Schaal, vice president of the academy and chair of the division of earth and life sciences, said the honor was bestowed upon Tumban because of his selection and “enthusiastic participation” in the 2016 National Academies Northstar Summer Institute (NANSI) on Undergraduate Education in Biology held last month at the University of Minnesota.

According to the letter, representatives from 15 U.S. research universities met in Minneapolis for three days of workshops, discussions, intensive teamwork and analysis focused on enhancing undergraduate education within the themes of active learning, assessment and diversity.

Tumban says he was “overwhelmed with joy” when he learned of the honor. Of the three-day summer institute he says, “I put in a lot of effort to prepare a learning activity which I used during my teaching demonstration, and I’m glad it paid off.”

Tumban expressed gratitude to Bruce Seely, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, Provost Jackie Huntoon and Chandrashekhar Joshi, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, for providing the financial support needed to attend the workshop.

Joshi calls Tumban “an outstanding and dedicated teacher.”

“Dr. Tumban is a phenomenal instructor who truly enjoys teaching; he is an active researcher who is engaged in developing new vaccines against human papilloma virus and he is a delightful colleague who is always willing to help others,” Joshi says.

Joshi adds that when the opportunity came for Tumban to attend the NANSI workshop, he enthusiastically volunteered. “So far, four other faculty members in biological sciences and one faculty member in chemistry have previously participated in similar NANSI workshops, and they have already incorporated what they learned into their regular classroom teachings,” Joshi said.

Tumban said he appreciates all the support he’s received. “I would also like to thank NANSI for organizing the workshop and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Michigan Tech for exposing me to different active learning strategies which were instrumental in the workshop.”

In her letter to Mroz, Schaal said, “by sending participants to the National Academies Summer Institute, your institution is at the forefront of improving undergraduate education that is so essential for preparing both future scientists and scientifically literate citizens.