Category: Research

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Award Recipients Announced

K NevorskiBiology student Kevin Nevorski received $5,000 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the 2017-18 funding cycle. Nevorski worked with Amy Marcarelli on this project, “Nitrogen in Space: An Examination of How Nitrogen Cycle Processes are Related in Streams and How Those Processes are Influenced at Multiple Special Scales”. Kevin earned his MS and BS from Central Michigan University before joining the Marcarelli lab in 2016 as a PhD student as part of the NSF CAREER project.

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College.

For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College at 7-4371 or visit the MSGC website.


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.

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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.

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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.


Tumban lab MiCup poster presentation

Ebenezer Tumban portriat
Ebenezer Tumban

Kambrie Boomgaard (Grand Rapids Community College) will be presenting a poster based on research in Dr. Ebenezer Tumban’s research lab.

Her title and abstract are:

Assessing the Solubility of Recombinant Bacteriophage  L2 Coat Proteins in Two Bacterial Strains

Kambrie Boomgaard1,, Lukai Zhai2, Ebenezer Tumban2

1Grand Rapids Community College,  2Department of Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University

Abstract:

Currently, there are about 19 human papillomavirus (HPV) types that can cause cervical, penile, and anal cancers. A Second-generation HPV vaccine (Gardasil-9) has been approved to protect against more HPV types. However, the vaccine is going to protect against HPV types that cause only 86-90% of HPV-associated cervical and penile cancers. Complete protection from all HPV-associated cancers requires the addition of HPV L1 capsid from all cancer-causing HPVs. As an alternative approach to L1, we targeted conserved epitopes on L2 capsid protein to elicit broad protection against more HPV types. We developed bacteriophage (phage) MS2 and AP205 virus-like particles (VLPs) displaying a conserved L2 epitope and consensus epitopes from the L2 of all cancer-causing HPV types. Although some of the L2-phage coat proteins assembled efficiently into VLPs, the assembly of other L2-phage coat proteins were sub-optimal. The main goal of this research was to assess if the solubility and assembly of the sub-optimal L2-phage coat proteins could be enhanced by expressing the proteins in two different bacterial strains and at different temperatures. Our preliminary results show that AP205 displaying L2 is expressed and is soluble in Origami cells induced at 37 °C.

MiCUP Poster Presentation

by Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Join the Center for Diversity and Inclusion from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday June 16, in MUB Ballroom A where students from Delta College, Grand Rapids Community College and Wayne County Community College who have been participating theMiCUP Residential Summer Research Program will present posters.

Join in a celebration of their accomplishments. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information email Kellie Raffaelli.

Robert Larson awarded AAS-Lundbeck Research Fellowship


Robert-LarsonRobert Larson
, PhD student in Biological Sciences, has been awarded the 2016  AAS-Lundbeck Research Fellowship as announced on their website.   His research is titled ” Targeting Cardiac Sympathetic and Renin Angiotensin Systems with Ang-(1-7) in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy” which will be completed in the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine with Dr. Mark Chapleau.

The Summary of his research:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a relatively common inherited disease characterized by cardiac hypertrophy (enlarged heart), fibrosis, and dysfunction. Patients with HCM exhibit abnormal neural reflex control of blood pressure and heart rate, and are at high risk of developing heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Current treatment strategies primarily target symptoms and not development of the disease. We propose a novel treatment strategy with Angiotensin-(1-7), a peptide known to diminish sympathetic nerve activity and the pro-fibrotic and pro-hypertrophic actions of angiotensin II. We hypothesize that a combination of sustained inhibition of cardiac sympathetic activity and inhibition of adverse cardiac actions of angiotensin II will act synergistically to prevent or reverse cardiac fibrosis, hypertrophy and arrhythmias in HCM. We will test this hypothesis using an established mouse model of HCM, in which a human mutation is targeted selectively to the heart.

Robert will be completing his degree under Kineseology and Integrative Physiology Adjunct Professor Qing-Hui Chen this summer.

Congratulations from Biological Sciences!


Stottlemyer receives new funding

Department of Biological Sciences Adjunct Professor Robert Stottlemyer, head of the North Watershed Studies research group, is the principal investigator on a project that has received $85,001 in a research and development agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior—U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The project is titled “Climate Altered Terrestrial Carbon and Nutrient Flux to the Aquatic Foodweb from Increased Depth of Soil Ice Thaw, Selawik and Fish Rivers, Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.”
This is a two-year project.

Biology graduate student merit winners in 12th ESC Student Research Forum

Cameron Gobl VanGoethemFrom Tech Today

The Ecosystem Science Center congratulates all 36 students who submitted posters to the competition held last week. The posters will continue to be on display in the atrium of the Noblet building through April 8.

Of the eight undergraduate poster submissions, Graceanna Schilz (Advisor: Molly Cavaleri SFRES) won the grand prize with the poster entitled “Effects of Seedling Warming in Tropical Forests.” Gina Testa (Advisors: Jessie Knowlton and David Flaspohler, SFRES) won a merit award with the poster “Avian Community Responses to Stand Age in Northern Aspen Forests.”

For the 28 graduate poster entries, Kelsey Carter won the grand prize for the poster “Plant Physiological Thermal Thresholds of Saplings in a Puerto Rican Tropical Rainforest,” (Advisor: Molly Cavaleri, SFRES). Three merit winners were: Cameron Goble (Advisor: Nancy Auer, Bio. Sci.) with the poster “Fish-Habitat Associations in Tributaries to the Manistee River, Michigan: Implications for Arctic Grayling Restoration,” Colin Phifer (Advisors: David Flaspohler and Chris Webster, SFRES) for the poster “Bird Community Responses to Afforested Eucalyptus Plantations in Argentina,” and Ryan van Goethem (Advisor: Amy Marcarelli, Bio. Sci.) for the poster “Legacy Disturbance Effects in a Lake Littoral Zone: Effects of Stamp Sands on the Structure of Macrophyte Communities in the Keweenaw Waterway of Michigan.”

Congratulations to the winners and thank you again to the many judges involved.