Faculty Research Projects

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Jennifer BuschDr. Jennifer Busch

Physiologist
Dr. Busch’s research focuses on cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases, specifically the cAMP-dependent protein kinase and cGMP-dependent protein kinases. These enzymes regulate numerous cellular and physiological processes such as DNA transcription, blood pressure, gastrointestinal motility, and nerve activity. Her interest is in how these kinases are regulated. Her research attempts to answer the question, “What amino acids in these kinases are important for controlling the enzymatic activity?”

Nadine RoremDr. Nadine C. Folino-Rorem

Marine & Invertebrate Zoologist
Dr. Folino-Rorem and students are addressing ecological and molecular aspects of the invasive colonial hydroid, Cordylophora. One specific ecological area of interest is the hydroid's coexistence with the dreissenid mussels in rivers and lakes. In addition, her interests address the ecological role of freshwater Cnidaria in aquatic habitats.

Raymond LewisDr. Raymond J. Lewis

Botanist
Dr. Lewis' research involves characterizing the factors that control the growth and reproduction of marine brown algae. Specifically, growth and gametogenesis of microscopic gametophytes of the large and ecologically significant kelps are characterized in response to salinity, pheromones, pH, and nutrients.

Kristen PageDr. L. Kristen Page

Ecologist
Dr. Page's primary research interest involves answering questions about how diseases are transmitted, and trying to understand how disease transmission changes as humans alter landscapes/habitats. Many of the projects conducted with my research students investigate the transmission dynamics of raccoon roundworm in urban landscapes.

Pattle PunDr. Pattle P. Pun

Molecular Biologist
The majority of the human genome is comprised of non-protein coding sequences. The function of much of this non-coding region remains unknown. We have used a technique for collecting transcription regulation information of the non-coding regions and a process for characterizing some regulatory differences between recently positively selected SNP flanking sequences and recently non-positively selected sequences. Analyses performed on the data include a gene proximity test, transcription factor categorization, and unique sequence scanning. We found around three quarters of the flanking sequences of the SNPs from the non-protein coding regions of chromosome 16 play a significant role in transcription regulation. The results may have implications on the evolution paradigm on genomic functions.

Rodney ScottDr. Rodney J. Scott

Geneticist
Dr. Scott uses techniques of molecular biology to conduct studies in conservation genetics. He studies a phenomenon called “multiple paternity” in the endangered species Blanding’s turtle, which occurs Illinois. The goal of this study is to learn how frequently multiple paternity (a phenomenon that increases genetic variation in populations) occurs in habitats where populations of Blanding’s turtles are highly fragmented. He has also recently initiated new studies using molecular markers to assess the population genetics of several species of freshwater turtles in Costa Rica. These studies represent the first studies of this kind to be conducted with these tropical species.

Dr. Gregory Vanden Heuvel

Cell Biologist
Dr. Vanden Heuvel’s research focuses on understanding the transcriptional regulation of cell proliferation in kidney development and kidney disease. Ongoing projects involve the characterization of transgenic mice carrying mutations in genes involved in the development and progression of polycystic kidney disease.

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