Fall 2019 Sigma Xi Poster Session

On December 5th, 2019, Sigma Xi hosted a poster session for Biology students. First place was awarded to Jonathan Barron (right) for his poster entitled "Effect of the G2019S LRRK2 Mutation on C. elegans Motility." Second place was awarded to two presenters: William Klinger (middle) for his poster entitled "The Effect of LRRK2 G2019S Mutation on Adult C. elegans Mobility" and Abigail Downs (left) for her poster entitled "STRECH: Strain Tension Recorder Engineered from Cheap Hardware." Congratulations and thanks to all students that participated in this event!

New Faculty members

Dr. Sean Buskirk

Dr. Sean Buskirk will be joining the Department of Biology as an Assistant Professor in August 2019. His research interests center on microbial evolution and the adaptive potential of microbial genomes. The Buskirk Lab will use experimental evolution – the continual propagation of an organism under well-defined conditions – as tool to study the molecular basis of microbial traits. His teaching responsibilities will include General Microbiology (BIO 214) and Pathogenic Microbiology (BIO 314).

Dr. Buskirk received his Ph.D in Infectious Diseases from the University of Georgia ('14) and his B.S in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Penn State University ('08). As a postdoctoral researcher studying microbial evolution, he trained under Dr. Vaughn Cooper at the University of New Hampshire and Dr. Gregory Lang at Lehigh University.

Dr. Jessica Sowa

Dr. Jessica Sowa earned her PhD in Human and Molecular Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed her postdoctoral work in host-pathogen interactions at the University of California San Diego. She is interested in understanding how the innate immune system has evolved to detect and defend against intracellular infections. In her postdoctoral work she investigated mechanisms of virus detection and regulation of the innate immune response in the nematode C. elegans. She intends to expand on this theme in her lab at WCU by studying the host response to viruses and other intracellular pathogens as well as identifying novel natural pathogens of nematodes.  Dr. Sowa will begin a new position as an Assistant Professor of Biology at West Chester University in August 2019.

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