Cal State Northridge
College of Science &
Dept. of Biology
The Biology Department Newsletter
Volume 14: No. 1, Editor: J. Maxwell, Publisher J.W. Dole
California State University, Northridge
Students Receive Grants,
Fellowships, Fee Waivers
Sandra Ng received a
grant from the Southwest Parks and Monuments for $7500 and an award of $1720 from
the University Corporation to fund her project "Evaluating Wildlife Use and
Habitat Characteristics of Potential Corridors
in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills, CA." Sandra is working under the
guidance of Drs. Tom Valone and Jim Dole.
Three of Dr. Randy Cohen's graduate students were awarded University
Student Project Grants to support their thesis research. Chris
Hernandez received $2300 to investigate the role of metabotropic
glutamate receptors in the spastic rat. Agata
Pikula's $2600 will fund her research on apoptosis. And new
graduate student Stephen Bartlett will use his $1400 to study NMDA receptor pharmacology.
Two Biology students, Nick Haring and Cecil Shikiya,
were awarded a Teaching Associate fee waiver for spring semester, 1999. The value
of the fee waiver may be as much as $792, depending upon the number of units taken.
Jill Fariss, one of Dr.
Tom Valone's graduate students, received a $1700 grant from the University Corporation
to further her research into how repeated fires affect vegetation and bird community
structure in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Nicole Sodir, a Master's
student in Dr. Joyce Maxwell's lab, received a Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research
award for $600 to support her investigation of transposons in exotic strains of Neurospora
Carlos Garibay received
a scholarship of $900 for minority undergraduate students from the Alliance for Minority
Participation in Science program.
Nine students working with Dr. Aïda Metzenberg were awarded graduate student
thesis performance grants from the University's Office of Graduate Studies, Research
and International Programs (GRIP). The awardees are Jeanne
Choi, Naghmah Dorrani, Janine McMurdie-Wengert, Tara Namey, Carlyne Palmero, Luisa
Perez, Joy Philipson, Karoline Rostamiani, and Megan Verardo. Each received $300.
Three of Dr. Steve Oppenheimer's graduate students, Mary
Keens, Monica Tully and Brian Salbilla, received $300 thesis performance
awards from the GRIP office. Mary is investigating adhesive interactions in a model
system. Monica's thesis topic is sugar-containing receptors i sea urchin gastrulation.
Brian is looking at specificity of lectin-bead-yeast cell interactions.
Judy Peng, a graduate
student in Dr. Cheryl Hogue's lab, received a Sea Grant Traineeship for $2000 to
work on the macroparasites of Santa Monica Bay fishes. Judy is also the recipient
of a $300 award from the GRIP office.
Graduate student Karen Kesterson was awarded $300 from the GRIP Office to support her thesis project entitled
"A rapid PCR method to detect Flexibacter maritimus in marine aquaculture."
She is a student of Dr. Paul Tomasek.
Carla Zilberberg, a student
of Dr. Peter Edmunds, was awarded $300 from the GRIP office to support her research
on competitive mechanisms among small corals.
One of Dr. Jim Dole's students, John Ingrum, received a $200 GRIP award to support his study of perceived predation
risk in fish.
Four of Dr. Larry Allen's graduate students were awarded GRIP grants. Greg Benavides, Amy McClean, and Carol Phalen each received $300. Holly Harpham's award was $200.
Publish Their Research
Monica Tully, a student
working with Dr. Steven Oppenheimer, presented a poster paper on "Rapid Approaches
to Cell Surface Studies" at the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
Students Virginia Latham, Fabienne Ambroise,
Rowena Bada, Monica Londono, Houman Vaghefi, Pavanjit Chhabra, Greg Hall, Bich Nguyen,
Jessy Philip and Ron
Roque were co-authors on the paper, as was Dr. Oppenheimer.
An abstract of the paper was published in Molecular Biology of the Cell.
Sean Yoder is first author
on a recently accepted paper to appear in Applied and Environmental Microbiology
published by the American Society for Microbiology. Sean's paper, based on his thesis
research, is entitled "Comparison of Mycobacterium avium isolates obtained from
patients and foods using polymerase chain reaction." Sean works under the guidance
of Dr. Paul Tomasek, but conducts his research in Dr. Alan Holtzman's laboratory
at UCLA's Olive View Education and Research Institute.
John Ingrum, a graduate
student working with Dr. Jim Dole, gave an oral presentation of his research results
at the Student Research Symposium. John also presented his work via poster at the
Behavioral Ecology Conference in San Francisco. The title of his paper was "Effects
of cover on perceived predation risk in fish."
Three graduate students in marine biology presented their work at the Western Society
of Naturalists in San Diego. Traci Prude, who works with Dr. Peter Edmunds, gave a poster on the interaction between
small corals and algal turf . Amy McClean, one of Dr. Larry Allen's students, presented a poster on patterns of settlement
in a temperate reef fish, Paralabrax clathrafus. Hannah
Stewart, a student of Dr. Robert Carpenter, was honored with
a Best Student Paper Award for her presentation on the interaction of algal morphology
with water flow and the resulting effects on algal metabolism. Other Biology students
who attended the meeting were Jason Bram, Carol
Phalen, Greg Benavides, Clarence Gillett, Maiko Kasuya, Denise Weisman, Nick Haring,
Carla Zilberberg, Josh Idjadi, Steve Vollmer, and Kim Whiteside.
Graduate students Agata Pikula, Chris Hernandez, and Kun Do Rhee
from Dr. Randy Cohen's lab gave research presentations at the 28th Annual Society
for Neuroscience meeting in Los Angeles. The topic of their study was neurodegeneration
in a spastic rat model.
Dr. Randy Cohen's undergraduate student, Huong
Can, participated in the National Minority Research Symposium
in New York City where she presented her work on cockroach feeding behavior.
At the Student Research Symposium, first place for the best student poster presentation
by a graduate student went to one of Dr. Peter Edmunds' students, Carla Zilberberg. The award was accompanied
by $125. Her paper was entitled "Intraspecific competition in small corals:
patterns and processes of interactions and their relationship to overall community
Two students working with Dr. Paul Wilson won prizes in the Student Research Symposium;
both awards included a $75 prize. Michael Valenzuela won second place for an undergraduate poster for his study on "Three
naturally occurring Penstemon hybrids." Jim
Dilley's poster, entitled "Is the evolution of mariposa
lilies driven by their pollinators?" took second place in the graduate division.
Microbiology graduate students Patricia Medina and Zillehuma Majid
presented a poster at the Student Research Symposium. Their poster was entitled "New,
Safe, and Effective Technique for Identification of Gelatin Hydrolysis." Both
students work under the direction of Dr. Larry Baresi.
Three of Dr. Paul Tomasek's graduate students have recently presented
their work. Andra Dumitrescu's
poster entitled "Sequencing and characterization of the carbofuran hydrolase
(mcd) gene" was presented at the 11th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium in
Pomona. The symposium was sponsored by the CSU Program for Education and Research
in Biotechnology (CSUPERB). Joyce Merritt also gave a poster presentation at the CSUPERB Symposium. Her paper was
on "Cloning of the 3,4-dihydroxyxanthone dioxygenase gene from the xanthone
degrading Arthrobacter sp. strain GFB100." Karen
Kesterson gave an oral presentation on "A rapid PCR method
to detect Flexibacter maritimus in marine aquaculture" at the Annual
Meeting of the Southern California Branch, American Society for Microbiology in Irvine.
Both Joyce and Karen also presented their work at the Student Research Symposium
where Karen was awarded second place and a prize of $75 for an oral paper in the
Science and Mathematics category.