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  • Drs. Jim Colbert of EEOB and Clark Coffman and Ethelbert Kemdirim of GDCB, introductory biology instructors for Principles of Biology, were recognized as being especially influential instructors by recent inductees into the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. To qualify for membership in these honor societies, students must earn a 3.5 or higher GPA one semester of their freshmen year.

    Inductees were asked to share which instructor had influenced them during their first year and how this individual had shaped their academic experience. Respondents cited these biology instructors for helping to make ISU an “outstanding institution where first-year students feel affirmed, encouraged and successful.”

  • Two ISU undergraduate students, Brock Pope and Nathan Sage, who conducted research projects in the labs of two GDCB faculty and a GDCB scientist along with mentors from outside the department, displayed their research posters and presented their work in the rotunda of the State Capitol building in Des Moines on April 4. This seventh annual event known as the “Research in the Capitol” highlights the importance of research to the undergraduate learning experience. Brock and Nathan were among 60 undergraduate students from Iowa’s three Regent universities, including ISU, invited to participate in this event.


    Professor Ling Li, GDCB Adjunct Assistant Professor and Associate Scientist, recently received a one-year ISU Research Foundation award of $30,000 for her research project entitled, “QQS as a molecular tool to increase the protein content of commercial crops.” Dr. Li has developed and obtained unique genetic and biochemical tools to identify and characterize regulatory mechanisms of QQS that control starch content, demonstrating QQS as a component of the starch metabolic network. This additional project funding from the ISU Research Foundation will help Dr. Li continue her evaluation of the developmental pathways of seeds through the use of the QQS gene and the possibility of commercially useful cultivars to increase seed protein.

  • Diane Jepsen, who handles accounting and purchasing for GDCB, was one of eight P&S staff members to receive the Fall 2011 CYtation Award. This award recognizes individuals who perform above and beyond the call of duty, do something extraordinarily well, or act in such a way as to make a very real difference in the institution. Diane was nominated for her extraordinary service in assuming additional duties in GDCB during a period of transition in administrative services. President Steven Leath presented a certificate of recognition to each recipient at an awards ceremony held on February 28th in the Memorial Union. ISU P&S Council

  • Professor Eve Syrkin Wurtele of GDCB, along with Professor Basil Nikolau of BBMB and other colleagues at institutions around the country, have developed resources that may lead to the discovery of new, medicinally important compounds found in plants. The research data can be found at the Medicinal Plant Genomics Resource. The resources grew from their Medicinal Plant Consortium (MPC) research project funded by a $6 million initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how the genes of plants contribute to production of various chemical compounds, some of which are medicinally important. This research was recently highlighted in an ISU News Service article.

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