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SMB News

  • Associate Professor Weihang Chai receives $1.45 million grant from NIH

    Congratulations to Weihang Chai for receiving a $1.45 million grant from the National Institute of Health.  The grant will study the role of the CST protein complex in preserving genome stability.  Read more about the award here.
  • Congratulations to our 2014 Summer Graduates

    Congratulations to our 2014 summer graduates:

    Dr. Tyson Eucker, Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences successfully defended his dissertation entitled Campylobacter jejuni Manipulates the Focal Complex to Invade Epithelial Cells and Induce Secretion of Interleukin-8 and has been accepted a position at Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica in Ames, IA.

    Dr. Elizabeth (Lisa) Evans, Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences successfully defended her dissertation entitled Investigating the Degradation of Retinoic Acid via Cytochrome P450 Enzymes, CYP26A1 and CYP26B1, in the Postnatal Testis and been accepted as a postdoc at the University of Texas – M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

  • Dr. Susan Wang Receives NSF Grant to Modify the Property of Soils

    Congratulations to Dr. Wang, an Assistant Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, who, along with her colleagues at the Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO) was recently awarded NSF grant CMMI-1359671, “Collaborative Research: Use of Microbially-Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation to Improve Seismic Behavior of Saturated Sands”.  The goal of this 3 year grant, of which she is a Co-PI, is to investigate and optimize microbial metabolism to modify the engineering properties of soils and prevent potential damage from earthquakes.
  • Undergraduate student selected to 2014 Howard Hughes Medical EXROP Program

    Bryce Henderson, a Junior Biochemistry Major, was just selected as a 2014 participant in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute EXROP Program (  Bryce will be working this summer at the University of California-San Francisco in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph DeRisi, a HHMI Professor who develops novel genomic approaches to the study of infectious disease.  SMB wishes him a wonderful summer!
  • Graduate Student Nicole Clark awarded fellowship through NSF

    Graduate student Nicole Clark has been awarded a predoctoral fellowship through the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  The first year graduate student will be doing research on understanding non-classical progesterone signaling in female reproduction in Jim Pru’s lab.  Read more here.
  • Dr. Raymond Reeves Delivers the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Address

    “A Surprise Path to Regenerative Medicine” on Thursday, March 27, as part of the annual Showcase celebration of Washington State University.  This annual award recognizes a faculty member whose achievements in research, scholarship and teaching place him or her in the front ranks of his or her discipline.  Professor Reeves has been a faculty member since 1979 and is one of the most highly cited scientists at WSU. He is ranked in the top 1 percent of cited authors for journals in the life sciences and in 2010 was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for contributions to the field of chromatin research, particularly for studies elucidating the structure and function of the HMGA family of non-histone architectural proteins. The HMGA proteins play a central role in regulating gene transcription, DNA replication and control of cell proliferation.  They are involved in both the cancerous transformation of normal cells and in the promotion of tumor cells to more malignant states, making them attractive targets for new anti-cancer drugs.  Read more here.
  • Dr. Margaret Black Receives the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

    at this year’s Showcase banquet dinner held on Friday, March 28.  This award recognizes “an Association of Faculty Women (AFW) member whose leadership has advanced the role of women in the WSU system and/or who has demonstrated leadership in higher education, the community or her profession at the local, state, regional, national or international level.” It was established in 2000 to show AFW’s appreciation to former President Smith for his leadership in advancing the role of women at WSU.  A scientist and professor at WSU since 1998, Black’s  work focuses on the develop targeted therapies to treat cancer, where biomarkers distinguish and kill cancerous cells while sparing noncancerous cells.  Read more here.
  • Galen Gorence Receives the President’s Employee Excellence Award

    at the Showcase banquet dinner. Galen, the animal care facility manager for SMB, is not only in charge of the day-to-day operations of the animal facilities but he also provides instruction to his staff about animal husbandry, oversight of equipment maintenance and advice to faculty on breeding habits and other factors that potentially could affect research data. Gorence has displayed outstanding ability and worked extra hours to accommodate a construction project that required moving animals and equipment and decontaminating facilities. He is applauded for his anticipation of problems and solutions in a way that causes minimal disruption to research.
  • Dr. Weihang Chai and Dr. Jon Oatley are to be Congratulated for their Tenure Awards and Promotions to the Rank of Associate Professor

    that were announced at the Showcase banquet dinner.  Dr. Chai’s research focuses on focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms for maintaining integrity of telomeres, the physical ends of eukaryotic chromosomes.  Telomeres protect genome stability by preventing chromosomes from inappropriate fusions, degradation, and recombination. Failure of maintaining functional telomeres results in genome instability that leads to diseases such as cancer and premature aging.  Read more here.  Dr. Oatley’s research focuses on deciphering: 1) the molecular mechanisms within spermatogonial stem cells that control self-renewal and differentiation; 2) the pathways controlling postnatal development of the spermatogonial stem cell pool to establish the adult stem cell population; and 3) determinants of the stem cell niche microenvironment within mammalian testes. Read more here.
  • Dr. Eric Shelden and Mr. Ron MIller receive the M. J. Murdock grant

    Dr. Eric Shelden (SMB, WSU) and Mr. Ron Milller (Lakeside High School, Plummer, ID) have received funding from the M.J. Murdock “Partners in Science Program” for a grant entitled “Heat shock protein regulation and function during development of a model fish species“. The project will examine the function of the heat shock response during embryonic exposure to environmental stressors, and will develop STEM training and curricula for use in high school classrooms.