Allegheny Welcomes New Faculty

From a former resident of nearby Townville to a fantasy football player to a dedicated amateur chef, Allegheny’s new faculty members bring many unique backgrounds and qualities to the teaching table in the fall of 2018. Let’s meet each of them briefly:

Catherine Allgeier
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Catherine AllgeierAs a visiting assistant professor of economics, Catherine Allgeier comes to Allegheny with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

After graduation, she taught at a business college and then worked in the corporate world as a chief financial officer and a human resources director. “I realized that I missed the interaction with students and started teaching part-time in addition to my CFO role. I now have been teaching full-time for eight years (most recently at her alma mater) and use my corporate background to provide real-world accounting examples and experiences to my students,” says Allgeier.

“I am interested in information systems and communication, as they relate to costs and effectiveness in health-care diagnoses, such as using Watson as a diagnostic tool and the implications in not only a more timely diagnosis but also more cost effective,” she says.

She also has a green thumb. “My ‘other’ career would be in landscape and interior design,” says Allgeier. “I quit counting at 40 houseplants.”


Timothy Bianco
Assistant Professor of Economics

Tim BiancoTimothy Bianco joins Allegheny as assistant professor of economics, having taught previously at Bowling Green State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also obtained a master’s degree and his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. He also has worked as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for five years.

“I enjoy teaching economics and researching cutting-edge financial and monetary economics, focusing on corporate credit,” says Bianco.

Bianco and his wife, Victoria, grew up in northeast Ohio “so moving to northwest Pennsylvania has been a smooth transition. I am a Cleveland sports fanatic and I enjoy traveling to Cleveland to catch a game from time to time.

“An unusual combination is that I have been known to apply cutting-edge econometric techniques to playing fantasy football,” he says.


Paula Burleigh
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History

Paula BurleighPaula Burleigh joins the Allegheny community as visiting assistant professor of art history and director of the Penelec, Bowman, Meghan Art Gallery. She earned her Ph.D. in art history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

She earlier earned a master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree at Emory University.

“I’ve taught undergraduate courses at City University of New York Baruch College, Bard High School Early College, and at Bard College, and I’ve taught adult education courses at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where I was a teaching fellow for several years before coming to Allegheny,” says Burleigh.

Burleigh specializes in art history and visual culture of Europe and the United States, from 1945 to the present. Her research interests include visionary architecture, feminism and gender as they relate to art, and utopian/dystopian themes in art and popular visual culture.

“I love to cook, and I didn’t let a decade of tiny New York City kitchen life stop me from elaborate culinary experiments — some failed, many succeeded, all were eaten at least an hour later than I intended,” she says.


Kimberly Caldwell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Kimberly CaldwellKimberly Caldwell joins the college as a visiting assistant professor of psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience at the University at Buffalo, “so my background is a blend of psychology and neuroscience.”

She has taught introductory psychology and biopsychology, “and I am excited to be teaching a new course this semester that I developed called ‘Ingestive Behavior,’ which will explore the neuroscience behind eating and drinking. My research interests are broadly focused on how the brain controls eating and drinking, thus the inspiration for my new class. I am particularly interested in a peptide system called ghrelin that is capable of influencing both behaviors.

“Along with behavioral neuroscience, I have always enjoyed the arts and took several art classes through high school and even a couple here at Allegheny as a member of the Gifted Program — I don’t know if they still call it that, it’s been a while since I was in high school — at Maplewood,” she says.

“This brings me to my fun fact, I grew up locally in nearby Townville and took classes at Allegheny in art and dance while in high school.”


Michael Michaelides
Assistant Professor of Economics

Michael MichaelidesMichael Michaelides joins the Economics Department as an assistant professor. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Essex, a master’s degree in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, a master’s degree in economics from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in economics from Virginia Tech.

Prior to attending Allegheny, Michaelides spent one year as a visiting assistant professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. His research interests include: Financial econometrics, empirical asset pricing, time series econometrics, applied econometrics, behavioral finance, volatility modeling, and financial risk forecasting.

“My research has focused on exploring the behavioral biases of investing through the quantitative application of statistical and mathematical models. Yet, my research has been so strongly influenced by the philosophy of science literature,” says Michaelides.

When not in the classroom or on a research mission, Michaelides is a Liverpool Football Club supporter.


Matthew Mitchell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Matthew MitchellRight out of college, Matthew Mitchell traveled to Japan and taught English as a foreign language for six years. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, with a minor in chemistry, from Illinois Wesleyan University. As an undergraduate, he also found time to sing in the university choir and teach rock climbing.

Mitchell later completed an M.A. in Asian religions from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. from Duke University’s Graduate Program in Religion. “I spent a lot more time in my office writing than on the beach,” he said of his two years in Hawaii.

Mitchell’s teaching experience includes posts at the University of Hawaii, Duke University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University. And he worked at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, helping to bring Chinese students and scholars to the institution for short-term and degree programs.

Mitchell’s research interests include Asian religions — especially Japanese Buddhism, social history, and women and gender in religion. This year in the Religious Studies Department, he will be teaching a number of courses across traditions from Asian religions to Islam. He is currently studying the social, financial and legal activities of a group of Buddhist nuns in Japan’s 17th–20th centuries. “One of the biggest surprises people have is the diversity of the nuns’ activities,” he says. “Most people tend to think of nuns as cloistered, not active, and certainly not involved in gambling or lawsuits.”

Along with Japan’s importance to Mitchell’s research, the nation holds other special meaning for him: it’s where he met his wife and it’s the birthplace of his oldest daughter.


Pamela Runestad
Assistant Professor of Global Health Studies

Pamela RunestadPamela Runestad likes to know how things work.

“I found I could fold all of my interests — infectious disease, nutrition, culture, Japan, writing and narrative, and film — together through becoming a medical anthropologist,” she says. “These combinations will be at the heart of my courses in global health studies here at Allegheny.”

Runestad holds a B.A. in biology and English — with a minor in psychology — from Augustana College (now University) in South Dakota and an M.A. in Japanese language and society from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She also earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in medical anthropology with a focus on Japan at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu.

Her doctoral research focused on socio-cultural responses to HIV/AIDS in Japan and how those have an impact on health. Her current research project explores institutional food for pregnant and postpartum mothers in Japan.

Runestad’s life and work experiences outside of the continental U.S. give her unique perspective. “I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and I lived in Nagano, Japan, for 10 years,” she says. “So at this point, I’ve only lived about one-quarter of my life in the ‘lower 48’ — Alaska-speak — or the ‘mainland’ — Hawaii-speak. That time was spent in South Dakota, Nebraska and North Carolina.”


Yee Mon Thu
Assistant Professor of Biology

Yee Mon ThuYee Mon Thu describes herself as “a scientist who likes to learn how the natural world works — and an amateur artist who likes to use imagination.”

Before arriving at Allegheny, Thu taught biology at her undergraduate alma mater, Grinnell College. She earned a B.A. in biology with a concentration in global development studies there before completing a Ph.D. in cancer biology at Vanderbilt University.

“I am interested in how cells maintain genome stability in the face of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can cause DNA damage,” Thu says of her research. “I am also fascinated by the involvement of these pathways in cancer.”

When away from the classroom and laboratory, Thu enjoys visiting national parks.


Birgit Weyhe
Max Kade Writer in Residence

Birgit WehyeAs a graphic novelist, Birgit Weyhe uses both her writing and drawing to explore historical and political incidents. She’s primarily interested in migration and the definition of home and identity. In addition to authoring several books, Weyhe has a monthly page in a Berlin newspaper where she draws the “lifeline” of a person who has changed places of residence often.

Weyhe was raised in Uganda and Kenya and came back to Germany at the age of 19. “I consider all three countries as my home,” she says. After returning to Germany, she earned a master’s degree in German literature and history from the University of Hamburg and a Diplom in illustration from the University of Applied Sciences, also in Hamburg.

Since 2012, Weyhe has taught at the Universities of Hamburg, Kiel and Düsseldorf in Germany and at the National Art School in Maputo, Mozambique. She also has led workshops at the German Cultural Center (Goethe Institut) in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Finland, France and Canada.

Wehye said that she is a passionate reader. On a three-month trip to Patagonia last year, she and her husband read 15 novels to each other. “We praised the invention of eBooks,” she says. “Otherwise our backpacks would have been very heavy.”


Tarah Williams
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science

tarah williamsTarah Williams uses survey and experimental methods to understand how social identities —partisan identities, racial identities and many more — shape individual political behavior, for better or worse. Her current research explores whether and when individuals will confront prejudice and discrimination in their daily lives.

“As a shy person, I often struggled to speak up as a student,” she says. “My job now requires me to help students find ways to participate in class, and because I needed to work to find my voice, I have become committed to helping others find theirs. Similarly, my research is concerned with how we can encourage people to speak up to confront prejudice.”

Williams earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois. Before pursuing graduate school, she worked in state government as a researcher for the Illinois Legislature. She has taught courses in politics and policy at Washington University in St. Louis, Miami University in Ohio and the University of Illinois.

Along with her teaching and research, Williams enjoys walking, cooking, musical theatre and — since arriving at Allegheny — exploring Meadville.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

The Opioid Epidemic: Developing a GeoStory for Crawford County

Like many areas in the nation, Crawford County is reckoning with the ongoing opioid crisis, which is silencing the voices of young people, wreaking havoc on families, and eating away at the social fabric of many communities at an alarming rate.

Rebecca Dawson, assistant professor of biology and global health studies at Allegheny College, and student researchers are attempting to shed some light on the crisis locally and offer government officials statistical data and insights on where the problem exists specifically and how they might address it.

Through this community-based project, Dawson and the students are combining maps of data with narratives to create an interactive platform that shows where government officials might focus their efforts in defusing the crisis.

The research team’s primary tool is Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology.

“In its most basic use, GIS answers the question, ‘Where?’ Questions such as ‘Where are people living?’ and ‘Where are pockets of overdose calls?’” says Dawson, who graduated from Allegheny in 2000. “One analysis technique is referred to as ‘finding hot spots,’ and it visualizes data in aggregate form by using warm colors to show areas with high rates of incidents.

“We have pulled data from 911 calls, the coroner’s office, the courthouse, and from hospitals, among other sources,” Dawson says. “We are trying to find the hot spots for overdoses and create a map of Crawford County that shows officials the specific areas of concern. How should they target their services? What areas of care need to be addressed? How should they align with schools and service programs? Where exactly is the problem? What is the opioid story here?”

The project, which is being done in conjunction with Crawford County Human Services, started two years ago and has just finished the second summer of gathering data, Dawson says. Seven students have worked on the project thus far, she adds. Dawson and students Emily Forner ’19, Mary Kerner ’19, Valerie Hurst ’18, and Jenny Tompkins ’18 will present their methodologies and findings at the American Statistical Association’s Women in Data Science Conference in Cincinnati in October 2018.

“What struck me the most was just how many ways the data could be used to help better understand what’s going on in the county,” Forner says. “From looking more broadly at trends for the county as a whole, to comparing smaller areas like Titusville and Meadville, analyzing these issues from a spatial standpoint can really help to identify areas where resources should be targeted.”

“As a researcher the most beneficial part of the project was the connections I made with community stakeholders as well as learning new information about a topic I had never studied before,” says Kerner. “As someone who was attempting to tell the narrative side of the story, I was faced with researching why communities are being affected in the way that they are as well as the different strategies being implemented to hopefully alleviate the burden on affected community members.

“This led me to delve much deeper into the histories of each community, what is happening now that may be contributing to the problem, and what programs are community activists trying that may be successful in the future. This gave me a much broader perspective than I had originally had and will give me the tools to conduct further research in topics I am not immediately familiar with.”

Here is what the research team is finding so far.

Located in a relatively rural setting, Crawford County is at high risk for overdose deaths — 45 per 100,000 people as compared to the national average of 20 per 100,000. The project is mapping where overdose deaths have occurred, where overdose calls originated, where drug-possession calls came from, what areas of the county don’t have ambulance service, and where hospitals and licensed health clinics are located. The data they collect results in a GIS map sprinkled with multi-colored dots representing all of those data points collected from 2015 to 2018.

That map should show where clusters of overdoses are occurring, so social services can be targeted in those areas. “Ultimately, our goal is to improve community wellness and prevent trauma and to assist policy- and decision-makers with the allocation of resources and services,” says Dawson.

Still to be finalized are a summary of statistics based on demographics and a presentation of the findings to the community stakeholders. “We are trying to be careful not to stigmatize neighborhoods. These are difficult conversations,” she says.

Photo Credit: Derek Li
Photo Caption: Rebecca Dawson, assistant professor of biology and global health studies, left, and students Emily Forner, center, and Mary Kerner are mapping areas of drug overdoses in order to help Crawford County officials understand and address the problem.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College Biology Professor to Provide Expert Commentary on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

Dr. Lisa Whitenack
Dr. Lisa Whitenack

Lisa Whitenack, Allegheny College associate professor of biology, will provide expert commentary on the Discovery Channel Shark Week show “Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction” on Friday, July 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Whitenack and other experts will explore what would happen if the largest shark that ever existed were still alive today.

Whitenack researches the biomechanics, evolution and paleobiology of sharks, snails, crabs and more. Last September, she was one of 10 female shark scientists — and the only one from a liberal arts institution — who participated in “Shark Tales: Women Making Waves,” a symposium at the New England Aquarium in Boston for high school and college-age women organized by the Gills Club.

Whitenack has served on the Allegheny faculty since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @whitenacklab.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College Student Grace O’Malley Awarded Prestigious NOAA Hollings Scholarship

Allegheny College sophomore Grace O’Malley has been awarded an Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). O’Malley is the third Allegheny student to win a Hollings Scholarship in the last two years.

The competitive scholarship includes two years of tuition support and a paid 10-week summer internship to conduct research, resource management or education projects while working with a NOAA mentor.

Through the Hollings Scholarship program, O’Malley plans to pursue an internship in marine ecosystem research. “I’ve become really interested in ocean conservation and hope to be able to see this work being done firsthand,” O’Malley, a biology major and Spanish minor, said.

O’Malley credits three people with cultivating her initial interest in science. First is her grandfather, who was a biology professor at St. Lawrence University and suggested she consider Allegheny. In addition, as a high school student, O’Malley conducted aquatic ecology research with Susquehanna University professors Jack Holt and Mike Bilger in her hometown of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

“Without these three mentors in my life, I don’t know if I would have the confidence and drive to pursue my dreams so forcefully,” she said.

At Allegheny, O’Malley has continued to explore her passion for science. She works as a project assistant with the Creek Connections environmental outreach program and as a chemistry teaching assistant.

O’Malley also has collaborated with Scott Wissinger, professor of biology and environmental science, to study caddisflies, a mothlike insect that lives near lakes or rivers. She will continue that research with him this summer in Colorado, working on a project in the Rocky Mountains.

Wissinger and Creek Connections Project Director Wendy Kedzierski encouraged O’Malley to apply for the Hollings Scholarship, she said. O’Malley also received assistance with her application from Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising in the Allegheny Gateway.

Jackson said that the Hollings Scholarship is designed to help NOAA ensure that young scientists in the educational system are prepared to advance the agency’s mission. NOAA is charged with keeping citizens informed of the changing environment around them — from daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce.

NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product, according to the agency’s website.

“The fact that Allegheny has now sent three students into the Hollings Scholarship program in the last two years is a testament to the work being done on our campus,” Jackson said. “Allegheny students are ready to get out into the world and do serious research, which is the only kind that NOAA engages in. They don’t have the time or resources to get students up to speed; they need them ready on their first day. And Allegheny students typically are.”

Jackson encourages Allegheny students who are interested in applying for the Hollings Scholarship to contact him at pjackson@allegheny.edu or (814) 332-2779.

According to NOAA, the Hollings Scholarship program is designed to:

  • increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities;
  • increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy;
  • recruit and prepare students for public service careers with NOAA and other natural resource and science agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government; and
  • recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.

At the end of their summer internships, Hollings scholars present their results to scientists and peers during the annual Science & Education Symposium. Scholars also can apply for funding to present their research at up to two scientific conferences.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Wissinger, Balik Present at Entomological Society of America Meetings

Professor of Environmental Science and Biology Scott Wissinger and Jared Balik ’16 presented an invited paper in the symposium Impacts of Climate Change on “Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Invertebrates: Research from Earth’s Coldest and Most Rapidly Changing Environments” at the Entomological Society of America meetings in November 2017. The paper was titled “Elevational range shifts in alpine aquatic insects and consequences for ecosystem function” and included findings from Balik’s senior research at Allegheny funded by the Beckman Foundation and NSF.

 

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Two Allegheny College Students Awarded NOAA Hollings Scholarships

Hollings Scholarship Recipients

Allegheny College juniors Megan Hazlett and Allyson Wood have been awarded Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The competitive scholarships include two years of tuition support and paid 10-week summer internships to conduct research, resource management or education projects while working with a NOAA mentor. Hazlett and Wood are among 110 students nationwide receiving the scholarship in 2017.

Hazlett is an environmental science and biology double major from West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. Through the Hollings Scholarship, she will intern at the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Homer, Alaska, studying the growth of juvenile salmon.

“When I first heard about the Hollings Scholarship, I thought it sounded like such an amazing opportunity,” Hazlett said. “I never knew exactly what I wanted to study; I just knew that I loved studying wildlife and being outside. Since then, I’ve really come to love marine ecosystems, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity. Now, I am beyond grateful for receiving this coveted award.”

In summer 2016, Hazlett worked as a conservation education intern at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and as an intern at Goddard State Park for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Last summer, she participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University. While there, Hazlett completed a project exploring the effects of ocean acidification on the behavior of a North Pacific flatfish.

Wood, of Buffalo, New York, is an environmental science major and environmental writing minor. In summer 2018, she will travel to North Carolina to intern at the Beaufort Southeast Fisheries Science Center as an Atlantic shark video technician, analyzing footage of sharks from previous years.

“I was inspired to apply for the Hollings Scholarship after discovering that I love working with aquatic organisms and being in the field,” Wood said. “My decision to apply was further cemented by my Environmental Science 201 class, where Dr. (Benjamin) Haywood taught us about aquaculture and the overfishing that is threatening fish populations. I applied for this scholarship because I want to have a role in revitalizing our fish populations and oceans.”

Wood learned about the Hollings Scholarship from Casey Bradshaw-Wilson, Allegheny visiting assistant professor of environmental science. In summer 2016, Wood assisted Bradshaw-Wilson with research on the round goby, an invasive fish in French Creek. Wood also earned a place on a prestigious 2017 Fulbright Summer Institute in the United Kingdom, where she took a field biology course at the University of Sussex.

According to NOAA, the Hollings Scholarship program is designed to:

  • increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities;
  • increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy;
  • recruit and prepare students for public service careers with NOAA and other natural resource and science agencies at the federal, state and local levels of government; and
  • recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.

At the end of their summer internships, Hollings scholars present their results to scientists and peers during the annual Science & Education Symposium. Scholars also can apply for funding to present their research at up to two scientific conferences.

Pictured above, from left: Allyson Wood and Megan Hazlett

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Kleinschmidt Talks Vitamin C, Cancer Cells at Slippery Rock

Ann Kleinschmidt, professor of biology, biochemistry and neuroscience, gave an invited talk at Slippery Rock University on October 20 titled “Vitamin C Pushes Cancer Cells Over the Edge.” The presentation was based upon the senior project of Emily Horosko ’17. Ann was able to reconnect with two former Allegheny College students, Miranda Sarrachine Falso ’04 and Paul Falso ’05, who are both on the faculty in the Biology Department at SRU.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Venesky, Gaston Publish Research

Along with collaborators from Bucknell University, Assistant Professor of Biology Matthew Venesky and Allegheny co-author Jordan Gaston (’16) published a research article titled “Seasonal and diel signature of Eastern Hellbender environmental DNA” in the peer Journal of Wildlife Management and Wildlife Monographs.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Biology Professor to Speak at Symposium Connecting Girls With Female Scientists

Quick, what do you see in your mind’s eye when you hear the word “scientist?”

For many kids, research shows, the image is of a white male in a lab coat.

It can take exposure to someone of a different color or gender to change the perception of who can be a scientist and what he — or she — can do, said Lisa Whitenack, an associate professor of biology at Allegheny College who studies sharks.

“When you turn on ‘Shark Week,’ it’s almost all male. When you look on TV and in magazines, it’s predominately men,” Whitenack said. “If you’re not seeing yourself, that can be discouraging.”

Whitenack is one of 10 female shark scientists participating in “Shark Tales: Women Making Waves,” a symposium for high school and college-age women organized by the Gills Club. An education initiative of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, the Gills Club is “dedicated to connecting girls with female scientists from around the world” and promoting women in science.

Whitenack is the only scientist representing a liberal arts college at the symposium, which runs Tuesday through Wednesday at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

“It’s a huge honor, especially being at a liberal arts college,” she said. “I’m in amazing company with other women I admire and some wonderful up-and-coming shark scientists as well. It also speaks to (what) we do at Allegheny. We’re not small science. We do real science. Some people might think you have to be at big school or a big lab to do science that gets out there and makes a difference and contributes to the field. The fact that (the Gills Club) asked me to do this reflects well on Allegheny, too.”

Whitenack will participate in an “Ask Me Anything” question-and-answer session, dissect sharks with Boston-area students, and give a short talk about weird Paleozoic sharks.

Throughout the symposium, students will get a chance to learn about shark biology, shark brains, conservation efforts and more, Whitenack said. But the biggest message is one personified by the 10 women scientists and keynote speakers, she said.

“Women are here and we’re doing this and you can too.”

The symposium will be live-streamed on the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Facebook page. Follow #SharkTales on Twitter to participate in “Ask Me Anything” sessions and to follow symposium events.

For more information about the Gills Club and “Shark Tales: Women Making Waves,” visit www.gillsclub.org.

Photo: Allegheny College Associate Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack touches a Tyrannosaurus Rex jaw.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Dr. Lauren French and students featured on the Molecular Devices website

Customer Story – Allegheny College

Dr. Lauren French is working with undergraduate students at Allegheny College to find out how the amyloid beta peptide implicated in Alzheimer’s disease pathology inhibits a calcium-activated potassium channels. This channels interaction was reported by Yamamoto et al. (2011), and the students in her lab are investigating it using the Xenopus oocyte expression system.

She has a number of projects in her lab involving the exogenous expression system for studying ion channels, and her lab routinely uses the Axoclamp™ 900A Amplifier and Digidata® 1440A systems to teach undergraduates patch-clamp techniques and to get them started on independent research projects. Students inject cRNA encoding ion channels into oocytes and then use the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique and pCLAMP™ Software
to confirm expression and test for differences after application or injection of different compounds.

Three of Dr. French’s students, Lilly Appiah-Agyeman, Natalia Han, and Megan McGrath, have been helping her with the amyloid beta project as well as others in the lab. Dr. French says, “Inspiring the next generation of scientists is my passion, and I am always impressed at what students can do with this sophisticated and cutting-edge equipment”.

https://www.moleculardevices.com/customer-story-allegheny-college