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About the Department

The NSU Biology Department is one of the largest at Norfolk State, with nearly 300 majors and 20 faculty and staff.  Our dedicated Teacher/Scholars strive to develop each student’s ability to discover, evaluate and communicate knowledge, making informed ethical decisions while nurturing an understanding of interdependencies with the environment.

Through their research and outreach, biology faculty members work to advance knowledge and encourage creative activity that can lead to the discovery of new solutions to significant global and humanitarian problems. This discovery process is integrated into the educational experiences of our students through novel course-based research projects. The department is also dedicated to providing leadership and building partnerships resulting in public outreach and community development.

Jan 27, 2017: The Group for Microgravity and Environmental Biology (GMEB) and Strategies for Environmental Education Diversity Sustainability (SEEDS) Club hosted Faculty and researchers from the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Centers.  They presented information about their research, summer job opportunities working in local labs and graduate school programs.
Every other Monday 12-1: The NSU Biology Society meets in Rm 204 of Woods Science Bldg.  All are welcome to attend.  There is information about upcoming volunteer opportunities, environmental activism events, seminars, job opportunities, etc.  Get involved with your major!

NSU Biology News

In Memorium: The NSU Biology Department acknowledges the passing of our Bempongformer colleague, Dr. Maxwell A. Bempong on January 14, 2017.  Originally of Ghana, Dr. Bempong served NSU for 37 years in the Department of Biology and received the prestigious Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 1990, which is the state’s highest honor for faculty at public and private colleges and universities.  Over the course of his career, he published more than a hundred research articles in national and international journals and drew millions of dollars of research grants for various projects involving cancer research and environmental toxicology, which were his areas of focus.  In 2003, the Biology Department began a lecture series that bears his name and continues to bring outstanding speakers to NSU each year.  He will be missed and his dedication to our department will be long remembered for the impact that it had. 

Congratulations to Dr. Ganesan Kamatchi.  The NSF EAGER Grant on which he is serving as Co-PI has been Kamatchifunded.   PI: Dr. Mak Deo; Co-PIs: Drs. Albin, Sacharia and Kamatchi, Ganesan.  Title: A Novel Lab-on-Chip with Optical Micro-Stretch Assembly for Characterization of Stretch-Activated Cell Electrophysiology.  The goal of this project is to develop a novel optical non-contact technique for producing controlled stretch conditions in cardiac cells.  The micro-stretch assembly will be designed on a microfluidic platform to perform automated patch clamp recordings of the stretch activated channels. 

abrcms2016NSU Biology major Michaela Twitty, mentored by Biology faculty member Ms. Maureen Scott, presented her summer research entitled:  The Impact of Lead Water Pollution Toxicity on Aquatic Organisms at the 2016 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Tampa, FL.

Dr. Rajeev Chandra has been selected as a Faculty Senior Fellow of the NSU Honors College for a two year term by President Moore representing the College of Science, Engineering and Technology and the Biology Department.

NSU Biology Majors Lauren Karr and Zeke Wamble,  mentored by Biology faculty member Dr. Ashley Haines, presented their research entitled:  Differential Gene Expression in Streptococcus parauberis under Varying Environmental Conditions at the 2016 Virginia Branch meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Roanoke, VA. 

Recent Faculty Publications

Dr. Camellia Okpodu published a book chapter entitled Advancing Educational Outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, in the book Issues in Black Education published by UPA.

Dr. Ashley Haines published in the ASM journal Genome Announcements. The paper was co-authored by three NSU biology undergraduate researchers.  AN Haines, E Nebergall, E Besong, K Council, O Lambert, D Gauthier. (2016) Draft Genome Sequences for Seven Streptococcus parauberis Isolates from Wild Fish in the Chesapeake Bay. Genome Announcements. 4(4):e00741-16.

Dr. GT Ramesh published and article in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. Patil et al. (2015). Apigenin inhibits PMA-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and AP-1 factors in A549 cells; Mol Cell Biochem: 403(1-2): 95-106.

Rajeev Chandra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology published an article in Science and Technology Journal. Chandra, R. , 2015. Assisted reproductive technologies in controlling infertility: An overview. Science and Technology Journal, Vol 3(11):32-37


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