NSU Biology - where opportunity and preparation meet
The NSU Biology department strives 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.
Biology faculty work to advance knowledge and encourage creative activity that can lead to the discovery of new solutions to significant global and humanitarian problems. New knowledge through research can be integrated into the educational experiences of our students. The department also works to provide leadership and partnerships resulting in public outreach and community development.
NSU Biology News
October 20, 2015: The Group for Microgravity and Environmental Biology (GMEB) presents Dr. John Drake, University of Georgia Athens as The Maxwell A. Bempong Environmental Biology Lecturer. Dr. Drake will make two presentations: 11am to 12:15pm Lecture on Mathematics and Food Production (211 WSB) 2 to 3 pm Seminar on Mathematical Modeling and Epidemics (TBA)
Strategies for Ecology Education, Development and Sustainability (SEEDS) NSU Chapter wil hold its first meeting of the semester September 1 at 12:30 to 1:30pm in the Botany lab (room 202 WSB). SEEDS is part of the Group for Microgravity and Environmental Biology (GMEB). Please contact Dr. Camellia Moses Okpodu (SEEDS Advisor), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Bluford, Biology major at Norfolk State University, attended the inaugural Sierra Systems and SynbioSymposium (S4) in Reno, Nevada on August 30, 2015. He presented his summer research from the University of California, Berkeley entitled: Combinatorial reassembly of the E. coli methyl ketone pathway for improved production. Jordan is a senior in the DNIMAS program at NSU and an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Ashley Haines laboratory.
Biology majors won first and third place awards for their poster presentations at the 2015 WBHR-LSAMP Undergraduate Research Symposium held on July 16, 2015 at Norfolk State University. Dwight Bland and Damion Ricks (research mentor Ms. Maureen Scott) won first place and Elvira Besong, Kimaya Council and Onaysha Lambert (research mentor Dr. Ashley Haines) won third place.
Regina Oyesanya, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Biology at Norfolk State University, spoke at the Jones Institute at Eastern Virginia Medical School on May 21, 2015. The presentation was entitled “ MDA-9/Syntenin regulates differentiation and angiogenesis programs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma”.
Former biology student, Andrew Grand-Pierre was admitted to the M.S. in Biotechnology program at Georgetown University.
Camellia Okpodu, Ph.D, Professor of Biology and Director of the Group for Microgravity and Environmental Biology and Malikah Abdullah-Israel, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Department Chair at Norfolk State University, held the annual Norfolk State University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence Centers Summer Institute in Biotechnology and Bio-security. The institute hosted 12 high school students from the Hampton Roads area.
Dr. Ashley N. Haines, Associate Professor, has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of her research on microbial transcriptomics. She will support two undergraduate research students with this grant during the 2015-2016 school year.
Dr. Govindarajan Ramsh, Professor, has been awarded a NASA grant for his project entitled “Micro RNA expression profiles in Cultured Human Fibroblasts in Space”.
Arthur Bowman, Ph.D, Professor of Biology at Norfolk State University, was interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor regarding the likelihood of intelligent life existing somewhere else in the universe. The following is a link for the article: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0521/How-to-win-interstellar-friends-and-influence-aliens-with-One-Earth-Project
The 2015 Beta Kappa Chi/ National Institute of Science Annual Meeting was held in Jackson, MS on March 11-14, 2015. Six students attended the conference with Mrs. Maureen Scott, Advisor of the Norfolk State University Chapter. The Norfolk State University Chapter of BKX/NIS continues its superior record of excellence in research and scholarship.
BKX/ NIS Research Winners for Biology Poster Presentation:
1st Place Sacile Tanner
2nd Place Matthew Carey
3rd Place Torian Jones
In addition, Mrs. Maureen Scott was re-elected as BKX National Historian for 2015-16. Congratulations to all for a job well done!
NSU students and Advisor, Maureen Scott, assist at the BKX/NIS Social Responsibility Project.
Jordan Bluford, Biology major at Norfolk State University, won 1st place in the poster presentations at the Virginia State University Annual Undergraduate Research Conference on March 27, 2015. He presented his research entitled: Identification of Virulence Factors in Vibrio species from the 2009 Bermuda fish die-off. His research advisor is Dr. Ashley Haines and his collaborators are Dr. David Gauthier of Old Dominion University and Dr. Wolfgang Vogelbein of Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Herbert Smith, Biology major at Norfolk State University, presented at the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM. The conference was held February 19-21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The title of the presentation was “The Impact of Environmental Pollutants Perfluoroctane Sulfanate (PFOS) and Sodium Fluoride on Marine Organisms”. Herbert Smith is an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Ms. Maureen Scott.
Ashley Haines, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Biology with Norfolk State University, organized a session for the 2015 Eastern Fish Health Workshop focused on Comparative Genomics and Molecular Epidemiology. This meeting, which includes participants from the FDA, federal research laboratories, public aquaria and research universities, is one of the premier conferences in aquatic animal health in the U.S. Dr. Haines also presented her research entitled “Whole Genome Comparisons of Streptococcus parauberis from Fish and Cattle.”
Ian Copeland, December graduate from the Department of Biology at Norfolk State University, has been accepted to the PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics. Ian was an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Ashley Haines laboratory and a discus thrower for the NSU track team.
Jordan Bluford, Biology major at Norfolk State University, has been accepted to participate in the Synberc 2015 REU program at UC Berkeley. Synberc is a multi-university research center established in 2006 with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help lay the foundation for synthetic biology. Its faculty include some of synthetic biology's leading academic and industrial scientists and researchers, all focused on creating innovative solutions to some of the most challenging problems of our time – including health care, energy and the environment. Jordan is a junior in the DNIMAS program at NSU and a STARS undergraduate researcher in Dr. Ashley Haines laboratory.
Tylar Barnes and Dr. Camellia Okpodu received a Maize travel award to attend the 57th Annual Maize Genetics Conference (March 12 to 15, 2015) in Pheasant Run, St. Charles, Illinois. They presented a poster entitled, “Metabolomics and Climate Change- Antioxidant Enzyme Profile and GC/MS Analysis of Crop Metabolites.” As a result of this poster, Dr. Okpodu has established a new collaboration and has arranged an REU experience for Tylar Barnes to work in the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Hake of UC Berkeley on a genetic mutation project in crop plants. Tylar’s summer REU will be partially funded by Dr. Hake’s lab and the NSU IC-CAE program (a MAC-CAE member institution).