Department of Biological Sciences

Photo of Cynthia BarnettThe fourth annual Water and Land Symposium at Kent State University will be held Oct. 5-6 at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Kent, Ohio. This year, the symposium is co-sponsored by Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Cleveland Water Alliance.

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, two Kent State University professors are researching climate change in Alaska. Elizabeth Herndon, Ph.D., and Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Ph.D., assistant professors from Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences, spent a week in Fairbanks, Alaska, in June studying how climate change affects the availability of plant nutrients in arctic and sub-arctic ecosystems.

The grant teams up two of Kent State’s newest researchers.

For decades, biologists researching a cure for Alzheimer’s disease have remained in the dark almost as much as the ailment’s victims.

A Kent State University professor, however, is looking to stop the disease before it starts.

Gemma Casadesus-Smith, Ph.D., an associate biology professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, studies Alzheimer’s through the lens of the aging process.

“In my lab, we’re trying to understand how age-related events can cause Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. “My work is not in treating existing illness but in preventing it.”

Photo of Richard AlleyThe third annual Water Research Symposium at Kent State University will be held Oct. 14-15 at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Kent, Ohio. This year, the symposium is co-sponsored by the National Academy of Science with additional support from the Cleveland Water Alliance. The event is free and open to the public.

Rendering 1 of Integrated Sciences Building - South ViewThe groundbreaking for Kent State University’s new Integrated Sciences Building will be Oct. 2 from 2-5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The groundbreaking for Kent State University’s new Integrated Sciences Building was held Oct. 2 from 2-5 p.m. The event was free and open to the public. Following the groundbreaking, Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences hosted a showcase of science and technology demonstrations, along with refreshments, music and fun, on the Student Green. Kent State President Beverly Warren and James Blank, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State, spoke at the event.

Photo of Min-Ho KimThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Kent State University’s Min-Ho Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, a $1,842,350 five-year grant. The grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Nursing Research is to develop “nanobombs,” a nanotechnology-based therapeutic platform that can treat biofilm infection in chronic wounds. 

Photo of Gemma Casadesus Smith (center) with graduate students in her labGemma Casadesus Smith describes herself as a scientist who likes to investigate ideas that run counter to prevailing thought.

Kent State University chemistry senior Caitlin Crosier combined creativity and science for her yearlong project on circadian rhythms and will present those findings at the university’s Undergraduate Research Symposium on March 11.

“The main goal of my research is to validate this method as a way to look at the circadian rhythm structure of an entire population because most current human circadian research is conducted on very small populations and controlled environments,” Crosier said.

Kent State University researchers will launch three new studies of harmful algal blooms (HAB) in Lake Erie this spring as part of an overall $2 million water quality initiative by the Ohio Board of Regents. 

Harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie can produce toxins that make water hazardous to drink and force cities to use additional treatment steps to remove the toxins. In August, nearly 500,000 of the city of Toledo’s customers were without safe tap water over a weekend due to the HAB in Lake Erie. 

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