Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences Seminars

April 4 at 4:00 in MLT 208 Dr. Fred Smith of ISU – the keynote speaker for the Phi Sigma Symposium

FredSmithnewphotoforwelcomeSomething Old, Something New: Neandertals Revisited

Since the mid-1980s the majority interpretation has been that both morphology and genetics demonstrated Neandertals to be a separate species from us with no direct role to play in the emergence of modern people.  The two Neandertal genomes sequence in Germany reveal a different story, but one I argue was always evident in Neandertal anatomy.  We will discuss this story in the context of the Assimilation Model of modern human origins.

The Rilett Seminar – March 20 at 7:00 pm in the Prairie Room of the Bone Center – Dr. Jan Marino Ramirez of Univ. WA

Children's Hospital - Research - Nino RamirezFrom Neurobiology to the bedside: How basic sciences influences our understanding of human diseases





Full School of Biological Sciences Seminar Schedule (pdf)

Seminars Archive

Integrative Biology Seminar Series

April 15 at noon in 121 SLB – Kristin Duffield

Integrative Biology Seminar Logo very smallTesting the terminal investment hypothesis in male and female decorate crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus).

Full Schedule of the Integrative Biology Seminar Schedule (pdf)

Integrative Biology Seminar Archive

Molecular and Cellular Biology Seminar Series

April 16 at noon in 121 SLB – Samantha Atkinson

MCBlogo2sm-cropGenetic analysis of Ton2 dependent processes in microtubule organization in Arabidopsis

April 9 at noon in 121 SLB – Hazel Ozuna-Vazquez

MCBlogo2sm-cropThe immune response of B1 cells and the effect of aging in B2 cell function

Full Molecular and Cellular Seminar Schedule (pdf)

Molecular and Cellular Seminar Archive

Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences

Craig Gatto, School Director

Whether you are interested in plants, animals, or microbes, our interdisciplinary and collaborative research groups in the School of Biological Sciences have something for you! From investigations involving interactions at subcellular molecular levels, to function and communication within/between organ systems and organisms, to evolutionary and ecological dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems, see how ISU can set you on the right career path!

Biology News

Phi Sigma Research Symposium on April 4th

Phi-Sigma-Picture1The Phi Sigma Research Symposium will held in the Science Lab Building Atrium on April 4th, 2014.  Come attend the poster and oral presentations.  Click here for April 4th, 2014 Schedule

Dr. Fred Smith, Chair of Sociology and Anthropology is the keynote speaker for the Phi Sigma Symposium.  Dr. Smith’s seminar will be at 4pm in Moulton Hall 208.

Edwards Lab develops new method for gene tagging

The Edwards lab has developed a new method for tagging and analyzing genes. Using a transposon that can insert into random sites in the genome, they showed that genes can be activated and their protein products tagged with a fluorescent marker, two types of analysis that had not previously been combined. The first set of tagged Drosophila genes, published in the journal Genetics, includes loci that control body patterning, neural development, and cancer-related signaling.

12 eyes from Genetics paper


Vogel receives the 2013-2014 Illinois State University Outstanding Researcher Award

lavogelLaura Vogel studies immunology, particularly how immune responses are regulated through interactions between white blood cells known as B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. For her long-standing and productive research program, Laura has been granted this prestigious award.

Ozuna-Vazquez receives John H. Wallace Diversity Award

Congratulations to Hazel Ozuna-Vazquez who received the John H. Wallace Diversity Award, which allowed her to attend the Autumn Immunology Conference in November 2013, where she presented a poster and workshop of her thesis research.


Biology from CASNews

Senior’s Next Stop is Medical School
Illinois State University senior Jacob Birlingmair and his faculty mentor R. K. Jayaswal.

Illinois State University senior Jacob Birlingmair and his faculty mentor R. K. Jayaswal.

Jacob Birlingmair, senior biology major, began applying to medical schools last summer with the help of his faculty mentor R. K. Jayaswal, who advised him through the process. Overall, Birlingmair was asked to be interviewed at 13 of the 17 programs that he applied to. One of the three schools that have already accepted him has offered to pay half his tuition.

Birlingmair assesses that it was his time spent with Jayaswal that really helped him move forward in becoming a doctor. He has worked within Jayaswal’s research lab for about two years.

To read more of this story, visit




Williams Wins Mercier Service Award
Ronald Williams

Ronald Williams

College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Dr. Ronald Williams was presented with the E. Burton Mercier Alumni Service Award for 2014 during the annual Founders Day convocation on February 20. Williams graduated with a degree in biology and went on to receive a medical degree from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Williams is a staff pediatrician at MultiCare in Olympia, Washington. A biology graduate, Williams earned a medical degree at the University of Illinois. He also completed a master’s in public health at Johns Hopkins University; a year at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania; a Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Disease; and a residency in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He is American Board Certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine.

As the commanding officer of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, he studied the defense of infectious disease of biological weapons. He was also commanding officer of the General Leonard Wood Army Hospital and deputy director and chief of medicine at the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science, Bangkok, Thailand.

Past director of health programs research for the Department of Defense, he was a member of the U.S delegation to the Third Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva, Switzerland, during the Gulf War.

He and his wife offered medical aid in Sri Lanka following the tsunami. He has also overseen the medical needs of incarcerated youth and cared for Native Americans. Now retired from the military, he remains a practicing pediatrician.