News

TWU's Kohan to address green chemistry community

Texas Woman's University associate professor Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan, PhD, will be one of the speakers for the Nov. 16 edition of Green Chemistry Connections.

Chemistry earns Dreyfus Lectureship award

The Texas Woman's University's chemistry and biochemistry division has been awarded the Jean Dreyfus Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions program for 2022.

TWU inaugurates Jeff Robb Outdoor Classroom

Texas Woman's University celebrated one of the people most responsible for TWU's butterfly garden when it held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the Jeff Robb Outdoor Classroom. The outdoor classroom is named in honor of Jeff Robb, TWU legal studies professor, lifetime lepidopterist and initiator of the butterfly garden. Robb passed away in 2017.

The vast and the curious

There is a dimension unknown to all but an uncommon few. It is vast, yet fits within the nucleus of a single cell and challenges the human mind's concept of the finite. It is found in every living creature on Earth and within its matrix is the blueprint of each organism, but until very recently it existed beyond human comprehension. It is the world of the infinitesimal.

It is also the classroom of Texas Woman's University biology professor Catalina Pislariu, PhD.

TWU chemistry professors honored for advancing civically engaged STEM

Texas Woman’s University chemistry professors Nasrin Kohan, PhD, and Richard D. Sheardy, PhD, have been named ambassadors for SENCER, the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities.

Celebration of Science returns to TWU Oct. 20-21

After being suspended since 2019 due to the pandemic, the Celebration of Science returns to Texas Woman’s University Oct. 20-21. The main event is on Friday, Oct. 21, in the Ann Stuart Science Complex and includes presentations by six speakers, headlined by Sherine O. Obare, PhD. Friday’s event is free and open to the public.

TWU's Cantu earns NIH grant

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a grant to Daisy Cantu, a graduate student in the Texas Woman's University biology division.

The grant of $34,635 is for Cantu's project, "Sex Differences in Stress-Exacerbated Orofacial Pain in a Rat Model of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder."

Roller derby queen

TWU's Shawnda Smith, PhD and assistant professor of mathematics, found her people and her place going round 'n' round in roller derby.

TWU joins AWS Academy to supplement computer science program

Texas Woman's University has joined AWS Academy, Amazon Web Service's online training and certification courses in a variety of computing skills.

TWU holds robotics camp for girls

Texas Woman's University's Computer Science, Future Classroom Lab and Education of the Deaf programs joined forces to hold Camp CoDE for Girls this summer.

Four deaf students – one from Denton and three from Dallas – and their teachers participated in the inaugural Camp CoDE (Computing in Deaf Education), which was held in June at the Future Classroom lab on the TWU Denton campus. The students built and coded their own robots.

A medical detective story

TWU biology doctoral student Erica Garcia is investigating the strange relationship between breast cancer and human cytomegalovirus, attempting to solve a mystery that could lead to better treatment of breast cancer and better outcomes for patients.

"The thought that I could improve lives is a big motivation," Garcia said.

TWU receives grant for STEM

Texas Woman's University is one of 17 recipients of grants distributed through the Governor's Summer Merit Program to Texas universities and community colleges for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) summer youth camps.

TWU biochemistry student lands internship

Texas Woman's University biochemistry student Derek Aguilar has secured a summer internship with Oakwood Chemical.

Aguilar is expected to complete his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from TWU this December, and then pursue his master's of science in chemistry at TWU.

Dr. Robby Petros joins International Network for Outcome-Based Education advisory board

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Robby A. Petros was recently selected for the International Network for Outcome-Based Education (IN4OBE) advisory board. According to the IN4OBE website, "his effort focused on methods for collecting data that could drive rational decision-making toward improving learning outcomes and student success in his sophomore-level course in Organic Chemistry... He is collaborating with other investigators at TWU to transform teaching in all undergraduate science courses, which has already garnered more than $3.5 M in support from the National Science Foundation."

IN4OBE exists to elevate and transform the paradigm of time-honored, conventional thinking and practice in the world’s education systems – from national policies to classroom interactions, and from the earliest years of life to mature adulthood.

Couple creates scholarship to honor legacy of longtime chemistry professor

Jay-lin Jane-Topel, MS ’78, and her husband, David Topel, have established a new endowed scholarship to honor the life of a beloved Texas Woman's chemistry professor.

The Dr. James Johnson Scholarship Endowment in Chemistry has been created to honor the memory of the longtime educator. Johnson attended the University of Minnesota for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry and received his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Missouri. He taught for more than 40 years in higher education, retiring as professor of organic chemistry at Texas Woman's in May 2019. He passed away July 5, 2019.

Mathematics alumna Tav Tepfer featured in Medium's 'Women of the C-Suite'

TWU team investigates patented drug as breast cancer treatment

10/29/21

Last year, Dr. Michael Bergel was issued a patent for novel compounds designed to prevent cell division. This year, one of those drugs, JJMB9, is showing promise in pre-clinical studies. With funding from the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, Dr. Bergel and his team have developed a new model system for investigating the metastatic spread of breast cancer. The study is ongoing, but preliminary data suggests that JJMB9 is effective at reducing the size of metastases. 

“In addition to learning new laboratory techniques, the all-female student research team developed impressive communications and collaboration skills” stated Dr. Juliet Spencer, co-Principal Investigator of the study with Dr. Bergel. “This project is extremely complex with many moving parts, and the students really rose to the occasion. They worked together as a team, developing real-world critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in the process.” 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. More than 280,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year. Further research is needed, particularly through projects like these, which aim to develop new therapeutics in order to prevent deaths from breast cancer.

Congratulations to our TWU PRIME scholarship awardees of 2021-2022

Eight undergraduate students received a TWU PRIME scholarship over the academic year of 2021-2022. TWU and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offer other scholarship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students.

NSF awards $1.5 million to TWU team to boost STEM activities

This summer, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $1.5 million grant to a team of Texas Woman's faculty members to fund a project aimed at boosting enrollment in graduate biotechnology programs and promoting career success in the biotechnology sector. The team, made up of Drs. Juliet Spencer, Diana Elrod, Stephanie Pierce and Jessica Gullion, is launching TWU-SCALE, or Scholarships and Co-curricular Activities Leading to Excellence in the Biotechnology workforce. 

Biochemistry major Laura Ruemmele to participate in Nation Institute of Health summer program

Laura Ruemmele, an upcoming junior biochemistry major, has been admitted to the National Institute of Health summer research program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Laura started her research in May of 2021 in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Fozo, Department of Microbiology.

Daisy Cantu receives NIH Pain Consortium award for research excellence

TWU biology PhD candidate Daisy Cantu received the 2021 Mitchell Max Award for Research Excellence at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health's (NIH) 16th Annual Pain Consortium Symposium in May. Cantu's research focuses on the effect of hormones and stress on neural processes when women experience inflammatory pain. 

TWU environmental chemistry student to organize IKE2 Alliance panel/workshop

In January, the National Science Foundation awarded a $99,786 planning grant to a team of TWU researchers to develop strategies to recruit and retain more Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The project's second gathering, IKE2, will take place June 28 and will be hosted by Humboldt State University and the University of Utah. TWU environmental chemistry student and IKE2 Alliance student representative Raven Gallenstein has been asked by the project's leadership to organize the IKE2 Alliance student core workshop/panel at 1:45 PM (PST).

Mark Hamner receives national mathematics honor society service award

TWU Vice Provost for Institutional Research & Improvement Mark Hamner, PhD, was selected as the 2021 recipient of the Kappa Mu Epsilon (KME) George Mach Distinguished Service Award.

Biology students and alumni accepted to medical, PA, and veterinary schools in 2021

The pre-health advising team at TWU would like to extend our congratulations to our students and alumni who were accepted to professional schools in Entry Year 2021.  You should be very proud of your accomplishments! We are delighted to see you take this next step on your professional journey, and we look forward to celebrating your further successes in the coming years.

29 biology students present in 2021 Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium, 8 named Chancellor’s Student Research Scholars

The Biology Department is proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our student researchers who presented in the 2021 Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium on April 13-14, 2021. A special congratulations to our 2021 Chancellor’s Student Research Scholars!

Undergraduate Students

Michael Paul Hunter (laboratory of Dr. Dayna Averitt)
Tahree Ladell (laboratory of Dr. Michael Bergel)
Anusha Mithani (laboratory of Dr. Elisa Na)

Post-Bac Students

Angela Lopez-Ramirez (laboratory of Dr. Dayna Averitt)

Master’s Students

Priscila Frayre (laboratory of Dr. Elisa Na)

PhD Students

Akshaya Arva (laboratory of Dr. Christopher Brower)
Anne Davenport (laboratory of Dr. DiAnna Hynds)
Mohammad Farhan Lakdawala (laboratory of Dr. Tina Gumienny)

National Endowment for the Humanities awards grant to TWU faculty

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that it awarded a Humanities Connections Grant of $99,426 to Texas Woman’s University. The grant will support the very first interdisciplinary and experiential learning initiative to integrate the history of Quakertown into courses at TWU. It will also enable the future development of a digital humanities archive of Quakertown-related research and reflection, which the project co-directors aim to connect to a public platform that will promote community engagement with Quakertown’s history for decades to come.

TWU to celebrate new Scientific Research Commons April 13-14

Join TWU Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Nutrition & Food Science for a two-day event celebrating the NEW Scientific Research Commons (SRC) on TWU's Denton campus. SRC is located on the southeast corner of campus at Texas St. and N Bell Ave. Events to include:

Tuesday, April 13: 12:30-1:30 p.m. poster session; 2 p.m. dedication ceremony for the new installation, "Infinite"; and  4-5 p.m. poster session.
Wednesday, April 14: 1-2 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. poster sessions

Out of concern for your safety, this event is open to the TWU community only.

TWU biology instructor explains complex concepts through fun videos

Maryví González Solá found new and innovative ways to help her biology students understand the complexities of the human anatomy — producing short, fun lecture videos and study tips designed to help the students succeed.

“I always enjoy teaching anatomy, but sometimes my students wouldn’t understand immediately the concepts,” said González, an adjunct professor in the TWU Department of Biology. “So, I decided to start preparing the videos. My goal is to capture my students’ attention and generate retention of the material.”

Dr. Ann Davis wins national teaching award

The Society for College Science Teachers (SCST) has selected Dr. Ann Davis as the 2021 Winner of the Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teaching Award. Dr. Davis teaches Principles of Biology, Scientific Communication, and Immunology. She was recognized for her innovative teaching and use of active learning exercises, including clickers and team-based learning, as well as her work advising students as Chair of the Pre-health Committee at TWU. Dr. Davis will receive a plaque and an award of $1500, and she will deliver the Marjorie Garner Lecture at the next annual SCST meeting.

NASA remembers TWU alumna Millie Hughes-Ford

NASA is remembering Millie Hughes-Fulford, the first woman to fly as a NASA payload specialist, who died Thursday. Hughes-Fulford was selected as a payload specialist in January 1983 and flew in June 1991 aboard the space shuttle Columbia on the STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS 1) mission, the first mission dedicated to biomedical studies.

In 1968, she began graduate work studying plasma chemistry at TWU as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, continued as an American Association of University Women fellow, and completed her doctorate at TWU in 1972.

Grant aims to increase STEM engagement in Indigenous communities

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $99,786 planning grant that will allow a TWU research team to develop strategies to recruit and retain more Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Computer science professor Jian Zhang named to advisory board for U.S./Iraq higher education project

TWU Professor of Computer Science Jian Zhang, PhD, is on the advisory board of a project organized by The Texas International Education Consortium to partner with American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, which aims to build capacity for gender inclusive and streamlined degree programs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of States Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and it contributes to a wider effort by the U.S. Government to support American-style higher education in Iraq as part of its long-term stabilization strategy.

Page last updated 8:30 AM, November 15, 2022