Past News & Events

August 2012 – We welcome Dr. Aimee Eggler to Villanova as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry, teaching in the Biochemistry Program. Dr. Eggler received her BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Eggler’s research involves the molecular mechanism of regulation of transcription factors. We welcome Dr. Eggler to Villanova!

June 2012 – Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Palenchar and Dr. Dennis Wykoff, who were both granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor effective in August 2012.

May 20, 2012 – At graduation ceremonies, the second class of four year biochemistry majors were awarded their BS degrees. Congratulations to Jillian Kazley (who finished in December 2011), Taseer Bhatti, Jazzmin Boyd, Sage DeRosa, Andrew Feiter, Brooks Hopkins, Daniel Mason, Irene Michailides, Jennifer Mottern, Sayani Patra, Elizabeth Tang, and Jephne Wang. Thanks for making the last four years special for us all!

May 2012 – Biochemistry faculty members Dr. Peter Palenchar and Dr. Jennifer Palenchar published an article in Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology entitled “The  Evolution  of  Metabolic  Enzymes  in  Plasmodium  and  Trypanosomatids  As  Compared  to Saccharomyces and Schizosaccharomyces”.   (Volume 184, pp. 13-19, 2012)

April 22, 2012Dr. Dennis Wykoff presented an invited talk at the National Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in San Diego, CA. Dr. Wykoff’s talk was, “Effective teaching and mentoring while publishing and (hopefully) having a life”.

April 2, 2012 – Biochemistry undergraduate student Jephne Wang, along with Biology graduate students Eric Shrestha and Justin Saunders and Biochemistry faculty member Dr. Janice Knepper, presented a poster at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. The title of their poster was “Fliz-1 regulation of GATA-3 expression in mammary tumor cells”.

March 2012 – Dr. Anil Bamezai, along with Biology student Joseph Comber, published an article in the journal Vaccine (30, 2140-2145) titled, “In vitro derivation of interferon-γ producing, IL-4 and IL-7 responsive memory-like CD4+ T cells”.

January 2012 – Congratulations to Tina Shah, who was given a Best Poster award at the American Chemical Society (Philadelphia section) Undergraduate and Graduate Poster Session at Temple University. Biochemistry undergraduate student Russell Miller and faculty member Dr. Jennifer Palenchar also attended the poster session.

January 2012 – Welcome to Dr. Daniel Kraut, a new Assistant Professor of Chemistry who will be teaching in the Biochemistry Program. Dr. Kraut received his BS from Swarthmore College, his PhD from Stanford University and has just completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry at Northwestern University. Dr. Kraut’s research examines the proteosome, a cellular complex involved in protein breakdown and recycling.

December 2011 – Colleen Kennedy, Matthew D. Nelson and Anil K. Bamezai. 2011. Analysis of Detergent-free Lipid Rafts isolated from CD4+ T cell line: Interaction with antigen presenting cells promotes coalescing of lipid rafts. BioMed Central - Cell Communication and Signaling, 9:31

May 15, 2011 – At today’s graduation ceremonies, the first class of four year biochemistry majors received their BS degrees. Congratulations to Kevin Backus, Vincent Capparelli, Alyssa Dragone, Tala El-Yousef, John Hull, Brittany Internoscia, Kasey Johnson, Elise Mangione, Shawn Morris, Paulina Ogorzalek, Ian Piro, Victoria Pisciella, Juliette Power, Stephanie Reinhold, Thomas Ruffino, Huasong Tang, Chong Wai Tio, Jenna Weinstein, and Hye Jin Yoo. We know that you will leave your impression on the world.

April 2011 - Undergraduate biochemistry students Paulina Ogorzalek (Biochemistry ‘11) and Russell Miller (Biochemistry ‘13), along with faculty member Jennifer Palenchar, presented a poster entitled “Characterization of a putative Trypanosoma brucei transcription factor” at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Washington, DC, in April 2011. Paulina has entered the Masters program in Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

April 2011 - Undergraduate biochemistry students Kasey Johnson (Biochemistry ‘11) and Victoria Pisciella (Biochemistry ‘11), along with faculty member Barry Selinsky, presented a poster entitled “Expression, Purification, and Characterization of a Putative Acetylcholine Binding Protein from Nostoc punctiforme” at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Washington, DC, in April 2011. Kasey has entered the PhD program in neurobiology at the University of Connecticut Medical School, while Victoria is employed at PPD, Inc., as a project assistant in biostatistics.

April 2011 - Undergraduate biochemistry students Huasong Tang (Biochemistry ’11) and Kevin Backus (Biochemistry ’11), along with faculty member Barry Selinsky, presented a poster entitled “Expression, Purification, and Characterization of a Putative Cyclooxygenase from Nostoc punctiforme” at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Washington, DC, in April 2011. Huasong has been accepted into the Commonwealth Medical School in Scranton, PA,  and Kevin is.

February 2011 – Dr. Dennis Wykoff published a journal article in the February issue of Eukaryotic Cell entitled “Systematic screen of Schizosaccharomyces pombe deletion collection uncovers parallel evolution of the phosphate signal transduction pathway in yeasts.”  Theresa Henry (Biology ’10) is the first author along with two other undergraduate authors - Juliette Power (Biochemistry ’10) and Aishat Mohammed (Biology ’08).  All three students performed a senior thesis and were supported during a summer by the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships.  This work identified a new signal transduction pathway in fission yeast and suggests that certain parts of the phosphate signal transduction pathway are highly conserved in eukaryotes.

November 2010 – Dr. Dennis Wykoff published an article with B.S./M.S. student Brianne Orkwis and B.S. student Danielle Davies in the journal Genetics in November of 2010.  The article entitled “Novel Acid Phosphatase in Candida glabrata Suggests Selective Pressure and Niche Specialization in the Phosphate Signal Transduction Pathway,” describes a novel gene in a human commensal yeast species that causes genetic isolation from the related brewer’s yeast.  Ms. Orkwis is teaching classes in biology at the Philadelphia Institute of Technology and Ms. Davies is attending medical school at UMDNJ.  This work is beginning to define the genes required for speciation.

May 16, 2010 – Congratulations to Kathryn Capasso, Melinda Darnell, Stephanie Komura, Bryan McCusty, Lauren Pedicini, Adam Terreri, Paul Weibel, and Alessa Wood, who graduated with Biochemistry degrees at Villanova’s commencement ceremonies this morning. We will miss you!

May 17, 2009 – Congratulations to Natalie Barrera, Michael Barresi, Kyle Doolan, Kristen Koller, Greg Papachristos, and Ryan Spears, who graduated with Biochemistry degrees at Villanova’s commencement ceremonies this morning.

October 2009 Dr. James Wilson, with Arizona State University co-authors published a paper entitled “A man-made ATP-binding protein evolved independently of nature causes abnormal growth in bacterial cells” in the journal PLos ONE (4(10): 7385).

Summer 2009Juliette Power, a Junior BS/MD student in Biochemistry, was awarded a Villanova Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to study phosphate utilization in yeast. She will be working with Dr. Dennis Wykoff in the Biology Department. Congrats!

June 2009 Dr. Dennis Wykoff, with Graduate student C. Kerwin, published a paper entitled “Candida glabrata PHO4 is Necessary and Sufficient for Pho2-independent Transcription of Phosphate Starvation Genes” in the journal Genetics (182: 471-479).

February 4 2009 — Dr. Jennifer Palenchar has been awarded a three year AREA/R15 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study "Trypanosome RNA Synthesis: Characterization of a Novel Transcription Factor as a Potential Drug Target". The amount of the award is $220,827. Congratulations!

February 4 2009 — Dr. Jennifer Palenchar has been awarded a three year AREA/R15 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study "Trypanosome RNA Synthesis: Characterization of a Novel Transcription Factor as a Potential Drug Target". The amount of the award is $220,827. Congratulations!

October 2008 — Dr. Anil Bamezai, with Biology graduate students J Reed and P Branigan, published a paper in the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research titled “Interferon-gamma enhances clonal expansion and survival of CD4+ T cells.” Well done!

August 25 2008 — Dr. James Wilson has been appointed Assistant Professor of Biology at Villanova. Dr. Wilson received his Bachelors degree from Bates College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Wilson is interested in varying genes and growth conditions that can be used to engineer bacteria. Welcome!

July 2008 — Dr. Anil Bamezai, with Biology graduate student C. Kennedy, published an article in the journal Methods in Molecular Biology titled “Cell-free antibody capture method for analysis of detergent-resistant membrane rafts.” Congratulations!

May 19 2008 — Congratulations to Lauren Delery, Neil Howard, Alex Knihnicky, Kim Lao, Allison Sing, Andrew Slye, and Alexis Torres, who graduated with Biochemistry degrees at Villanova’s commencement ceremonies this morning. All the best!

May 2008 – Congratulations to Dr. Dennis Wykoff, who was awarded a grant from the Research at Undergraduate Institutions program of the National Science Foundation to study the Evolution of Phosphate Starvation Response in Yeasts. The grant provides funding of $466,109 for three years beginning in August 2008.

May 2008 — Dr. Jennifer Palenchar, with collaborator V. Bellofatto, recently published an article titled “RNA interference as a genetic tool in trypanosomes” in the journal Methods in Molecular Biology. Congratulations!

April 10 2008 — Dr. Angela DiBenedetto, with Villanova Biology faculty member Todd Jackman and collaborators J.B. Guinto, T.D. Ebert, K.J. Bee, and M. Schmidt, published an articled titled “Zebrafish brd2a and brd2b are Zebrafish brd2a and brd2b are paralogous members of the bromodomain-ET (BET) family of transcriptional coregulators that show structural and expression divergence” in the journal BMC Developmental Biology. Congratulations!

March 2008 — Dr. Janice Knepper, with Villanova Biology graduate student M. Rao and collaborators Y. F. Tan, R. A. Timakhov, D. A. Altomare, J. Xu, Z. Liu, Q. Gao, S. Jhanwar, A DiCristofano, D. L. Wiest, and J. R. Testa, published a paper titled “A novel recurrent chromosomal inversion implicates the homeobox gene Dlx5 in T-cell lymphomas from Lck-Akt2 transgenic mice” in the journal Cancer Research. Congratulations!

July 11 2007 — Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, was awarded $14,784 for one year of research on the effect of cigarette smoke on nitric oxide synthase in normal human lung fibroblasts and the attenuation of cell transformation with the use of antineoplastic/anti-inflammatory compounds through the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. Congratulations!

May 20, 2007 — The first four Biochemistry majors have received their B.S. degrees from Villanova University. Congratuations to Mike Denny, Jamie Geraghty, Chris Pascual, and Jena Roath, our first graduating class of biochemists!