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Department of Biological Sciences

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    garner

Aging contributes to rapid rates of genomic change, signaling challenges for personalized medicine

Exploiting individual genomes for personalized medicine may be more complicated than medical scientists have suspected, as VBI researchers Skip Garner and Jasmin Bavarva have discovered.

In a paper published in June in the journal Aging, scientists from the institute's Medical Informatics and Systems Division found that spontaneous mutations occur in our bodies constantly, but the rate of change differed dramatically among various people.

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    kelly

Scientists seek to develop new imaging capabilities to view a human virus in action

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists Deborah Kelly and Sarah McDonald are ambitious and determined, and it’s paying off. 

The two assistant professors recently received a National Institutes of Health grant for their collaborative work developing new imaging technologies that will allow them to see live rotavirus activity.

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    valdez

Deeper than ancestry.com, 'EvoCor' identifies gene relationships

A frontier lies deep within our cells. Our bodies are as vast as oceans and space, composed of a dizzying number of different types of cells. Exploration reaches far, yet the genes that make each cell and tissue unique have remained largely obscure.

That’s changing with the help of a team led by Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

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    crosswalk

Caught in the crosswalk: Molecular traffic signals keep cells on the right track, researchers say

Assistant Professor Silke Hauf's lab has found that signaling during crucial parts of cell division is slower than expected to safely enable chromosomes to split and create genetically identical daughter cells.  The discovery featured in Current Biology sheds light on the intricacies of the cell cycle and how errors in this cycle can lead to cancer and other chromosomal defects.

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nimchuk

Gene removal could have implications beyond plant science

For thousands of years humans have been tinkering with plant genetics, even when they didn't realize that is what they were doing, in an effort to make stronger, healthier crops that endured climates better, and produced more.  Zachary Nimchuk, assistant professor of biological sciences and a member of the faculty of health sciences at Virginia Tech, is working with a technology that refines the process by honing in on individual genes within a plant's DNA.

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    principles

Biological Sciences takes active approach to class instruction

Walk into a freshman Principles of Biology class and you'll notice the students are all talking to each other, and the professor doesn't mind a bit because they're not being disruptive - they're learning.  It's an active classroom that made its biology debut at Virginia Tech in the fall 2013 semester and raises the bar as a way to make a big impact on a big class.

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Recent Honors and Awards

The Department of Biological Sciences is proud to announce recent awards presented to members of our department.  Congratulations to all of the award recipients!
 

   

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Biological Sciences (MC 0406)
Derring Hall Room 2125
1405 Perry Street
Mail Code 0406
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Undergraduate Office:
(540) 231-6407

Graduate Office:
(540) 231-8929

Main Fax Number:
(540) 231-9307

Department Head: 
Brenda Winkel

Asst. to Dept. Head:
Dreama Price
(540) 231-5712

General Inquiries:
(540) 231-8930


    giving

Upcoming Events


Thursday, September 18 2014: EEB Seminar by Allen Moore of the University of Georgia, entitled, "Genetics and Parenting," 3:30 p.m., 4069 Derring Hall

Thursday, September 25, 2014: EEB Seminar by Randy Bernot of Ball State University, entitled, "Parasites that modify ecosystem dynamics: complex interactions among worms, snails, and their contaminated water supply," 3:30 p.m., 4069 Derring Hall

Friday, September 26, 2014: VTCRI Frontiers in Biomedical Research Seminar by S. Murray Sherman of the University of Chicago, entitled, "A View of Cortex from the Thalamus," 11:00 a.m., Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Friday, September 26, 2014: VTLSS Seminar by Martin Roop of East Carolina State University, entitled, "Manganese transport and virulence in Brucella," 12:20 p.m., VBI Conference Center