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Greetings!

This winter quarter had an auspicious beginning with considerable rains and flooding throughout Napa County. Though we’ve had some clear and sunny days, there has been consistent rain since early January. Based on the latest estimates, Angwin has received over 50 inches of rain as of mid-February! We are grateful for this rain which is soaking the ground and filling streams, lakes, and rivers throughout California.

In this newsletter, we share with you the showers of blessings our department has received. Our faculty is blessed with dedicated students, our students are blessed with experiences in and out of the classroom, our program is blessed to have a diverse and supportive alumni family, and our campus is blessed to have acre-upon-acre of wildlands.

We hope to see many of you at Homecoming Weekend, April 21-23. Biology faculty and students will attend the Sabbath (April 22) luncheon so we can meet you and tell you more about our department–we have more to share than what can fit in a newsletter. Later that afternoon, stop by the Hansen Museum and Clark Hall for a tour.

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you Gis peace. - Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)

Dr. Sherman Nagel

The Passing of an Icon

Many of you already know that Dr. Sherman Nagel passed away in summer 2016 at the age of 101 years. His passing marked the end of a very long and distinguished life spent as a devoted husband and father, physician, minister, and professor.

Born in China to missionary parents, Dr. Nagel went on to become an accomplished surgeon by way of PUC (’35) and the College of Medical Evangelists, today known as Loma Linda University School of Medicine (’40). He met his wife Edith when they worked together, he as a resident and she as a nurse, at the LA County Hospital. After he spent several years serving as a military doctor during World War II, Dr. and Mrs. Nagel went on to serve 23 years as missionaries in Nigeria and to raise four children (Lewis, Charles, Betty, and James). 

Another phase of Dr. Nagel’s life began when he “retired” and came to PUC where he spent nearly 30 years (1969-1996) as the anatomy and physiology professor in the department of biology. Of course, this is where he left his mark on generations of PUC students. Many reading this newsletter were trained by him and have many fond memories of time spent in his classes and/or spending time with him and Mrs. Nagel outside of lab or class. Although a faculty member, he devoted several months of each year to travel to various destinations–24 countries in total–to present on spiritual and physical health topics.  

Professor Emeritus Dr. Terry Trivett remembers “Sherman was probably about 80 at the time and was still teaching part-time for the department (anatomy, naturally), and he was returning to Clark Hall as I was leaving for class in Davidian. I met him charging up the steps, as he said–‘Well, Terry, I can still take the stairs two at a time’, and indeed he was, and with enthusiasm.”

Dr. Nagel officially retired at age 82 but he continued to serve and educate others throughout his life. Dr. and Mrs. Nagel were married nearly 70 years when she passed away in 2009. As both a PUC graduate and professor, Dr. Sherman Nagel has a very special place in our history.

Dr. Nagel wrote his life story but it is an incomplete manuscript. There is still much to be added especially about his time in Angwin.  If you would like to contribute to the manuscript’s completion, please contact us at biology@puc.edu or (707) 965-6636 and we will connect you with Dr. Nagel’s family.

2016 Graduates

Department Highlights

The class of 2016. Pictured from L to R: (back row) Parteek Sandhu, Cody Holthouse, Scott Herbert, John Duncan, Robin Vance, Bryan Ness, Demetrius Flood, Joseph Park, Chris Park, and Soungmin Cho; (front row) Brenden Sheridan, Aimee Wyrick, Backil Sung, Floyd Hayes, Isaac Lee, Rachel Gray, Ian Walters, and Lily Hufmann. Graduates not pictured: Da’Monique Davis, Duyen Doan, Grace Moon, Stephanie Jin, Lauren Opsahl, Sophia Kwon, Ella Melnik, Daniella Rodriguez, Daniel Newport, Manny Peralta, Joanne Kim, Lianne Pak, and Ravneet Sandhu.

The Class of 2016
We had 24 students (three environmental studies and 21 biology majors) graduate in 2016. We are also going to count one more student accepted to dental school before she could finish the last few credits of her degree. That makes 25!  

These graduates have continued on to great things—seven went medical school, three are off to dental school, three are in pharmacy school, and three chose graduate school. One graduate got a job at the University of California, San Francisco, in a lab devoted to cancer research, another is working as a medical scribe, and still another is pursuing environmental engineering. Other graduates are in the process of taking that next step and we know a bright future is ahead for each of these students.

Biology Lab Coordinator
Kevin Jahng graduated from PUC with a biology degree in winter 2016 and took over as the lab coordinator several months later in June. He has been hard at work since then.  

Although each lab coordinator is carefully trained, the first few weeks of the job are pretty wild as the “newbie” is plunged into a fast-paced summer schedule where they must organize, set-up, and manage labs that change daily! There are the first sessions of Biological Foundations and Human Anatomy for three weeks and then, after only a weekend, a second session of Biological Foundations begins as does Human Physiology. This goes on for nine weeks straight and yet Kevin managed these challenges with ease.  

He keeps our department running very well and improves our operation wherever he can. Kevin has concentrated on lab safety training of TAs and improved the process we follow to hire student workers. The small changes he has made here and there have made our facility that much nicer.  

Kevin has many interests and his hobbies include photography and rock climbing. After a full year with us, he will be off to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in fall 2017.  

Kevin Jahng

Kevin is an avid rock climber. Here he is climbing a boulder in Bishop, Calif.

Of course, we miss Amber Davidson who worked with us prior to Kevin’s arrival. Last June she moved back to her hometown and started work as a medical scribe at UC Davis! She will add this experience to her time with the department of biology and we expect she will soon be on to medical school.  

Here are a few quick updates about several of our previous lab coordinators: Stephanie Larson (2014-2015) is in her first year of medical school at LLU, Haruka Ito (2013-2014) completed her Master of Science degree from National College of Natural Medicine in September 2016, and Andrew Yoon (2011-2013) is in his first year of dental school at LLU.  

Biology Club
The Biology Club has been up to some exciting activities this year. This quarter the group went to the college’s Albion Retreat & Learning Center for a weekend. Although the forecast predicted rain through our visit, everyone managed to stay dry and warm. During the stay students got to canoe, hike, and tell stories around a campfire. The favorite activity was tidepooling at Mendocino Headlands (a 1.0 ft. tide). Students found bat stars, abalone, sea lemons, sea urchins, and club sponsor Aimee Wyrick even caught a small eel! “I loved to see and learn about the diverse life in the tide pools,” said Amanda Musvosvi, sophomore PUC student, “and I can’t wait to go on more trips with the Biology Club.” The club is planning several more outings and activities this year to get students excited about biology. The group looks forward to recruiting more students like Amanda who are passionate about science and learning.

Alma Musvosvi

Biology Club president Alma Musvosvi poses with a bat star she found while tidepooling during a recent trip the club took to Albion.

Clark Hall Updates
We know from experience it doesn’t take much to make students happy. To that end, we installed a Keurig machine in the department office in September and it has been a hit ever since. Students use it to make a variety of hot beverages for free, which has led to more than one student making an exaggerated claim such as “This saved my life!” We are excited students have one more way to make the department their home.  

Just two weeks before the end of fall quarter, the department of biology faculty and several of their spouses gathered with students to trim a Christmas tree in Clark Hall. We enjoyed Christmas music and had cookies and hot chocolate. The tree was decked with silver garlands and ornaments and a taxidermied (stuffed) sandpiper at the top! This may be the start of a new tradition.

Christmas Tree

The department of biology’s Christmas celebration.  

Summer 2017 Plans
The department of biology will offer a number of courses this summer (see table below). There are classes that meet on the PUC campus and other options as well. Medical Terminology is a completely online course students finish by the end of the summer session. Natural History of California is a hybrid class. Lecture instruction will be online and students will spend two weeks at Albion for lab experiences. Field Biology is planned for late summer with one week of instruction at PUC followed by a 10-day trip to Roatan, Honduras. The focus is tropical marine biology.  

Roatan Honduras

A trip to Roatan, Honduras, is planned for late August that will fulfill part of the requirements for Field Biology.

Field Biology

Students in Natural History of California will complete lab requirements at Albion in late August.

If you or someone you know would like to take a summer class, you can learn more at puc.edu/summerclasses or contact the department of biology at biology@puc.edu.

BIOL 101 Human Anotomy June 19-July 7 MTWThF 9am-12pm (lecture)
MTWTh 1-4 pm (lab)
BIOL 111 Biological Foundations I June 19-July 7 MTWThF 9am-12pm (lecture)
MTWTh 1-4 pm (lab)
BIOL 102 Human Physiology July 10-July 28 MTWThF 9am-12pm (lecture)
MTWTh 1-4 pm (lab)
BIOL 112 Biological Foundations II July 10-July 28 MTWThF 9am-12pm (lecture)
MTWTh 1-4 pm (lab)
MICR 134 General Microbiology July 31-Aug. 18 MTWThF 9am-12pm (lecture)
MTWTh 1-4 pm (lab)
BIOL 113 Biological Foundations III July 31-Aug. 18 MTWThF 9am-12pm (lecture)
MTWTh 1-4 pm (lab)
BIOL 223 Medical Terminology July 31-Aug. 18 Online
BIOL 227 Natural History of California June 19-Aug. 11
Aug. 21-31
Online (lecture)
MTWTh 12-4 pm (lab)
BIOL 338 Field Biology Aug. 21-25
Aug. 27-Sept. 5
MTWThF 9am-1pm (lecture)
Honduras (lab)

 

Two of our faculty will also teach PacificQuest (PQ) students about human anatomy and microbiology this coming summer. PQ is an exciting opportunity for gifted students who will complete grade 6, 7, or 8 by the start of the program (July 9-14, 2017). PQ is a one-week residential summer experience where motivated students will live on-campus, learn from current PUC professors, and spend time with fellow high-achieving junior high students! To learn more and to apply, visit puc.edu/pacificquest.

Pacific Union College Wildflowers
Manny Peralta, a 2016 environmental studies graduate, recently published a field guide to the wildflowers found in the PUC “Back 40.” Manny spent hours taking pictures of various flowering plants in spring 2016 and many more compiling these into a professional field guide. We are incredibly excited to have this fantastic resource. The book will be used by Biological Foundations III and Flowering Plants students for many years to come. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact us at biology@puc.edu.  

Wildflowers

Wildflowers of Pacific Union College is a field guide recently published by Manny Peralta,’16.  

Life is Beautiful
About a year ago, the department of biology teamed with the public relations office to design a departmental t-shirt. The faculty had ideas and the graphic art team made it a reality. These t-shirts were a gift from the faculty to the class of 2016 and future department graduates will receive one as well. If you would like to purchase one for yourself, please contact us at biology@puc.edu.  

Biology t-shirt

Department graduates receive a “Life is Beautiful” t-shirt as a gift from the faculty.

A Snapshot of Fall 2016 Biology Electives

Iris Lee

Histology (taught by Dr. Robin Vance) as experienced by Iris Lee, senior biology major.  

Iris Lee and classmates learn to identify cells and tissues during Histology lab.

I never imagined myself taking histology, which is the microscopic study of cells and tissues. Looking back after completing the course, I can definitely say I am glad I decided to take the class and have gained a better understanding of a subject in biology that is not visible to the naked eye.  

In the beginning of the quarter, we focused on the four basic tissue types: epithelial, nervous, connective, and muscle tissue. We then expanded to various body systems, such as the respiratory and the lymphatic systems, as well as pinpointing the specific cells which make them up. One of the most interesting parts of this class was studying the eye under the microscope and being able to differentiate the tissues of the eye, such as the retina from the choroid layer and the cornea from the sclera.  

A large portion of the class was spent in the laboratory, and we spent our time there twice a week. Lecture was spent mostly previewing the tissues we would look at during lab and learning a little bit of their physiological and clinical aspects. Much of what I enjoyed about histology was becoming more comfortable with light microscopes. Although there was not a lot to do in terms of preparing slides and staining, it was fascinating to take images from the textbook and see what they look like in real life. For example, we were able to see neurons with their axons and dendrites (as well as the myelin sheaths and individual nodes of Ranvier!) in various nervous tissues. One takeaway I got from working with microscopes is pictures in textbooks do not reflect reality, and it takes patience and specific attention to detail to identify the correct tissues and cells. Thankfully, under the guidance of Dr. Vance and his microscope camera, it was much easier to find the various tissues and cells.  

As a biology major, I found histology complements systems physiology, and it helps to take these two classes together. Furthermore, for pre-medicine or pre-dental students, these classes are on the list of recommended courses that will come in handy for professional school. Histology deepened my appreciation for the microscopic world, and it was fascinating to learn extensively about how these cells and tissues have specific functions that contribute to the functioning of a body as a whole. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in learning about the various tissues and cells vital to the human body and hope it is just as enjoyable to them as it was for me.

 

Charlene Wang

Biotechnology (taught by Drs. Bryan Ness and Backil Sung) as experienced by Charlene Wang, senior biology major.  

Biotechnology students (like Charlene’s classmates shown here) learn to use a variety of lab equipment.  

From obscure fields such as the science of pharming, to popular controversial topics such as GM foods, biotechnology covers a vast variety of subjects. Introduction to biotechnology illustrates and teaches the various procedures and techniques behind significant scientific findings, such as the creation of DNA sequencing and the development of vaccinations. Though biotechnology did open up many topics, my experiences both in the class and in the lab were aimed primarily towards the medical field due to my choice in research topics and my own personal interests.  This course deals with real life applications of biology and problem solving.  

One of the most important aspects of biotechnology is the way it is used to diagnose societal health issues, such as in the case of edible vaccines. Though vaccines are highly accessible in the U.S. and other western countries, this is not the case in impoverished third world countries. The lack of accessibility to protection for the impoverished led to the idea of edible vaccines through the injection of cloned genes into the chloroplasts of plants. This new technology aimed to produce crops that could orally administer vaccinations, allowing societies to cultivate and distribute their own vaccines in crops such as potatoes. Biotechnology seeks to provide solutions to societal and medical issues, constantly evolving to improve current human conditions. The course covered a wide variety of conflicts and solutions, including the development of genetically modified (GM) foods and creation of artificial proteins through pharming.  

Biotechnology is a quickly developing field of science, eliminating problems in areas such as medicine. Much of biotechnology focuses on identifying and solving problems, such as understanding why experiments fail and how they can be modified. During the lab, I was introduced to new equipment and techniques while actively participating in research. We sought to find a connection between overeating and the development of Alzheimer’s in humans through the use of C. elegans, a model organism that shares Alzheimer’s genes with humans. Throughout the lab I was able to experience firsthand the importance of purification methods and the process of improving lab procedures through trial and error. The lab taught us how to use machines such as the autoclave, spectrophotometer, and the centrifuge, enabling us to measure optical densities of E. coli and stressing the consequences of lab errors such as contamination. In order to improve our technique and experimental procedure, we were given the opportunity to look through research articles to review and analyze newer procedures being utilized in other laboratories. Much of the time spent within biotechnology lab was funneled towards error analysis and learning from previous mistakes, teaching us how scientific research relies on building off of the past work of not only ourselves, but others as well.  

Biotechnology was a unique course in the way it introduced new scientific discoveries and provided relatable real-life examples of how essential science is in our day-to-day lives. The laboratory allowed us to experience firsthand the obstacles and the successes that often come with research, as well as the importance of reevaluation. Overall, biotechnology was an enjoyable course I would recommend to anyone with an interest in seeing the practical applications of biological research.  

 

Marine Science

Marine Science (taught by Dr. Floyd Hayes) as experienced by Charidan Jackson, senior Biology major.  

The Marine Biology class following an excursion on San Francisco Bay.

Marine Science with Dr. Floyd Hayes was an amazing adventure. We were privileged to learn from someone who has had firsthand experience with many of the creatures we learned about. His stories of scuba diving and marine research made the material easier to learn.  

To engage us further with the material, Dr. Hayes took us on a variety of field trips. We rode on the research vessel, Robert G. Brownlee, in the San Francisco Bay to learn about four areas of oceanographic study. We broke up into groups and learned benthology, hydrology, planktology, and ichthyology. Each station was very hands on, requiring students to use the machinery marine researchers use on a daily basis. We used micronets, YSI machines, Van Dorn bottles, and the Peterson mud grab to collect data and specimen. I especially enjoyed using the dichotomous key to identify the fish we caught. The whole experience broadened my understanding of marine life and the work marine scientists do.  

The trip to Bodega Bay Research Facility was also eye-opening. There we learned about the research graduate students and marine scientists are currently conducting on animals such as the endangered white abalone. We talked extensively with the scientist in charge of the survival of the species. She told us about her practical struggles keeping the abalone alive that is threatened by infection from bacteria that are more prevalent as water temperatures increase. She showed us how the discovery of a bacteriophage is already helping to grow the captive populations and hopefully safe the species. The research facility was especially amazing because it showed us firsthand the tedious yet challenging work required to save endangered species.  

The longest and most exciting trip this quarter was the trip to the Farallon Islands. We left from the San Francisco Bay in an all-day whale watching vessel with a group of individuals passionate about marine life. As we left the bay, the swells were large and the air was cold, but as we got further out, the beauty of the Pacific Ocean was before us. Harbor seals were seen following the boat and showing a playful display called porpoising. A blue shark swam right up to the boat; it seemed mere feet away. Porpoises were graciously jumping out the water. A single gray whale was very diligently migrating south. Thousands of breeding marine birds were nesting on the secluded rocks of the Farallon Islands. We were lucky enough to see at least 10 humpback whales; the males were singing and performing majestic breaches for what seemed like hours. The trip was an educational and life-changing experience. Never have I felt that close to nature in its undisturbed form. The Farallon Islands are really a special place.  

I am so happy I took the class and got to see and learn more about the creatures God created.  

Student Internships

Alicia Bedolla

Alicia worked with injured and sick waterfowl. In this picture she is holding a domestic duck who is a pet. Wild birds are not handled like this at the rescue center.  

Who are you? I am Alicia Bedolla and I am a senior environmental studies major.  

What did you do? For my internship I worked at a bird center rehabilitating injured and sick waterfowl and pelagic birds. We performed regular examinations for each bird “patient,” administered medications, and did common chores to keep the facility up and running. On a daily basis, we would also have to clean a variety of fish to feed the birds.  

When and where did you do this work? I worked at International Bird Rescue in Fairfield, Calif. I started this internship at the beginning of fall 2016, and I will continue to work at the center through winter quarter.  

What did you learn? While working at International Bird Rescue, I learned so much about pelagic birds by having hands-on experience. I learned how to properly handle birds for examinations and about different illnesses/conditions certain birds are more prone to. I also learned about specific fish each bird preferred. From this experience, I learned proper techniques of administering medications and also how to hand feed sick birds.  

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience? Prior to this internship, I took courses such as Vertebrate Biology, Ecology, and Marine Science, which provided me with background knowledge on common pelagic birds and waterfowl.  

Amanda Garcia

Who are you? I am Amanda Garcia and I am a senior environmental studies major. My final goal is to work as a wildlife conservationist at Yellowstone or Yosemite National Park.  

Amanda uses a small syringe to give medicine to a goldfinch chick.

What did you do? As a volunteer intern, I properly prepared and cleaned bird cages for the hatchings, juvenile, and adult song birds. I gave oral medicine to the towhees, finches, and scrub jays.  

When and where did you do this work? I completed my internship during the summer of 2016 at the Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County in the Song Bird Clinic.  

What did you learn? There needs to be a lot of people involved in order for the Center to run smoothly. At all times, there needs to be three people at the center to feed the small and large hatchlings every 30 to 45 minutes, one person to give medicines and stitch up birds that have been attacked by cats, and one person to feed and take care of the juvenile and adult birds and help with the birds of prey. I learned the diet of different bird species, and I learned how to mend broken legs and stitch up wounds.  

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience? The Vertebrate Biology class helped me identify the different species of birds found at the Center and helped me know what habitat they can be found in, to better know how to take care of them. The Biological Foundations labs helped me to record information accurately about the behaviors of the birds so the next volunteer could continue care for the birds, and knowledge of a microscope helped me to find any worms or parasites in the fecal samples in order to give the proper medicines to the birds.

Student Research

Daniel Newport

Daniel Newport studied the effect of chlorogenic acid on C. elegans lifespan.

Who are you? I am Daniel Newport and I am a senior biology major. I plan to attend graduate school at CSU East Bay for a master’s degree in cell and molecular biology.  

What did you do? I formulated and implemented a lifespan assay on Caenorhabditis elegans by exposing them to glucose, which shortens their lifespan. The goal of the study was to measure the effectiveness of the compound chlorogenic acid, an inhibitor of glucose absorption, in attenuating the effects of glucose on lifespan.   

When and where did you do this work? My research was conducted at PUC and was supported by the Summer Undergraduate Research Program Scholarship during the summer of 2016.  

What did you learn? I learned there is an immense amount of reading required in order to understand the basics of a topic, let alone enough obtain information to formulate an entire experiment. I had to read a handful of papers just to verify the correct volume of one reagent in my media. However, the process was extremely fun, because you gain so much information on cellular processes, common statistical methods, and cutting edge research in published journals. After a while you learn what questions haven’t been answered, and you begin thinking about how you can answer those questions yourself! Research can be long and tough, but implementing critical thought, controlling an experiment, and studying life was exhilarating.  

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience? Classes like Cell and Molecular Biology and Systems Physiology equipped me with a basic, yet cohesive understanding of cell, tissue, and organ mechanics I found invaluable. This gave me a hunger for more information on cell systems, and led me to ask serious questions to Drs. Wyrick and Sung. They were consistently available for ideas and help honing in on research topics; the magnum opus of the department of biology is the care and interest professors like Wyrick and Sung provide to students.

 

Emily and Erika

Who are you? My name is Erika Thalman and I am junior biology major. I am interested in going into the field of marine biology and obtaining a master’s degree in the future.  

And my name is Emily Castellanos. I am also a junior biology major and I plan to go on to vet school and become a wildlife veterinarian.  

Emily and Erika collaborated with Dr. Hayes on a study of two bird species native to Paraguay.

What did you do? We participated in a research project led by Dr. Hayes where we studied the calls of two birds, the Chaco nothura and the spotted nothura. We then compared the two birds calls to see how similar their call songs were and whether this suggest whether they could be the same or different species. In the field research portion we helped scout for the birds and recorded data and the field conditions while our guide operated the bird call recording equipment. Once we got back to school we edited the bird calls and analyzed the call sonograms to compare the vocal differences.  

When and where did you do this work? Our research project took place in the summer of 2016 in various locations in the South American country of Paraguay.  

What did you learn? Erika: Before this trip I didn’t realize how much communication and collaboration with others takes place before, during, and after a project. I also learned it’s important to have a backup plan for a project in case something doesn’t go according to the original plan, such as if the research subjects are difficult to find or if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  

Emily: Following a lot of what Erika said, I also learned how to use previously recorded bird calls to initiate a response from a desired species as well as how much planning it takes before you can actually execute the methods for research.  

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience? Erika: Biological Foundations 113 lab really helped prepare me for research because it introduced me in how to design and carry out a research experiment and was reinforced by the Introduction to Research Methods course.  

Emily: The class that really helped in preparing me for this trip was Introduction to Research Methods as it taught me how to construct and write about a research topic I make up myself. Other courses that really enhanced my experience were Ecology because it taught me various factors about animal distribution as well as environmental factors and Vertebrate Biology because of the bird section that is during the class.

 

Plagiobothrys strictus

Who are you? I am Joanne Kim and I am biology major. My plan is to pursue nursing school.  

Joanne carried out a study of Plagiobothrys strictus and specifically examined the role of soil chemistry to its presence and abundance.

What did you do? I participated in a research project that studied the rare plant, Plagiobothrys strictus, and to see if the scarce population is due to the high heavy metal ion content or due to the geothermal soils. I went out to a field in Calistoga with Dr. Wyrick and collected data such as the population and the size of the plant. I collected soil samples and also wrote research article summaries in order to further understand possible reasons as to why the plant thrived in such a specific location.

When and where did you do this work? My research internship was during the winter and spring quarter of 2016 at PUC.  

What did you learn? I learned that trying to find the reason for the small population of the species was more difficult than I expected but reading about different research on other plant species helped with narrowing down a possible hypothesis. Also, working with a wild species can be unpredictable, as can the weather, so taking any chance to go to the field on a good day was something I learned this research requires, unlike being in a lab.  

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience? As a biology major, I have taken quite a few classes that have helped me have background knowledge of plants. Taking Flowering Plants prepared me the most with understanding the plant anatomy in relation to Plagiobothrys strictus. I also have to give credit to Biological Foundations 111 for giving me a good foundation of the scientific method and carrying that over to real application during research.

 

Seong Hwang

Who are you? I am Seong Hwang and I am a senior biology major. I plan to go to dental school and become a tooth fairy.  

Seong devoted many hours to a study of Alzheimer’s disease.

When and where did you do this work? With my colleagues, I spent the summer of 2016 dedicated to figuring out the procedure and set up for the research. This work was done in the Clark Hall microbiology lab.  

What did you do? I participated in research that studied of how over consumption of food could expedite the process of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, I also learned to grow and proliferate C. elegans in their respective medium to be tested for research.  

What did you learn? Although my colleagues and I failed to get the consistency in our data, I learned to formulate ideas to arrange the procedure for the particular experiment. I also learned the behavior and life stage of C. elegans. In addition, working with my colleagues also helped me to understand about teamwork and how fun it is to be in lab.  

How did PUC help prepare you for this experience? At PUC, there are many great professors who have many years of research experience. When I had hard time figuring out the procedure for the research, Dr. Sung not only sent me helpful articles but also spent many hours with me in the lab teaching me how to use research tools in the microbiology lab for the experiments.  Unlike big universities, many professors at PUC are willing to help students in their research, so don’t waste the opportunities you have as a biology or environmental studies major.