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BIOLOGY

Major Overview
Under the Professional Studies Division, within the Natural Science Department, Wilberforce University offers two majors: Biology and Health Science Administration (HSA).

A nation’s strength lies in its ability to produce Scientists and Engineers and this is especially true when we are competing in a global market. In order for the United States of America to continue being a leader in Science, we as an educational institution, have to produce quality scientists. Wilberforce University also believes in educating quality scientists and future healthcare workers to reduce the disparity seen in the scientific community where there is an under representation of minorities and women. Therefore one of our primary goals is to train our students to be able to compete for jobs in the health and research fields.

In order to do this, our department offers a variety of classes in Biology which will prepare the students for careers in Medicine, Research, EPA, Health-Related fields such as Nursing, Allied Health etc. Since a majority of our students come with an intent to do Medicine, we make sure we offer all the required classes to prepare them for taking the MCAT. In addition to this we also ensure that they are fully aware of the potential a degree in Biology has to offer.

Biological research has a tremendous impact on understanding diseases and developing cures for diseases. In order to do this we need more students actively engaged in research. As a small university we have made it a major focus to make sure our students get valuable internships in leading research institutions. We are able to direct our students to internships at the Ohio State University, The Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, EPA in Cincinnati, Wright State University etc.

Since the faculty student ratio is small, faculty get to know the students, their strengths and weakness so can direct and mentor them well.

The Department of Biology awards a Bachelor of Science degree. The program is tailored so that the students get an overview of all fields in Biology. Most of the emphasis is placed on fields that are health related and are of current interest. Therefore the students are prepared for a career in Medicine as well as for graduate programs.

The students are encouraged to take courses in the recommended sequence so as to get the maximum benefit. Majority of the classes have a lab, so that the students experience what they learn in the lecture classes.

Our undergraduate curriculum is on par with other major universities and the courses we offer are general biology, cell biology and molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, anatomy and physiology. All our Biology majors have to also take classes in chemistry, Math and Physics to get a well rounded knowledge of the sciences.

The biology degree provides a foundation for graduate work and for medicine.

Faculty:
Biology
Maha Nagarajan Ph.D. mnagarajan@wilberforce.edu Office (937) 708 5679
Savitha Krishna Ph.D. skrishna@wilberforce.edu Office: (937) 708 5619

Chemistry
Dr. D.R. Buffinger PhD dbuffing@wilberforce.edu Office (937) 708 5639
Dr. David Kammler PhD dkammler@wilberforce.edu Office (937) 708 5633

Mathematics
Prof T. Kwan BS, MS tkwan@wilberforce.edu Office (937) 708 5680
Prof Mohammed Abas BS, MS mabas@wilberforce.edu Office (937) 708 5722

Physics
Dr. A. Jafari PhD ajafari@wilberforce.edu Office (937) 708 5681

Special Programs and Projects:
Courses such as Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Human physiology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Physics and Math trains students for the skills needed for preparing for MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). The courses such as Molecular and Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry prepare students for research and graduate programs. In addition these classes prepare students if they decide to enter the field of recombinant DNA Technology.

In addition we have classes such as Freshman Seminar, Sophomore Seminar and Senior Seminar where students read current literature in Biology and learn to analyze and interpret data. In addition they have to present papers in front of their peers.

Most Popular Class:
Cell and Molecular Biology class and Lab helps students understand at the molecular level how living organisms work. In addition with the popularity of Crime related shows, they get to do many experiments used in forensic science such as DNA Fingerprinting. This class excites them and usually helps them when they go for their summer research internships.
Comparative anatomy (Bio 221): Students are trained to develop the vertebrate dissection skills.
General Microbiology (Bio 341): Students learn to stain, identify and learn the laboratory aseptic conditions of using microbes.

Research Opportunities:
Students are constantly reminded and recommended for various research programs. The students get Co-Op credit for these summer internships and also get paid. Sometimes students discover their passion for research during these internships and decide to pursue careers in science. Some have sought employment after graduation.

We are in the process of establishing a partnership with the Ohio State University Biomedical post Baccalaureate programs. Such a partnership will help our students to either pursue careers in research or in the medical program. We also are in partnership with Wright State University Medical School’s Early Assurance Program. This program is only open to four schools in the Dayton area where students in their sophomore year are eligible to get early admission to their medical program. For more information please refer to the link http://www.med.wright.edu/eap. We have an understanding with Wright State University’s Nursing Department. This program allows students interested in a career in Nursing, to complete their undergraduate degree here at Wilberforce and then join the Beacon program which will allow the students to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree in 15 months. For more information please see the link below. http://www.wright.edu/conh/prog_info/beacon.html

We also have a very good relationship with the EPA in Cincinnati as well as Children’s Hospitals both in Columbus and Cincinnati.

Special Interest Story:
Three years ago, we had a student, a basketball player determined to get into medical school. She was a straight A student who did everything to ensure a very successful college experience. However, her road to medical school had a couple of bumps. She decided that she was not going to give up. She enrolled for a Master’s program and re took her MCAT exams and re-applied. She continued to keep up a relationship with the school she was interested in. Sure enough a year after she graduated she secured admission into the medical school and is doing very well! This young lady shows that with determination and belief in one’s ability, anything can be achieved! We have so many stories of students who against all odds have been successful and that in itself makes teaching at Wilberforce such a rewarding experience.

Publications - Biology and Chemistry:
Dr. Krishna
Felicia Sheets, Savitha Krishna, William A Krebs, Donald Gaiger, Sudhindra Gadagkar, Antony Arment, Sharath Krishna. Population Dynamics of Honeysuckle in the Miami Valley, Ohio. September, 14-15, 2007. 28th Undergraduate research symposium 2007 at Universidad Metropolitana, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA.

Dr. Kammler
Garcia, C.; Kammler, D. “A Practical and Educational Synthesis of Cobalt Carbonate”, in Ceramics Technical, May 2008.

Kinghorn, J; Nettles, E; Kammler, D. “Civic Engagement in Connected Curriculum.” in First-Year Civic Engagement: Sound Foundations for College, Citizenship and Democracy, November 2007.

Williams, D. R.; Kammler, D. C.; Goundry, W. R. F. “An Enantiocontrolled Approach for the Synthesis of Chiral 3,5-disubstituted 2(1H)-Pyridones.”, Heterocycles 2006, 67, 555-559.

Williams, D. R.; Kammler, D. C.; Donnell, A. F.; Goundry, W. R. F. Angew “Total Synthesis of (+)-Apiosporamide: Assignment of Relative and Absolute Configuration.”. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 6715-6718.

Williams, D. R.; Donnell, A. F.; Kammler, D. C. “Aldol Reactions of Unsubstituted b-Lactams. Studies of a b-Glycine Enolate Equivalent.” Heterocycles 2004, 62, 167–172.

Recent Presentations:
D. Kammler, “Interdisciplinary Chemistry in a Learning Community: Art, Business, and Chemistry”, at the 20 th annual Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Bloomington, IN, July 2008.

Grants: 
Dr. D.R. Buffinger

  • “The Preparation of Novel Porphyrin-Fullerene Compounds” - (October 2004 to September 2006) – This grant from the Department of Defense through a subcontractor (UES, Inc) focused on the synthesis of organic compounds that may have interesting electronic properties.  The grant funded both the principle investigator and an undergraduate research assistant.
  • “The Production of High Fidelity Lunar Simulant for Exploration Risk Reduction and Systems Analysis of Power Systems for Lunar Oxygen Production” – (January 2009 to December 2012) – This grant is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through the UNCF.  The project at Wilberforce University focuses on preparing a comprehensive review article of the state of Lunar Simulants (lunar dust) currently in production in the first year, and chemical synthesis of large scale samples of nanophase iron particles for incorporation in the existing lunar simulants in years two and three.  The grant funds the principle investigator, and the university funds one or two undergraduate research assistants.

 

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