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Table of Contents

As Big As All Outdoors

Turn Left in Bismarck, and Go Until…

Granting Research

Rocking Our World

Relax! We Have New Labs for That

Fieldwork Across the Curriculum:
Update on ISEI

The World of Science

Laurentian Reviews

Letter from James Costopoulos '83

Lifelong Learning
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Alumni Accomplishments

Table of Contents

Lifelong Learning

An impressive number of St. Lawrence alumni are involved in the sciences professionally, either as researchers or as teachers, and more often than not as both. We polled a representative sample, and here’s what the ones who responded had to say about themselves. --NSB and LMC

 Peter G. Casazza ’67

Current Position: Professor of Mathematics, University of Missouri, Columbia
Advanced Education: M.S. and Ph.D., University of Iowa
His Work: Areas of specialization are functional analysis, frames, signal processing.
Honors and Recognition: National Academy of Science Fellow to Leningrad, USSR, 1977-78; Visiting Scholar, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 1985–86, Odense University, Denmark, Fall 1987, and University of Cambridge, England, 1989–91; Research Scholar, Danish Natural Science Research Foundation, Odense, 1995. Numerous research grants, including several from the National Science Foundation for research on Banach Spaces; 80 published research papers; over 200 conference, seminar and colloquium presentations; 16 articles in professional journals.

 Jennifer L. Cruise ’81

Current Position: Professor of Biology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
Advanced Education: Ph.D., Duke University
Her Work: “I involve undergraduate biology and biochemistry students in my research into the regulation of cell proliferation. My lab is particularly interested in a small GTP-binding protein that may have tumor-suppressor activity. We are also involved in collaborative research on the expression of genes involved in circadian rhythms (the ‘biological clock’) and on identification in the genomes of plants of microsatellites-- short, repetitive DNA sequences--that can be used in DNA fingerprinting to determine pollination success.”
Honors and Recognition: National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, 1990-1994; National Institutes of Health research awards; 2001 Outstanding Faculty Award for Undergraduate Research at University of St. Thomas. Publication in such journals as Science, Hepatology and the Journal of Cell Physiology.
The Issues: “One of the most exciting areas currently is RNA interference in which short RNA molecules regulate the expression of genes. This is extremely important, both as a versatile molecular technique that we can use to ask questions about the effects of gene expression, and as a type of regulation that may be widely used in nature, despite the fact that we hardly suspected its existence until recently.
“As the big genomics projects wrap up, ‘proteomics’ is the buzzword of the day, referring to studies that aspire to catalog all proteins expressed by a particular cell type. The ability to resolve molecular structures quickly and to compare sequence information immediately to large databases of other molecules has changed research dramatically. Data from many different model systems that used to be studied in isolation -- mammalian cell culture, yeast genetics, development in the nematode worm or in the zebrafish, ‘knock-out’ mouse studies -- have now converged. Our models are more general and more useful to other biologists.”

 Daniel Kurtz ’76

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology and Director, Smell and Taste Disorders Clinic, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University
Advanced Education: Ph.D. in Physiology, Upstate Medical College, Syracuse, NY
His Work: “My teaching includes graduate courses in psychophysics, systems neuroscience and scientific ethics. In addition I direct the medical school course in mammalian physiology, where I teach smell and taste, nervous control of homeostasis, muscle mechanics, and kidney and endocrine physiology. Perhaps my greatest joy is tutoring at-risk students. I am very fortunate to have had collaborative research efforts with David Hornung, Dana professor of biology at St. Lawrence; with Dr. Paul Kent ’82 here at ‘Upstate’; and with many SLU students over the years.
“ We are examining the olfactory loss that accompanies early dementia resulting from a point mutation in a single gene. This is a disastrous genetic disorder in which a depressed sense of smell accompanies the start of dementia at the age of 40. We are investigating the possibility that unique odorant naming confusions might reflect different etiologies of olfactory loss - akin to the familiar color-blindness tests. We are developing non-invasive optical electrophysiological techniques that will allow us to diagnose damage to the human olfactory mucosa - the first stage of odor processing.”
Honors and Recognition: National Institutes of Health project grant; “My highest honor is the success of the students that I have been honored to teach.”
The Issues: “Genetic technology holds immense possibilities for the treatment of disease and for the development of disease-resistant crops. However, it is also ripe for misuse through the denial of health and life insurance or manipulation of the world food supply. It will be our challenge to manage these advances for the betterment of society rather than to its detriment.”

Jay M. Matthews ’91

Current position: Scientist, Drug Discovery Division, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Advanced Education: MBA, Clarkson
His Work: As a medicinal chemist, designs and synthesizes new drug entities and studies how their biochemical action affects the human body.
Honors and Recognitions: “Though I have published and co-authored several papers and patents, my most significant achievement is developing, with my own two hands, a drug candidate that entered Phase I human clinical trials.”
The Issues: “The most important issues to any scientist in drug discovery are two-fold. The first is how to develop a compound that achieves the biological action we desire and is non-toxic. This can typically take several months to years to accomplish. The next is how to get the drug candidate into human clinical trials and then to the market as a drug as efficiently as possible.”

 John Lavigne ’93

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina
Advanced Education: M.Ed., St. Lawrence; Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
His Work: Teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in organic chemistry and related topics; oversees research group of graduate students and “post-docs” in supramolecular chemistry (design, synthesis and characterization of molecular sensors, electronic organic materials and hybrid materials).
Honors and recognition: Henze Teaching Excellence Award, University of Texas. “My doctorate was my ‘award’ for the research that I did at UT, but it also let me know that I can relay the information in my head in a clear enough manner that undergraduates can comprehend it.”
The Issues: “Trends in the economy are disheartening. A link between my personal life and work (the two can often be confused) is the possibility of war. Work in our labs is targeted at generating sensory systems useful for real-time detection of chemical and biological warfare/terrorism agents. The idea of being able to create an affordable, reliable and portable detection system that can provide accurate results now rather than tomorrow and not easily break or get banged up is quite a challenge!”

 John J. O’Shea ’74

Current Position: Chief, Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch, National Institutes of Health (NIH); member of Intramural Review Board.
Advanced Education: M.D., University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
His work: “We are interested in understanding the molecular processes that control immune and inflammatory responses, in hopes that we can better understand human disease and maybe come up with better therapeutic strategies. The goal of my lab is to understand just how the immune system is regulated in such a way that it helps protect you from infections but does not turn on itself, causing autoimmune disease like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Our main focus is the study of cytokines, secreted proteins that regulate many aspects of immune and inflammatory responses. Our laboratory was responsible for making some of the major discoveries concerning the molecular basis of cytokines signaling.”
Honors and Recognition: Over 150 published scientific articles; NIH Director’s Award, Public Health Service Researcher of the Year Award; Mayo Distinguished Lecturer Award; invited lectures in Europe, Asia and Australia; associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry; discoverer (with research group) of a kinase, Jak3, an intracellular enzyme responsible for transmitting signals from cytokine receptors that tells lymphocytes to grow, become activated and even die. “We went on to show that mutations of Jak3 cause SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency); babies born with SCID have essentially no functional immune system and are treated with stem cell transplantation. We will be tremendously excited and proud if what we have learned about Jak3 helps to make a new class of drugs that can treat people with autoimmune diseases or who need transplants.
“ We have also studied children who have fevers and inflammation their whole lives and have discovered two genetic causes of what we have termed autoinflammatory disorders. Like our discoveries with Jak3, we hope that our dissection of the genetic basis of periodic fever syndromes will help us understand more common autoimmune diseases and perhaps generate new drugs.”
The Issues: “Completion of the draft sequence of the human genome is a most astonishing accomplishment that allows use to do things from our desktop computers that we could only dream of just a few years ago. Another enormous advance has been ‘microarray’ technology, which allows us to analyze expression of thousands of genes simultaneously. What is amazing are the number of complex issues raised by having vast amounts of genetic information, ranging from how this information might affect people psychologically to how it affects insurance. These are difficult questions that seldom have clear-cut answers; the ethical implications are something we struggle with.
“ The obvious hot issue of course is stem cell controversies – clearly the therapeutic potentials are enormous, but the ethical implications are also great.”

 Barbara Jarvis Tewksbury ’73

Current Position: Stephen Harper Kirner Professor of Geology and Chair of the Department, Hamilton College
Advanced Education: MSD and Ph.D, University of Colorado
Her Work: Currently teaches structural geology, plate tectonics, planetary geology and introductory geology. In alternate summers, teaches field methods in Colorado and a field studies course in Iceland. Has spoken worldwide, published and conducted faculty workshops on geoscience education issues. “My geoscience research has focused on deformation of rocks in ductile shear zones, primarily in the Grenville in New York State but also in New Hampshire and Connecticut. I have also been involved in research on structure and tectonics of Venus.”
Honors and Recognition (selected): President of the American Geological Institute
(AGI), 2003-04; Fellow of the Geological Society of America; member-at-large, Council of the Geological Society of America; 1997 New York State Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 1996-97 President, National Association of Geoscience Teachers.
The Issues: “Very few post-secondary faculty have any training in teaching despite the fact that they spend a large percentage of their time in teaching and teaching-related activities. Our work over the past few years has been to disseminate innovative and effective strategies for teaching college-level geoscience so that our colleagues elsewhere do not have to reinvent the wheel as they strive to improve their teaching.”

 Kimberly Williams ’90

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Psychology, SUNY Cortland
Advanced Education: Ph.D., Syracuse University
Her Work: Scholar of school violence and drug abuse. Author of Learning Limits: College Women, Drugs, and Relationships (Bergin & Garvey, 1998). “I shifted gears from that to the violence that accompanies drug use, and the nature of it among younger students, and was involved in a federally funded grant designed to look at issues of school violence and prevention. (This led to) my second book, with others, Preventing Violence in Schools: A Challenge to American Democracy (Erlbaum Press, 2001).” Third book, The Peace Approach to Violence Prevention, due from Scarecrow Press in March 2003.
Honors and Recognition: $750,000 federal grant to determine effectiveness of violence prevention programs in Syracuse City School District.
The Issues: “What programs have the best evidence of success in the broadest variety of settings in school violence? In what ways can qualitative data best serve our needs in understanding how young people make sense of violence, and how can we best tailor programs to meet their needs? Generally—how can we make schools safer?”

From Our Files:
A Small Sample of the Many Other Laurentians in the Sciences

Richard Fairbanks ’72
Senior Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Laboratory
Award-winning paleoceanographer

James Garbarino ’68
Director, Family Life Development Center and Professor of Human Development, Cornell University
Authority on child development

Robert Montgomery ’82
Surgical Faculty
Johns Hopkins University Hospital
Leading transplant surgeon, cardiomyopathy researcher

Paul Parkman ’54
Co-developer of rubella (German measles) vaccine

Cynthia Riegel ’92
Terrestrial Ecologist, Biota Research & Consulting

Margaret Hagar Sherlock ’45
Retired Research Fellow, Schering-Plough
Holder of 34 pharmaceutical patents

Jerry Weinberg ’58
Distinguished astronomer/astrophysicist

Diane Walton Wood ’73
Vice President for Research and Development, World Wildlife Fund

Kelly Spooner Zinna ’87
Police Psychologist, Denver, Col.
Spokesperson on youth violence