Each year at graduation, the Biology Department awards prizes to five outstanding majors. We are pleased to announce that this year's recipients were Carolyn McBride `98, who received the Conant-Harrington Prize for exemplary performance in the biology major; Joshua Shapiro `98 and Meghan Moore `98, who were awarded respectively, the First and Second Benedict Prize for excellence in biology; Benjamin Montgomery `98, who received the Dwight Prize as the ranking student in botany; and Kathryn Teel `98, who was awarded the Grant Prize for the student demonstrating excellence in a broad range of areas in biology. In addition, among 18 honors students, 6 were awarded Highest Honors for outstanding performance on the senior thesis. Nine students were nominated for induction into Sigma Xi, the national research society.
Prof. Henry W. Art received a Mellon grant from Williams for technology in the classroom to further develop electronic media for Biology 220 Field Botany. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station, Rensselaerville, NY. During this past year he taught Environmental Planning and Design Workshop (ENVI 302), Field Botany and Plant Natural History (BIOL 220), and during winter study produced a 30 minute video entitled Moon Lot, 1998: An On-going History of a Living Landscape. Prof. Art will be assuming the duties of Director for the Center for Environmental Studies beginning this July.
Associate Prof. Dan Lynch completed his first year as Chair of the department, and taught Biochemical Regulatory Mechanisms (BIOL 412) and Biochemistry II (BIOL 322). Prof. Lynch continued his research on plant sphingolipid biochemistry, and supervised the honors project of Pamela Bromley. He was awarded a three year grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue studies of sphingolipid metabolism and is a co-investigator (with A.H. Merrill of Emory University Medical School) on another new four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health investigating plant sphingolipids and colon carcinogenesis. Prof. Lynch was an invited seminar speaker at Neose Technologies and at North Carolina State University.
Gretchen Meyer taught Communities and Ecosystems (BIOL 302), Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVI 102) with Professors Jay Thoman and David DeSimone, and a senior tutorial Current Issues in Ecology (BIOL 402). She also taught Natural History of the Berkshires (BIOL 015) during the January Winter Study Period. Prof. Meyer also advised one honors student, Robert Wittenmyer `98, whose honors project involved the foraging behavior of Pieris rapae caterpillars.
Prof. Meyer continues her research on the interactions between plants and their insect herbivores. She presented some of her results in a seminar at the University of Massachusetts. Two papers on her research were accepted for publication, one by the Canadian Journal of Botany and the other by American Midland Naturalist. She attended the national meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Albuquerque, NM. She also served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and for the journals Ecology and Ecological Entomology.
While on Assistant Professor leave for the 1997-98 academic year,
Assistant Professor Wendy Raymond continued her research at Williams
with two senior honors thesis students: Kyra Williams `98 and Meghan
Byrne `98. Meghan and Kyra continued working on several projects that
five students (Meghan, Kyra, Leah Doret `99, Anh Nguyen `99 and Le
Paliulis `97) had begun the previous summer. During this past Winter
Study, Michael Hurwitz `00 began his collaborative project as a Merck
fellow with Professor Raymond and Professor Chip Lovett (Chemistry)
and which he will continue working on during the summer of 1998.
Leah Doret `99, Sabrina Assoumou `99 and Sunshine Wu `99 with
Asst. Prof. Wendy Raymond during WSP 1997
Research in Molecular Genteics Prof. Raymond spent part of her leave year at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Genetics, discussing her lab's findings in a variety of forums. All of these ongoing investigations into how cell division is regulated at the molecular level will be supported by a recent $113,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. This grant is based in part on experiments accomplished by nine sophomores in Professor Raymond's 1997 winter study course Research in Molecular Genetics.
Prof. Raymond organized the Biology Department's fall 1997 colloquium series, which brought seven prominent biologists to campus to meet with students and faculty. Bob Weinberg, winner of the National Medal of Science, also gave a summer colloquium presentation. Prof. Raymond continued to review manuscripts for the journal Genetics. She attended the Yeast Cell Biology Meeting in August 1997 with two former thesis students, Le Paliulis `97 and Alvaro Sagasti `96, where they presented their work on "SFP1, a Cold-Sensitive Suppressor of Cdc 14-7, Regulates Exit from Mitosis." In the spring, Wendy attended the Cold Spring Harbor conference on the Cell cycle. She also gave talks at the Wadsworth Cancer Center in Albany, NY and at Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics.
This past year Professor Nancy Roseman, along with Prof. DeWitt, taught the introductory biology course, The Cell (BIOL 101) in the fall and Immunology (BIOL 313) in the spring. She also introduced a new course during the Winter Study term entitled Outbreak: Viruses and Culture in which students read materials from scientific journals, popular magazines, and watched films in order to explore how accurate viruses are represented in the media. Also during winter study and continuing in the summer, Prof. Roseman and Prof. Lovett from the Chemistry department, supervised sophomore Merck Fellow Erin Davies, who is characterizing the kinetic properties of the vaccinia dUTPase.
Prof. Roseman was awarded a three year, $266,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund her continuing research on the vaccinia virus dUTPase enzyme and its role in DNA replication, its regulation by phosphorylation, and substrate recognition. During the past year she reviewed a new virology textbook published by ASM Press. She also hosted a visit to Williams by former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders.
Assistant Professor Robert Savage taught Developmental Biology (BIOL 306) in the fall semester, and developed a new seminar course in the spring entitled Topics in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology (BIOL 410). The topics focused on the exciting and new union between two fields: evolution and development. Recent articles were discussed that dealt with understanding, first the molecular mechanisms used by organisms in building a body plan, and second, how diversity is created and maintained within this body plan.
During the summer of 1997, Katherine Liao `99 worked in Prof. Savage's lab on a pilot experiment looking at regeneration of the central nervous system in fragmenting worms. In the winter of 1998, Janet Iwasa `99 joined the lab as an honors student. Her work focused on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of segmental pattern formation in the leech. Prof. Savage also attended two meetings this past year. The Society for Integrative Biology sponsored a conference in Boston this past winter, and the annual Northeast Regional Development Biology meeting in Woods Hole, MA. He presented a seminar at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard and the Summer Science Program at Williams. He also was a reviewer for the National Science Foundation.
Prof. Savage was also co-author of a chapter, "Annelids, the Segmented Worms" in Embryology: Constructing the Organism. (S.F. Gilbert and A.M. Raunio, Eds.) published by Sinauer Associates.
Prof. Steve Swoap taught Mammalian Molecular Physiology (BIOL 309) and a section of laboratories for BIOL 101 in the fall, and Physiology (BIOL 205) in the spring. He also redesigned a winter study class on exercise and metabolism for the hands-on participation of students in evaluating exercise performance in the lab. Steve was an honors thesis advisor for Emily Snyder `98 and Matthew Wheeler `98. Both students presented thesis work at the Experimental Biology meetings in San Francisco, CA in April. Prof. Swoap served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Physiology, and for a chapter on muscle physiology in the physiology textbook Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. In addition, he coordinated the outreach program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute with Rosni David `01. Prof. Swoap is beginning the second year of a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation on "Regulation of Myosin Heavy Chain IIB Expression: An Integrative Approach." Steve is also the author of several manuscripts.
Over the past year Prof. Steve Zottoli continued to act as Director of the Howard Hughes Grant to Williams College. He spent July and August at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA conducting a research-based tutorial program with four Williams students, Ben Katz `00, Becky Kummer `00, Randall Lindquist `00,and Farrah Musani `00. The program included reading papers of various scientists in residence at the MBL, meeting with each scientist to discuss the papers and career path issues and then conducting a laboratory exercise that related to the scientist's area of interest. In addition, students had the opportunity to attend course lectures and evening lectures. Finally, students were able to conduct original research on large neurons in fish.
Prof. Zottoli taught Introduction to Neuroscience in the fall and Introductory Biology in the spring. He will be on leave during the 1998-99 school year. The research interests of his laboratory continue to focus on the neural basis of behavior and responses of the nervous system to injury. His work is supported as part of a NIH program project grant to Allegheny University. Jason R. Meyers `96 and Elizabeth H. Copanas `96 were co-authors on an article entitled: "Comparison of Fast Startle Responses between Two Elongate Bony Fish with an Anguilliform Type of Locomotion and the Implications for the Underlying Neuronal Basis of Escape Behavior" published in Brain, Behavior and Evolution. Prof. Zottoli attended the Seventh International Symposium on Neural Regeneration in December of 1997, where he presented some results of Jason R. Meyers' research. An abstract entitled: "Regenerating Retinal Ganglion Cells Innervate a Foreign Muscle Target" appeared in Experimental Neurology.
Paul Alsdorf, David Finkelstein, Jillian Pesin, Sabrina Assoumou, Janet Iwasa ,Jennifer Pogoriler, Aida Avdic, Ayesha Johnson ,Boudhayan Sen, Kevin Bolduc, Kian Peng Koh, Kevin Stephans, Sheraz Choudhary, Katharine Liao, Dan Suver, Elizabeth Claflin, Randall Lindquist, Matthew Whalin, Ellen Cook, Daniel Nehmad, Christine Whitcraft, Leah Doret, Amy Patterson, Jamie Ziai
Edward Yu: Unknown