Natural Sciences Students and Faculty Hard at Work

Students and Faculty in the Department of Natural Sciences have been hard at work over the last several months producing outstanding research, and participating in unique experiences to prepare them for the next stage in their academic journey.


Mattea Hooper PosterMattea Hooper at REU program

Tennessee Wesleyan University junior Mattea Hooper participated in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at Mississippi State University this past summer. Hooper was one of 26 students from all over the country selected for the experiences, joining five others in a group focusing on computational chemistry.


Hooper, along with her mentor, Dr. Steven Gwaltney, Professor of Chemistry at Mississippi State, and group members, worked with near infrared emission and absorption of xanthene derivatives, which aims to identify cancer cells more safely and with clearer resolution. The group’s work will be published soon in the scientific journal Organic Letters.


Collaboration between Student and Faculty

TWU student Claudia Campos and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Oksana Gerlits worked together at Oak Ridge National Lab’s Neutron sciences directorate on two vitamin B6 binding proteins. These types of enzymes are important drug targets and specifically, activity of one of the proteins is linked to lung cancer.


Dr. Gainer publication selected

TWU Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Jackson Gainer’s publication was selected in a list of favorite papers from the last decade from the Ocean Sciences section of PLOS ONE, a non-profit, Open Access publisher.


Continued work and funding for Kilbride Nature Sanctuary

Dr. Patrice Cole, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Kilbride Nature Sanctuary (KNS), along with student interns, were once again awarded a $75,000 grant from the Pete and Sally Smith Foundation.


Dr. Cole and the interns continue work on restoration and improvement of the land, donated to TWU by Bill Kilbride. Kelly Brugh, TWU’s Director of Development, was also instrumental in securing the grant. Hear from Dr. Cole, Kilbride, and VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Grant Willhite on the work happening at KNS in the video below.