INBRE fellowships were awarded to these visiting faculty conducting collaborative research at the MDI Biological Laboratory this summer:
Shuhua Bai, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy, Husson University, Bangor, Maine
PhD in Pharmaceutics from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
2011 Distinguished Researcher at Husson University
Studies in Dr. Bai’s project focus on using biotechnologically produced nanoparticles to deliver drug across blood brain barrier into the brain in a zebrafish model. Few laboratories in Maine have research programs in the important and growing area of brain drug delivery. This makes Dr. Bai’s fellowship at MDIBL extremely valuable due to the opportunity for collaboration on drug delivery systems. The research is expected to provide valuable contributions to the health care systems and industrial research in Maine.
Fernando Galvez, PhD, Associate Professor, Louisiana State University
PhD in Fish Physiology & Biology from McMaster University, Hamilton Canada
The research Dr. Galvez is conducting at the MDI Biological Laboratory is an integral part of a larger project aimed at investigating the function of claudins in killifish osmoregulation. The goals of the project are two-fold: to develop a primary cultured epithelium of the killifish gill for use in mechanistic studies of paracellular ion regulation; and to utilize in vivo morpholino technology to knock-down the expression of claudin proteins in culture to determine their function in paracellular regulation. Studies of these techniques at the MDI Biological Laboratory will benefit from collaborations with other scientists on campus during his fellowship, including Drs. Bruce Stanton and Joe Shaw, both of whom have extensive experience with the in vivo morpholino technology in killifish. Dr. Galvez expects the new techniques will couple with existing comparative and integrative approaches in the his laboratory to help gain novel insights into osmotic tolerance among Fundulus species and provide new avenues for federal funding support.
Paulyn Cartwright, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas
PhD in Biology from Yale University
Dr. Cartwight’s research focuses on understanding the developmental mechanisms underlying the formation of colonies in the marine invertebrate group Hydrozoa. The hydrozoan species Ectopleura is a large conspicuous colony with bright pink polyps that is found in the intertidal along the coast of Maine. While most hydrozoan colonies develop through growth and asexual budding of polyps, we have found that Ectopleura colonies arise through sexual reproduction and subsequent fusion of offspring polyps to the parent. Her research at the MDI Biological Laboratory focuses on studying the process of colony development through polyp fusion. In particular, the laboratory is interested in whether or not Ectopleura exhibits an allorecognition response, such that only closely related polyps fuse to make a colony and distantly related polyps reject fusion. This research has implications for understanding of the evolution of animal immune systems.