Dedman College alumna Avery Acker ’16 chose SMU for its academic rigor, so she could pursue her dream of becoming a doctor

SMU Avery Acker ’16 was the Academic All-American of the Year for all of Division I volleyball. She chose SMU for its academic rigor, so she could pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. “I grew up in a very small town, and I just loved it. We hunted, we fished and we played every sport imaginable because there was really nothing else to do,”
recalls Acker. At a young age she developed a passion for playing volleyball and an interest in pursuing a career in medicine. She knew SMU was the right school for her when volleyball coach Lisa Seifert showed the same passion and commitment to success on the court and in the classroom. At SMU, Acker discovered the benefits of SMU’s Altshuler Learning [...]

By | November 20th, 2016|Biology, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences|Comments Off on Dedman College alumna Avery Acker ’16 chose SMU for its academic rigor, so she could pursue her dream of becoming a doctor

“SMU has a track record of successful graduates who change the world… take advantage of that…” ~ Edward Allegra ’16

SMU Jack Reynolds ’15, Edward Allegra ’16 and Miguel Quimbar ’17 came to SMU as strangers. Together, they founded a company that will change their lives and the lives of other asthma patients. “I was hanging out in our apartment and Jack came in super excited,” recalls Allegra, who earned a degree in economics and biology. At a meeting of the SMU Entrepreneurship Club, Reynolds (finance, and markets and culture double major) and Quimbar (chemistry and accounting) had heard about a revolutionary idea: using extremely sensitive chemical luminescence to register visibly when the biomarkers in someone’s exhaled breaths indicate the person is likely to suffer an asthma attack – before they’re even aware of it. The club’s faculty advisor and professor of practice in entrepreneurship Simon Mak [...]

By | November 17th, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Economics|Comments Off on “SMU has a track record of successful graduates who change the world… take advantage of that…” ~ Edward Allegra ’16

NCI grant funds SMU research into cancer-causing viruses that hide from the immune system

SMU Research Originally Posted: November 8, 2016 Genes common to both the human T-cell leukemia virus and high-risk human papillomaviruses activate survival mechanisms in cancer cells. An SMU lab, with National Cancer Institute funding, is hunting ways to inhibit those genes to halt the development of cancer. SMU virologist and cancer researcher Robert L. Harrod has been awarded a $436,500 grant from the National Cancer Institute to further his lab’s research into how certain viruses cause cancers in humans. Under two previous NCI grants, Harrod’s lab discovered that the human T-cell leukemia virus type-1, HTLV-1, and high-risk subtype human papillomaviruses, HPVs, share a common mechanism that plays a key role in allowing cancers to develop. Now the lab will search for the biological mechanism — a molecular target — [...]

By | November 8th, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on NCI grant funds SMU research into cancer-causing viruses that hide from the immune system

John Ubelaker, Biology, native plants on the Rio Grande

TAOS news Originally Posted: September 9, 2016 Below is an excerpt from Taos News. Hike to Williams Lake Nineteen people joined Dr. John Ubelaker, professor of biology at the Southern Methodist University, on a great hike to Williams Lake Aug. 20. Interesting ferns, trees and flowering plants were discussed all along the way. Ubelaker has a wealth of knowledge on plants, their uses both today and historically – and he shares freely. We learned a great deal about the “Canadian Zone,” which is one of six zones in the state and that extends all the way up to Canada. It is comprised predominantly of three types of trees — spruce, fir and aspen. Above this zone is the arctic-alpine zone, which was beyond our reach on [...]

By | September 13th, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on John Ubelaker, Biology, native plants on the Rio Grande

SMU biochemists and students probe biochemistry of membrane proteins that thwart cancer chemotherapies

SMU RESEARCH NEWS Originally Posted: August, 31, 2016 “Recurring cancers have ‘learned’ how to evade chemotherapy by pumping it out of the cancer cells so that only sub-therapeutic concentrations remain in the cell, making the drug useless.” — SMU biochemist Pia Vogel   Each semester, SMU biology professors Pia Vogel and John Wise welcome a handful of dedicated and curious students to their lab in the SMU Dedman Life Sciences building. The SMU undergraduate students and Dallas-area high school students get hands-on experience working on cancer research in the combined SMU Department of Biological Sciences laboratories of Wise and Vogel. The researchers and students are working to find ways to treat cancer patients whose cancer has either returned after initial chemotherapy or was initially hard to treat using chemotherapeutics. The research [...]

By | September 2nd, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News|Comments Off on SMU biochemists and students probe biochemistry of membrane proteins that thwart cancer chemotherapies

Dedman College biology major traveled the world with SMU Global Brigades club

Daily Campus Originally Posted: August 30, 2016 Stepping out of the cozy, warm environment of your comfort zone to go serve in a foreign country full of poverty and danger can be an overwhelming experience. But for some SMU students, the thrill is what keeps them going back every summer. Katherine Nelson, a senior biology major, is a member of the SMU Global Brigades club that works throughout the year to raise money for the stimulating summer trip. Every year volunteers travel to different settlements in the Panama area to help the less fortunate get the care they need. Katherine Nelson volunteering in Panama. Photo credit: Katherine Nelson Nelson said that some days more than 200 people would come in to be treated. She and 13 other [...]

By | August 31st, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Dedman College biology major traveled the world with SMU Global Brigades club

We Can’t Resurrect T. Rex and We Don’t Want To

Inverse Originally Posted: August 22, 2016 Molecular biology Ph.D. candidate Lauren Ammerman has looked into and Jurassic megafauna would be a megaproblem. The Jurassic Park franchise, like the dinosaurs it reanimates, won’t be ignored. Michael Crichton’s masterpiece makes a lot of cameos in academic papers. Still, it’s rarely the focus of true inquiry. It is, after all, kind of easy to dismiss. But Lauren Ammerman, a molecular biology Ph.D. candidate at Southern Methodist University, doesn’t want to be dismissive. This is why, as a senior at Baylor University, she authored an honors thesis about what happens when Jurassic gene editing meets the rewilding movement meets the ultimate alpha predator. She made herself — and this is truly awesome — an expert on what would happen if we brought back [...]

By | August 28th, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Graduate News|Comments Off on We Can’t Resurrect T. Rex and We Don’t Want To

Tips from a Dedman College pre-health, biology major- 10 Things I Learned My First Year at SMU

SMU New Student Orientation Originally Posted: August 23, 2016 Jaden Amilibia, one of our Orientation Leaders from Flower Mound, Texas, is a sophomore pre-med biology major in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Jaden is here to wish you a fantastic first week of school AND share with you a few things she learned during her first year in college!  You WILL feel homesick, at one point or another. It’s a natural feeling. You convinced yourself that after you graduated high school, you would NEVER come back or miss home and that you couldn’t wait to leave the nest. But like all of us, one day you’ll be talking to your parents or even a best friend, and you’ll want that sense of comfort in [...]

By | August 24th, 2016|Biology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Tips from a Dedman College pre-health, biology major- 10 Things I Learned My First Year at SMU

Acker Honored With Presidential Award of Excellence

SMU Athletics Originally Posted: April 29, 2016 DALLAS (SMU) – Avery Acker was honored with the SMU Presidential Award of Excellence, which is awarded to three graduating seniors each year. A three-year captain for the volleyball program, Acker graduated in December with a degree in accounting and minors in chemistry and biological sciences, and will begin medical school in the fall. The setter was named CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, as well as American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earning a $4,000 postgraduate scholarship. She finished her career with a 3.941 GPA, graduating summa cum laude. Acker was also a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a junior. On the court, Acker was named an All-American Honorable Mention award winner three times, and conference [...]

By | May 2nd, 2016|Biology, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Acker Honored With Presidential Award of Excellence
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