Undergraduate mentors in fields of science and engineering:
Dr. Ivan Castro-Arellano - Biology
Research Interests: Disease Ecology (Zoonotic diseases, Hantavirus ecology, tick borne diseases), Community Ecology (Temporal Niche Overlap, Metacommunity Theory), Mammal Ecology, Invasive Species, endangered mammal species.
- Dr. Caitlin Gabor - Biology
Dr. Nihal Dharmasiri - Biology
Research Interests: Hormonal regulation of plant growth and development, application of hormone research in crop improvements.
Dr. Dana M. Garcia - Biology
Research Interests: Cell biology and neurobiology of the retina.
Bio: Ever since high school, I’ve been interested in how cells communicate with one another using signaling molecules. As a graduate student in Beth Burnside‘s laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, I was entranced by the potential of fish retinas as model systems for studying cytoskeleton, cell motility, and cell signaling. As a professor, I pursue my interest in those topics by studying how nerve cells in the retina communicate with the retinal pigment epithelial cells. In fish, the retinal pigment epithelium has long, apical projections which under daylight conditions fill with melanin pigment granules. In the dark, the pigment granules leave the apical processes and reside in the base of the cell around its nucleus. These movements are extensive, making them a good study system for understanding the signaling pathways and mechanical systems that regulate and execute organelle transport.
Dr. Manish Kumar - Biology
Research Interests: The C. difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) is a major concern in hospitalized elderly patients. This condition is induced by certain antibiotics given during either surgery or treatment for bacterial infections which wipe out the normal microflora in the gut resulting in overgrowth and toxin production by C. difficle. Metronidazole is used as first line of defense but has a high relapse of the disease with development of resistance against it. The mechanism of action of metronidazole is elusive and it has been proposed that formation of nitoso- radicals and nitrous oxide exert nitrosative stress on bacterial cells eventually killing them. Using molecular and genetic tools we have identified genes in C. diffcile with altered expression upon exposure to metronidazole and related nitroaromatic drugs. However, we could not detect the nitrous oxide production under the tested condition, indicating that it may not play a significant role in bacterial killing. We also attempted to isolate metronidazole resistance mutants in order to understand the resistance mechanism; however the resistance was unstable and lost upon storage and sub-culturing. Our study has identified the genes that may be involved in metronidazole resistance.
My other areas of interest are antimicrobial resistance, regulation of biofilm and bioremediation of industrial pollutants.
Bio: Education : PhD Microbiology, Dr. RML Avadh University, Faizabad, India. Postdoctoral fellowships: University of Florida and University of Texas at Arlington.
Kumar M, Adhikari S and Hurdle JG (2014) The action of nitroheterocyclic drugs against Clostridium difficile. Int. J. Antimicrobial Agents. 44:314-9
Shen L, Maddox MM, Adhikari S, Bruhn DF, Kumar M, Lee RE, Hurdle JG, Lee RE and Sun D (2013) "Syntheses and evaluation of macrocyclic engelhardione analogs as antitubercular and antibacterial agents" J. Antibiotics. 66:319-25.
Bharati BK , Sharma IM , Kasetty S, Kumar M, Mukherjee R and Chatterji D. (2012) A full length bifunctional protein involved in c-di-GMP turnover is required for long term survival in Mycobacterium smegmatis. Microbiol. 158: 1415-1427
Jain V, Kumar M and Chatterji D. (2006) ppGpp: Stringent Response and Survival. J. Microbiol. 44(1): 1-10
Kumar M, Gupta SK, Garg SK and Kumar A. (2006). Biodegradation of hexachlorocyclohexane-isomers in contaminated soils. Soil Biol. Biochem. 38: 2318-2327
Kumar M, Chaudhary P, Dwivedi M, Kumar R, Paul D, Jain RK, Garg SK and Kumar A. (2005) Enhanced biodegradation of - and -hexachlorocyclohexane in the presence of - and -isomers in contaminated soils. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39 (11): 4005-4011.
Dr. Vicente Lopes - Biology
Research Interests: Human Ecology: all aspects of human-nature relationship, including: sacred/spiritual ecology, deep ecology, ecopsychology, indigenous knowledge, Buddhist ecology, sustainability science.
Dr. Joseph Veech - Biology
Research Interests: I primarily study the habitat ecology of various species at spatial scales from local communities to entire ecoregions. I also study the ecological processes that affect species diversity, including anthropogenic processes. Some of my research involves collection of data in the field and some of it is very much computer-based (GIS, modeling, computer programming).
Dr. Tania Betancourt - Chemistry & Biochemistry - Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization
Research Interests: Biomaterials, nanomedicines, drug delivery, cancer therapy.
Dr. Wendi David - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: DNA/ protein/ small molecular intermolecular interactions; surface plasmon resonance.
Dr. William Hoffmann - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Development of mass spectrometric tools to investigate biological ion structure and problems of forensic interest.
Bio: Dr. Hoffmann came to Texas State from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and West Virginia University where he was involved in developing novel tools to investigate gas phase ion chemistry and sampling techniques. His research interests include furthering these techniques so that the range of problems they are applied to may be extended.
Dr. Jennifer Irvin - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Projects include synthesis of novel n-doping polymers with enhanced stability, using electroactive polymers to develop energy storage devices as alternatives to traditional batteries and capacitors, using electroactive polymers to detect and treat cancer, using processing approaches to enhance electroactivity, developing nanocomposites for water purification, and preparing, modifying, and characterizing nanoparticles.
Bio: Dr. Jennifer Irvin is the Director of the Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization Program as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Texas State University. Her research focuses on electroactive polymers, that is, polymers that change their properties in the presence of an electric field. Dr. Irvin received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Florida under the guidance of Dr. John R. Reynolds prior to spending two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. Irvin then spent eight years as a Research Chemist and Head of Analytical Chemistry in the Chemistry and Materials Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA. In 2008 Dr. Irvin joined the faculty at Texas State University as an Assistant Professor; she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Dr. Irvin has more than 40 publications, 19 patents issued, and over 100 technical presentations. She is a member of the American Chemical Society. You can find out more about Dr. Irvin’s research at: http://http://irvinresearch.wp.txstate.edu/.
Dr. Sean Kerwin - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Bio-organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids focused on non-canonical structures; Synthetic Organic Chemistry focused on Natural Products, N-Alkynylazoles, Microwave-Assisted Reactions, Flow Chemistry, and Biomolecule Conjugates; Computational Chemistry focused on novel diradical- and carbene-generating cyclizations and In-Silico Screening.
- Dr. Karen Lewis - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Dr. L. Kevin Lewis - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Analysis of genes and proteins required for repair of DNA that has been damaged by radiation or chemicals; importance of DNA repair in aging; development of new techniques for purification and analysis of DNA and RNA.
Dr. Chang Ji - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Analytical chemistry, organic electrochemistry, and catalysis.
Dr. Blain Mamiya - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Chemical Education Research, examining factors to increase student success in General Chemistry I & II. Using online homework (increasing time on task) and mathematics fluency for both logical thinking skills and number literacy.
Bio: Dr. Blain Mamiya currently holds a Lecturer position in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Texas State University. Recently, he held the position of Professor of Chemistry and department chair at Independence Community College in Independence, KS. Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, he received B.S. in chemistry from the University of Hawaii in 1982. He went on to the University of Washington in Seattle, WA and received a M.S. in organic chemistry before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin, completing his doctorate in medicinal chemistry in 1993. In addition to his teaching responsibilities while at Independence Community College, Dr. Mamiya is involved with recruiting/marketing for the college by participating in Career Day, Pirate Preview Day, and Future Pirate Day, and sits on the college’s Core Outcomes Committee.
Dr. Mamiya conducts chemical education research in collaboration with Dr. Diana Mason. He has presented the findings on student success using various online homework systems at the 200th, 204th and the 210th 2YC3 conferences, the Kansas College Chemistry Teachers Conference in April 2014. He had a presentation at the 23rd BCCE conference discussing advice to new faculty, and at the 24th BCCE conference on developing the articulation agreement for chemistry courses in the state of Kansas and Technology in the classroom to develop student cognitive and metacognitive skills. At the 210th 2YC3 meeting, he presented a second presentation on an Independent Studies Project three of his students conducted investigating; Atomic Emission Spectroscopy and Nernst Equation. At the 203rd 2YC3 meeting, he co-hosted a workshop called “Documenting Excellence, Development of the Self-Study Tool for Chemistry in Two-Year College Programs”. In addition to the conferences Dr. Mamiya has p resented, he has attended the 22nd BCCE conference, 195th, 208th 2YC3 conferences, 201st 2YC3 conference online conference (2nd online conference presented by 2YC3). Dr. Mamiya served the past 3 years as a member of the ACS Assessment Review Panel for two-year chemistry programs. He serves as a committee member of the newly formed 2YC3 TAB designed to develop policy for social media.
He has held faculty appointments at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Community College located in Austin, TX, Southwestern University located in Georgetown, TX, North Central Missouri College located in Trenton, MO, and Blinn College located in Bryan, TX. He also held a faculty appointment as a high school science teacher, teaching biology, chemistry, and physics, at Kaiser High School in Honolulu, HI and NYOS charter school in Austin, TX. When he is not in the classroom, Dr. Mamiya has a number of interests including cooking and taking every opportunity to play a round of golf.
Dr. Ben Martin - Chemistry & Biochemistry
Research Interests: Solid state synthesis of metal sulfides using innovative methods to trap solids in 'unstable' states, for use in catalysis, energy storage, and other materials applications. Currently my laboratory is exploring electrochemical ion intercalation, photochemical reduction, and laser annealing approaches.
Education: Truman State University Kirksville, MO B.S. 1996, Pennsylvania State University State College, PA Ph.D. 2001, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Postdoctoral Fellow 2001-2003.
2009-present, Associate Professor, Texas State University
2003-2008, Assistant Professor, Texas State University
Dr. Martin Burtscher - Computer Science
Research Interests: GPGPU, program parallelization, data compression, energy efficiency, performance assessment.
Bio: Martin Burtscher is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Texas State University. He received the BS/MS degree from ETH Zurich and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Martin's research interests include parallelization of complex programs for GPUs, high-speed data compression, and energy-efficiency optimization. Martin has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He is a distinguished member of the ACM and a senior member of the IEEE.
Dr. Apan Qasem - Computer Science
Research Interests: High-performance computing, GPGPU, Energy-efficiency, Machine learning.
Bio: Apan Qasem is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Texas State University. He received his PhD in 2008 from Rice University. Qasem directs the Compilers Research Group at Texas State where he and his students are working on a number of projects in the area of high-performance computing including developing intelligent software for improving programmer productivity and using GPUs for general-purpose computation. Qasem's research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Semiconductor Research Consortium (SRC), IBM, Nvidia and the Research Enhancement Program at Texas State. In 2012, he received an NSF CAREER award for his foundational work on autotuning of exascale systems. Qasem has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications including one that won a best paper award. He regularly teaches the undergraduate and graduate Compilers and Computer Architecture courses.
Dr. Federico Aguayo - Engineering Technology
Research Interests: Concrete durability, sustainable materials and alternative infrastructure materials, developing and linking standardized laboratory testing to field performance.
- Dr. Anton Dochtermann - Mathematics
Dr. Young Ju Lee - Mathematics
Research Interests: Numerical Analysis, Scientific Computation, Linear Algebra, Applied Mathematics.
Dr. Thomas M. Keller - Mathematics
Research Interests: Finite group theory and related topics.
Dr. M. Alejandra Sorto - Mathematics
Research Interests: Mathematics Education.
Dr. Shuying Sun - Mathematics
Research Interests: Statistics, Statistical Genetics, and Bioinformatics.
Bio: Dr. Shuying Sun received her Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Toronto in Canada and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Texas State University. Dr. Sun has interests in statistical genetics and bioinformatics and has published more than 20 peer-reviewed research articles in high-impact journals. Dr. Sun's research focuses on addressing challenging genetic and epigenetic questions using statistical and computational methods. She has collaborated with biomedical researchers from different research groups in Canada and the United States on projects related to complex diseases (e.g., cancer and arthritis). She has also been developing statistical methodologies and software packages for genomic problems using Bayesian methods, hidden Markov models, Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms, and linear models.
Dr. Eleanor Close - Physics
Research Interests: Physics Education Research: situated learning and identity development through communities of practice (physics identity development, STEM teacher identity development), K-12 teacher preparation and professional development, Learning Assistant Model adoption and impact, programmatic reform and faculty change, and embodied cognition.
Bio: Dr. Eleanor Close is an Assistant Professor of Physics and a physics education researcher. She directs the TXST Physics Learning Assistant Program and co-organizes regional and national workshops through the National Learning Assistant Alliance. She received her Physics M.S. from the University of Washington in 2003 and her Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Seattle Pacific University in 2009. Before moving to Texas in 2011, she taught at Seattle Pacific University for eight years, where she had a joint appointment in the Physics Department and the School of Education. Between receiving her B.A. in Physics from Bryn Mawr College and starting graduate school, Eleanor taught high school physics and physical science for three years in rural North Carolina, where she became science department chair by seniority after teaching for five months. In her non-work life, she co-parents three young children with her husband Dr. Hunter Close, also a p hysics professor at TXST.