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Mayo Clinic Funds Fifth Year of Biological Sciences Seminars at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Sept. 25, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Mayo Clinic's division of laboratory genetics gift to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation will fund the fifth year of the Biological Sciences Seminar Series at UW-Eau Claire, which will kick off at 4 p.m. Sept. 25 in Room 319 of Phillips Science Hall.

Dr. Daniel Herman, assistant professor of biology, will discuss "The Role of the Mbp 1 Protein in Regulating Morphogenesis in the Human Pathogen Candida albicans."

"The seminar series is a great opportunity for community residents, students and faculty to learn what is going on at the cutting edge of biology research," said Dr. Dan Janik, associate professor of biology and coordinator of the seminar series. "Research is an important part of Mayo Clinic's mission so the speaker series makes for a great partnership with UW-Eau Claire."

Mayo Clinic has hired many UW-Eau Claire graduates and UW-Eau Claire alumnus Dr. Matthew Ferber, a consultant in laboratory medicine and pathology in the division of laboratory genetics, helped get the Mayo Clinic to fund the seminar series, Janik said.

"It was not very hard to get Dr. Stephen Thibodeau, the leader of the molecular genetics laboratory at Mayo Clinic, or Dr. Brian Dawson, Mayo Clinic laboratory genetics division chair, interested in funding this series," said Ferber, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1995. "Their support is a reflection of how much Mayo has gained from hiring students from Eau Claire."

In the laboratory of medicine and pathology where he works, 10-15 percent of the employees are UW-Eau Claire graduates, Ferber said.

"I think Dr. Thibodeau and Dr. Dawson see it as an opportunity to give back to the school that's been so good for Mayo Clinic," Ferber said. "UW-Eau Claire really prepares students well for the laboratory and we'll continue needing those students into the future. I hope supporting this seminar series will continue to galvanize the relationship between Mayo Clinic and UW-Eau Claire."

The fall 2008 speakers series also includes:

  • Dr. Tony Vanden Bush from the microbiology department of the University of Iowa, Oct. 9, "Potential of B Lymphocytes to be Used as Cancer-vaccine Vehicles."
  • Dr. Paul Letourneau from the neuroscience department of the University of Minnesota, Oct. 16, "How Do Developing Axons Find Their Ways to Their Targets?"
  • Dr. David Higgs from the department of biological sciences of UW-Parkside, Oct. 30, "It's Not Easy Being Green: The Genetics of Photosynthesis in a Green Alga."
  • Dr. Francisco Pelegri from the department of genetics of UW-Madison, Nov. 6, "Early Embryonic Development in Zebrafish."
  • Dr. Amy Krist from the department of zoology at the University of Wyoming, Nov. 13, "New Zealand Mud Snails in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Impacts on Natives and Factors Mediating Invasiveness."
  • Dr. Todd Wellnitz, from the department of biology at UW-Eau Claire, Dec. 4, "What Makes a River Run Wild? How Bugs and Slimy Rocks Explain Stream Ecosystem Functioning."

All the seminars will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 319 of Phillips Science Hall. The speaker series is free and open to students, faculty and members of the community.

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KH/JB

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