In 2016, the Department of Biological Sciences excelled in many aspects of its core mission in teaching and research.
With about $9.3 Million in research funding for the fiscal year 2016, Biology had the highest level of funding in the College of Arts and Sciences. Drs. Berger, Dudycha, Richardson, and Twiss all received funding in the Million dollar range. In no small part, this was possible because of the excellent work of our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Furthermore, Dr. Ely won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Awareness and Dr. Rykaczewski the Breakthrough Star Award from the VPR. Publications from Biology faculty received coverage in international media outlets (see other News).
The Department provides a vibrant learning experience for its 1600 Biology Majors and thousands of non-Majors. In 2016, as in years earlier, our faculty received a number of prestigious teaching awards. Dr. Patel received the Mungo Graduate Teaching Award, Dr. Krizek the Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, and Dr. Rykaczewski the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Our faculty also provided more than 200 research opportunities for undergraduate students. Research is an enriching beyond-the-classroom experience for any biologist, and research experience increases students’ competiveness or is even essential for acceptance into professional and graduate schools.
The Department was also happy to welcome the new Assistant Professors Drs. Armstrong (adult stem cells and nutrient sensing in the fruit fly Drosophila), Kathrein (chromatin remodeling and hematopoietic stem cells in zebrafish), and Ho (biostatistics and genetics; primary appointment in Statistics), the Instructors Drs. Sutton and Hagenbuch, as well as our new business manager Garrett Faulk.
Improvements to our infrastructure include the complete renovation of our major lecture hall (CLS 005) and two research labs on the third floor of Coker Life Science.
Also check out the marvelous historic prints of plant life on the hallway of the second floor of CLS, donated to USC by Mr. Graham Arader.