Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology



Undergraduate researchers present their work in the Miersch lab at scientific conferences!

Christine Severude (below), an undergraduate working on a joint project between the Mierisch and Wheeler labs, has been awarded a Tri-Beta Research Grant and a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, in addition to an ongoing Carbon Fellowship to support their research project studying the genetic regulation of spermatogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Research in the Mierisch lab has demonstrated that increased Notch signaling in the somatic cells of the testes results in arrest in spermatogensis. To better understand how increased Notch signaling interferes with spermatogensis, Christine prepared samples from control and Notch overexpression and mutant samples for RNA-sequencing analysis and is currently peforming bioinformatics analysis of this data to identify potential Notch targets. Research funding will allow Christine to characterize these targets of the next year. Christine presented this work at the virtual National Council for Undergraduate Research and the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium this April, and will present at the Tri-Beta National Convention in Oklahoma City in June.

Undergraduate student Christine Severude presenting their research on the genetic regulation of spermatogensis in Drosophila melanogaster

This April, undergraduate Christopher Petit (below) presented his research at the Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego, California. Christopher is working on a collaborative project between the Mierisch and Kanzok labs, exploring the role of Drosophila Phosducin-like Protein-3 (PhLP-3), a protein hypothesized to function as a member of a chaperone complex that regulates the cytoskeletal protein folding, in the late stages of spermatogenesis. Christopher and others have demonstrated that mutation of this gene results in a failure of sperm to individualize male infertility. Examination of spermatogenesis at the cellular level reveals that nuclei fail to elongate completely in mutant spermatids, resulting in spermatogenesis arrest and a failure to progress to sperm individualization. As nuclear elongation depends on microtubules, Christopher is currently examining the microtuble cytoskeleton in dPhLP-3 mutants. Support from a Mulcahy Fellowship from the Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunites Program and a Victoria Finnerty Award from the Genetics Society of America made this research conference attendance possible.

Undergraduate student Christopher Petit presenting his research at the Annual Drosophila Research Conference

12th Beauty in Biology 2023-2024 Competition - Now Accepting Submissions

Competition rules - 12th Beauty in Biology 2023-2024

Collecting Insects in Winter?

The Department of Biology's Aquatic Insects class taught by Professor Marty Berg, has been offered every other spring since 1996 to introduce juniors to the field of aquatic entomology.

Lectures focus on the behavior, physiology, phylogeny, and ecology of aquatic insects. The laboratory component involves insects and includes a four day field trip in mid-March to northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to collect insects from nine streams. The class dealt with more than two feet of snow at some sites, which made walking in waders difficult; however, the collecting was excellent and only a couple of students took an involuntary swim. Brrr!