Science Speakers

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Science Speakers

The Department of Natural Science really enjoyed having this week’s guest speaker, Kathryn Adkins, from the College of Public Health (COPH) here this week. Several students showed some serious interest in applying to their program. Dr. Pfeifer-Hill was able to forward some of the student responses afterward; Kathryn and Dr. Pfeifer-Hill had time to share a nice lunch at The Sandwich Shoppe; she loved their soup!  (Who doesn't, right?)

The department is looking forward to seeing their next speaker, Dr. Duane Pierson, next Tuesday at 5:00 PM in the Science Amphitheater.  Dr. Pierson is a 1966 NWOSU graduate (biology/chemistry major and math minor) who is now the lead microbiologist at NASA, Houston.  A more complete biography is below:

As a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, Dr. Pierson serves as NASA’s Chief Microbiologist and expert on the many microbiological aspects of space flight. After graduation from NWOSU with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, he earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Oklahoma State University and was at Baylor College of Medicine for ten years before joining NASA over 30 years ago. He is responsible for formulating, developing, and implementing NASA’s microbiology program for current and future human exploration of space. His focus is on identifying microbiological risks of the spacecraft environment to the crew and implementing plans to prevent or mitigate these risks. In addition to his spaceflight operational responsibilities, he directs a highly productive research program with strong collaborations with many U.S. and international scientists. He has published over 160 manuscripts in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals. He also has 22 book chapters, 24 NASA Tech Briefs, and 3 patents. His leadership in space microbiology has made Dr. Pierson a well-recognized figure throughout NASA, the academic community, and the aerospace industry. He maintains academic appointments at Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch, and the University of Houston. The emphasis of his research has been on the microbiology of closed environments, the effects of microgravity on bacteria and viruses, and viral reactivation as a biomarker for human immune function.

These guest speakers were arranged by Dr. Pfeifer-Hill as part of a series of talks for biology majors enrolled in biology seminar.

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