“The biology department provides a comprehensive curriculum which challenges students to understand and apply the different levels of biology in real-world applications. I am fortunate enough to be in Professor Jason Chan’s lab researching various lipid signaling pathways in the model organism, C. elegans.”
—Steven Chuh ’18
A Distinct Experience
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Nearly one-third of Juniata’s student body has a Program of Emphasis (POE) that relates to biology—from cell and molecular biology to health professions and environmental science. Brainstorm and research with other fun, smart, and focused students, in biology as well as math, history, and other areas of study.
Enjoy round-the-clock access to laboratory facilities and scientific equipment designed to foster student-faculty collaboration. Some equipment includes: a computer cluster for genomic analysis, a fluorescence scope for imaging of molecules within cells, a cell culture facility, scanning electron microscope, and more. Students can also live and learn at Juniata’s Raystown Field Station, on the shores of nearby Lake Raystown.
Juniata biology students participate in major research projects as undergraduates. Many students work with faculty at Juniata, who have been awarded more than $5 million in funding from organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the Joint Genome Institute, and the National Science Foundation. Students conduct course-based research, and can also intern with biology researchers at other institutions, including MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Penn State’s College of Medicine at Hershey Medical Center.
Funded Programs for Research in Biology at Juniata
The National Science Foundation has awarded Juniata College a $445,039 grant to fund a series of faculty development workshops to be held at Juniata College and other colleges and universities on genomics education over the next five years.
The HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) awarded $1 million in support of Juniata's Genomics Leadership Initiative (GLI), to prepare leaders in science, medicine, and society. Since 2013, more than 30 Juniata students have authored published professional papers resulting from their work in genomics.
The genomics certificate, developed through the HHMI grant, provides students that complete the program broad experiences in scientific research and background in the ethical, legal and societal implications of the human genome project and modern medical practices.
GCAT-SEEK is a group of educators who seek to incorporate new, massively-parallel sequencing technologies into the undergraduate curriculum in order to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to apply these revolutionary cutting-edge tools while investigating biological questions.
NSF S-STEM scholarship program: The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Juniata College a "Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math" (S-STEM) grant to provide community/two year college transfer students with scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for the two years needed to complete a B. S. degree.
Below are two synopses of student presentations from Juniata's Liberal Arts Symposium, a day long on-campus conference held each spring where students and professors present research that they have worked on throughout the year.
In the last decade, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded Juniata a prestigious grant to implement and integrate a Genomics Leadership Initiative into the College’s curriculum that combines instruction in science and the humanities, trains students in analyses of large genomic data sets, and integrates study about the ethical, legal, and societal issues of genomics research.
Juniata biology students enjoy successful careers in many areas of biology. They enter doctoral programs at prestigious institutions including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and UNC Chapel Hill, and undertake health professions graduate study and employment at places such as The Institute for Genome Research and the National Park Service.
- Klarissa Juliano ’17
- an immunogenetics technology trainee by the Johns Hopkins Immunogenetics and Transplantation Immunology Department.
- Aaron Kulig ’17
- enrolled at the Temple University School of Medicine
- Erin Netoskie ’17
- enrolled in the tropical conservation biology and evironmental science program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
- Dustin Servello ’16
- is pursuing his doctorate in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Ohio State University.
In the biology department, faculty serve, first and foremost, as professors. Their teaching has been rewarded internally and externally. They have received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. They have published in journals ranging from Behavioral Neuroscience and Genetics to Undergraduate Education.
“Getting involved is a great way to establish a close, professional partnership with a professor and other students.”
—Katie McGlone ’17
Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society: Join the Lambda Epsilon chapter (based on academic achievement) to advocate for continued scholarship, dissemination of scientific knowledge, and promotion of biological research.
Clubs The Juniata student chapter of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) sponsors visiting speakers and field trips throughout the year. The club also provides funding for students to present at the ASM Allegheny Branch meeting in November, where Juniata researchers are well represented among award winners.
Summer Research: Juniata students undertake research projects in many areas of biology throughout the summer. They research on Juniata’s campus and at MIT, University of Iowa, and University of Texas, South Western, as well as national labs.
Undergraduate Research: Juniata biology students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships and American Physiological Society summer research fellowships, in addition to many other honors. Here are a few recent examples of the research they’ve presented: Chelsea Biefield ’17 and Amanda Harvey ’17, “Analysis of Differentially-Expressed Genes in a Gamma-Secretase Conditional Knockout Mouse,” and John Donlan ’18, “Taxonomic Identity of Ratsnakes from Central Pennsylvania.”