Biology is the study of life. In the classroom we learn what is already known, how it became known, and why it is relevant to us and our career path. But real biology is practiced rather than learned. This is why almost all of our biology courses at Andrews are accompanied by a lab in which the student can apply the things he or she has learned to real discovery. And this is why we actively encourage each student to get involved in research and discover something new outside of the classroom and in the real biological world.

Each of our faculty is actively engaged in biological discovery. The specialties of biology that are represented here are wide-ranging, encompassing everything from molecular biology to physiology and ecology. There is something for everyone to get involved in!

Included below are some representative student projects from the past few years. Many of our students have presented their work at meetings and have been coauthors on publications.

If you are interested in research, complete the Undergraduate Research Application. This application form describes the opportunities and expectations of research and is the first step to getting involved in biological research here at Andrews University.

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Peter Lyons, cellular and molecular biology
Structure and function of metallocarboxypeptidases and implications in human disease

Donn LaTour, 2018, "Critical Amino Acids for the Folding of Carboxypeptidase O"

Linnea Burke, 2017, “Activity of Carboxypeptidase O in the Secretory Pathway of MDCK Cells”

Marlene Murray, molecular biology
Effects of omega-3-fatty acids on the phosphoinositol biosynthetic pathway

Taejun Ok, 2018, "Effect of Omega-3-DHA on Myo-inositol Level and Gene Expression of INO1"

Daniel Colon-Hidalgo, 2012, “The effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on Saccharomyces cerevisiae inositol pathway mutants”


Denise Smith, cancer biology
The role of the oncogene Her2/Neu (erbb2) in breast cancer

Daniel Jhang, 2018, "Hybrid boronic acids as potential anti-cancer agents in glioblastoma brain cancer"

Gabrielle Cook, 2017, "Synthesis of cyanostilbenes and testing of their anticancer properties"

Brian Wong, cancer chemoprevention and phytotherapy
Using Chinese medicinal herbs to modulate apoptosis and survival of cancer cells

Rayford Alva, 2018, "Test optimization for evaluating mutagenicity of burned arginine-based heterocyclic amines and the anti-mutagenic effect of Chinese medicinal herbs"


Robert Zdor, soil microbiology
Rhizobacteria as possible agents for biological weed control

Warit Chirechevin, 2017, "Soil sand content, but not soil myrosinase enzyme activity, affects MSM efficacy in suppressing weed growth"

Athena Smith, 2015, "The possible effects of deleterious rhizobacterial combinations on the growth of the weed velvetleaf"



David Mbungu, neurobiology and entomology
Modulation of insect phonotactic behavior by second messenger cascades

Erik Thordarson, 2014, “Factors affecting phonotactic responses in male Acheta domesticus”

Esther Cha, 2013, “Protein kinase C inhibitor blocks the effect of Juvenile Hormone III on the phonotactic selectivity of female crickets”

Benjamin Navia, neurobiology

Neurophysiology of insect phonotactic behavior

Chelsea Kent, 2018, "How age affects phonotaxis in male-exposed female crickets (Achetus domesticus)

Darly Magno, 2017, "The role of octopamine in selective phonotaxis by female cricket Acheta domesticus"



Shandelle Henson and James Hayward, behavioral ecology 
Mathematical modeling of vertebrate behavioral ecology

Christiane Gallos, 2018, "Bifurcations in an Animal Behavior Model for Synchronous Egg Laying in a Seabird Colony"

Isabelle Hwang, 2018, “Effects of Eggshell Coloration on Egg Cannibalism Among Glaucous-Winged Gulls”

Daniel Gonzalez-Socoloske, vertebrate ecology and conservation biology

Ecology and conservation biology of West Indian manatees and other Central American mammals

Ezra Panjaitan, 2018, "Florida manatees have less functional teeth and higher levels of mesowear than other manatee populations"

Purin Chirachevin, 2017, "The relationship between cold stress syndrome mortality and body shape in Florida manatees"

Tom Goodwin, paleobiology

Biology and paleobiology of ground squirrels and other mammals

Randy Sanchez, 2016, "Distribution and paleobiology of hibernation in fossil ground-dwelling squirrels from the Great Plains"

Jamie Kim, 2014, “Investigation of spatial isotope ratios in soil and the effects of fertilizer on plant isotope ratios”