Jesse Krause

Dr. Krause earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Sonoma State University in 2007. He did his senior thesis with Dr. Daniel E. Crocker investigating the hormonal regulation of sodium balance in lactating and fasting elephant seals. In 2008, Dr. Krause joined the laboratory of John C. Wingfield at the University of California, Davis, and focused on the endocrine regulation of stress and reproduction in songbirds. After completing his Ph.D. he continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. John C. Wingfield for one year until a collaborative grant with Dr. Simone L. Meddle, at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, was funded in 2016. Between 2016 and 2018, Dr. Krause split his time between the University of California, Davis, and the Roslin Institute studying seasonal changes in gene expression associated with stress and reproduction. Dr. Krause was hired by the University of Nevada, Reno, Biology Department, in 2018 as a teaching assistant professor. Dr. Krause enjoys teaching using the dry erase board. He remains active in research and has several ongoing collaborations.

Research interests:
Dr. Krause is classically trained as a physiologist although his interests have broadened over his career to include ecology and behavior. He is particularly interested in how organisms integrate environmental information to control the expression and progression through life history stages (ie migration, breeding, molt, etc). As a field biologist working in California and Alaska, he has come to appreciate that no discipline within biology it is impossible to separate physiology from ecology and behavior. As an endocrinologist, he is particularly interested in how physiology and behavior are controlled through endocrine signaling mechanisms. Dr. Krause's Ph.D. and postdoctoral research focused on the regulation of stress and reproduction in White-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) and Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus). Birds, as with many other species across a broad range of taxa, use the endocrine system to appropriately time reproduction while dealing with environmental challenges (predation, storms, food shortages, etc). The importance of the interplay between these two systems is becoming more evident as animals deal with a changing environment either through climate change or encroachment by urbanization. Seasonally breeding animals are under a strong selective pressure to breed at the appropriate time of year to ensure high fecundity. This has resulted in selection and utilization of key environmental signals, such as photoperiod, to control endocrine signaling cascades for various physiological processes including reproduction. However, environmental stressors can impair the reproductive axis through the secretion of the stress hormone corticosterone. Dr. Krause's Ph.D. and postdoctoral research have focused on the regulation of stress and reproduction by investigating plasma levels of hormone and tissue expression of receptors and steroid metabolizing enzymes.

Janice Pluth

I am a radiation biologist with training in cytogenetics and a strong background in DNA repair. Primary questions my research has focused on are 1) how cellular changes induced by radiation perturb a cell and its microenvironment to potentiate cancer risk. 2) How does radiation exposure during critical windows of development impact organ growth and the role of the immune system in these changes.

As an independent researcher since 2004 I have successfully managed five-prior NASA funded projects, as well as three successive DOE projects. I was a project leader for a NASA’s virtual systems biology team on DNA damage and oxidative stress for 5 years. These frequent research discussions aided in my staying current in the latest findings in the space radiation field.

Dennis Mathew

Focus. Understanding how a nervous system produces behavior is one of the great challenges of neuroscience. A significant part of this challenge is to study the various complexities that affect information flow through a neural circuit. One level of complexity relates to how neuromodulators convey information about an animal’s internal state (e.g., hunger) to affect information flow through a neural circuit to shape behavior. Understanding the basic principles of this complexity is the focus of research in the Mathew Lab.

Goal. The goal of the research in the Mathew lab is to define elements of the cellular and molecular logic by which hunger states affect information flow in the Drosophila larval olfactory circuit to shape the larva’s behavior.

Significance. This research is of great importance to humans as a subject of both basic and translational science. From a basic science point of view, clarifying the mechanisms by which an animal’s hunger shapes its behavior is vital if we are to understand how flexibility and adaptability are built into a neural circuit. Ultimately, understanding such mechanisms is fundamental for decoding how neural circuits support animal cognition and behavior. From a translational science point of view, since this research examines how the modulation of an insect’s olfactory circuit affects its navigational decisions, it could inspire new strategies to help manage insect vectors of disease. This is significant because many insect pests that transmit diseases to millions of people each year navigate toward their human hosts by primarily relying on their olfactory senses.

Jeffrey Ebersole

Dr. Ebersole received a BA in Biology from Temple University and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Immunology at The Forsyth Institute and remained on the faculty at Forsyth and Harvard School of Dental Medicine until 1985. From 1985-2000 he was a Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Microbiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. From 2000-2017 he was the Alvin L. Morris Professor of Oral Health Research, Director of the Center for Oral Health Research and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Dentistry at the Univeristy of Kentucky. Since 2017 he has been a Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. In 1983 he received the IADR award for Basic Oral Science Research and in 2000 the IADR award for Basic Research in Periodontal Disease. He served as the President of the American Association for Dental Research in 2011-2012. He directed a major COBRE grant from the NIH supporting the Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases at the Univeristy of Kentucky. His CV contains over 300 publications, reviews and book chapters in the microbiology and immunology of oral diseases.
Dr. Ebersole’s laboratory focuses its research efforts on the immunobiology of oral infections. The research emphasizes in vitro, and in vivo studies of host-pathogen interactions using animal and human models of oral disease(s). The COBRE center supported research projects extending over a range of oral-systemic disease studies, including HIV, pregnancy, gestational diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as genetic and environmental challenges that increase the risk of these diseases. The lab was also a part of a major NIDCR effort to identify and validate the potential for point-of-care salivary biomarkers as diagnostic tools for oral and systemic diseases. Research in this area with engineers at Rice University/University of Texas/NYU focused on salivary biomarkers of oral and systemic diseases.

Nicholas Borotto

My research program strives to improve mass spectrometric-based detection and analysis of biomolecules. In particular, we pair mass spectrometry with chemical derivatization, photon irradiation, ion mobility, and radical chemistry to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of proteins, better characterize the acidic and hydrophobic proteome, detect and localize post-translational modifications. Centered at the interface of chemistry and biology, my research program provides students with the opportunity to tackle both biochemically-focused projects and biophysical questions at the core of the techniques themselves. Currently, my group is recruiting students for three projects:

1) Equipping a carbon monoxide laser to a mass spectrometer, characterizing the behavior of irradiated biomolecules, and applying infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD) to instruments and at pressure regimes traditionally precluded from this technique.

2) Probing protein three-dimensional structure with photocaged small molecule reagents both in vitro and in vivo and demonstrating the utility of the temporal and spatial control that is provided by these probes.

3) Applying the tandem mass spectrometry technique free-radical initiated peptide sequencing (FRIPS) to complex mixtures of anions.

David AuCoin

As a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher, I spent eight years studying herpes viral replication and egress. Since then, I have devoted the last 17 years developing antibody-based diagnostics and therapeutics for infectious diseases. Specifically, one of my areas of focus is targeting secreted microbial antigens for diagnosis. Secreted antigens make ideal targets for direct detection and diagnosis of acute microbial infections. My laboratory has developed novel strategies that have allowed for the identification of secreted/shed antigens or “biomarkers”. Following identification of candidate biomarkers, large panels of high affinity monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are generated and selection of optimal pairs for capture and detection is performed. The panels of mAbs are fully evaluated by determining subclass/subtype, affinity, and binding characteristics. Some of the current projects in my laboratory include development prototype diagnostics for melioidosis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, Rift Valley fever, tularemia, viral hepatitis, and Ebola virus disease. Each of these projects involves identification of biomarkers secreted or expressed by each microbe and development of mAb libraries targeting each biomarker. Total funding to my laboratory over the previous 10 years has totaled roughly $12M, mainly from the National Institute of Health and the Department of Defense. Throughout the course of my research career, I have had the privilege to advice 56 trainees, ranging from undergraduates though post-doctoral fellows.

Anne Leonard

We study plant-pollinator interactions from nutritional and cognitive perspectives. We are interested in understanding how bees evaluate, learn about, and remember flowers. Likewise, we are interested in how the nutritional value of the nectar and pollen plants offer bees structures interactions with pollinators and co-flowering members of plant communities. An interest in understanding how human activities can perturb these interactions drives a parallel line of research, on how sublethal exposure to pesticides can affect bee behavior, sensory systems, and health. We address these questions using a combination of lab-based and field studies, often on bumblebees, at Sierra Nevada and Great Basin field sites.

Meeghan Gray

My research interests have focused on the behavioral ecology of large mammals, particularly the interactions between males and females, especially in the context of sex and reproduction. I have always been fascinated with why individuals mate with certain individuals and how those decisions impact levels of parental investment, offspring survival, and future conflict between the sexes. The majority of my research has stemmed from management based projects that I use to examine major themes in behavioral ecology. Currently, I am studying bobcat health and presence in suburban West Reno.

Brian Schilling

Professor Brian K. Schilling joined the Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences department in 2016, and teaches courses in research methods, scientific writing & communication, and military/first responder human performance.

He directs the Physically Demanding Professions Research Laboratory, which focuses on the physical demands among military, law enforcement, fire, and rescue personnel, and also how to best train to meet these demands. He has an extensive publication record, with over 150 papers and grant proposals in the field of human performance. Dr. Schilling also focuses on Exercise Physiology as a STEM discipline, to maximize workforce development in human performance. He frequently gives guest lectures that focus on evidence-led practice in human performance, specifically for both scientists and practitioners.

Schilling earned his master’s in exercise science from Appalachian State University in 1999, and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Memphis in 2004. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

Barrett Welch

My research focuses on understanding how chemical exposures from our environment can influence the immune system, particularly during pregnancy. I gained interest in this field through experiences working with a cohort in Bangladesh, in which my research showed that heavy metal exposure during pregnancy may impair children’s ability to mount effective vaccine responses. My current research assesses how maternal inflammation may mediate the influence of exposure to chemicals found in everyday consumer products. The goal of my ongoing work is to use innovative technologies and biostatistics to provide evidence about the maternal immune system responds to such chemical exposures, as well as how immunity influences pregnancy outcomes.