Under the Microscope Speaker Series

Under the Microsope Speaker Series Logo

The Under the Microscope Speaker Series began in 2012 with the goal of building a community of learners amongst HBU students and faculty by inviting scientists to share their current biological research endeavors in a scientific seminar format. The speaker series engages students by challenging them to apply their textbook and classroom knowledge to the scientific research being presented and encouraging discussion about research and trending scientific topics. The HBU Biology department aims to bring Athens and Jerusalem together with our Under the Microscope Speaker Series, especially as it educates our students, making their world “deeper, denser, and more beautiful” (Pillar Seven, “The Ten Pillars”).


All students and faculty are welcome to attend the seminars and reception with light refreshments that follows.


Upcoming Seminars:

November 20, 2019 at 5 pm in Mabee Theater

“New insights into the causes of hearing loss and deafness”

Robert M. Raphael, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Bioengineering

Director, Bioengineering Graduate Studies

Departarment of Bioengineering

Rice University


Some of our past Under the Microscope speakers have included:

October 2019

“The NASA Twins Study: The Nutritionist’s Perspective”

Scott M. Smith, Ph.D.

Nutritionist, Manager for Nutritional Biochemistry

Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center



September 2019

“The Future of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine”

Donna Chang

President and CEO of Hope Biosciences



September 2019

Summer 2019 Undergraduate Research Projects

HBU Undergraduate Students

HBU Biology/BCMB Students



April 2019

“Drug and vaccine development for tropical diseases”

Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.

Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine

Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology

Baylor College of Medicine

Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital

Co-Director, Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development


March 2019

“Development and findings of a multinational study to understand genetic underpinnings of common cancers”

Chris Amos, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Quantitative Science

Director for the Institute of Clinical and Translational Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine



February 2019

“Aptamer Applications in Research, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics”

Bill Jackson, Ph.D.

Founder and Chief Scientist

Base Pair Technologies, Inc.



November 2018

“Regenerative medicine and cellular therapies – believe the data, not the hypotheses”

Charles S. Cox, Jr., M.D.

George & Cynthia Mitchell Distinguished Chair in Neurosciences

Director, Program in Children’s Regenerative Medicine

Co-Director, Texas Trauma Institute

McGovern Medical School, UT Health



September 2018

Summer 2018 Undergraduate Research Projects

HBU Undergraduate Students

HBU Biology/BCMB Students



April 2018

“Molecular mechanisms that contribute to cartilage-related conditions”

Karen Posey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Pediatrics

McGovern Medical School, UT Health


February 2018

“A single-dose live-attenuated Zika vaccine”

Pei-Yong Shi, Ph.D.

I.H. Kempner Professor of Human Genetics

Vice Chair for Innovation and Commercialization

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

University of Texas Medical Branch



December 2017

“Genetic and epigenetic laboratory methods to study the epidemiology of autism”

Megan Grove, M.S.

Principal Laboratory Scientist

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology

School of Public Health, UT Health Science Center


November 2017

“The fungal pathogen Candida albicans subverts immune function through specialized metabolic adaptations”

Michael Lorenz, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

McGovern Medical School, UT Health



October 2017

“Topical Retinoids: Therapeutic Mechanisms in the Treatment of Photodamaged Skin”

Ryan Riahi, M.D.

Dermatologist, DermSurgery Associates

HBU Alum



September 2017

“The p53 tumor suppressor pathway”

Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics

UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center



May 2017

“Why We Need Physician Scientists”

Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Internal Medicine; Director, M.D./Ph.D. Program, McGovern Medical School, UT Health



April 2017

“Key Concepts and Principles of Learning and Memory”

John Byrne, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, McGovern Medical School, UT Health


March 2017

“Tube or not tube: Wnt signaling in kidney tubulogenesis”

Rachel Miller, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, McGovern Medical School, UT Health



February 2017

“Undiagnosed Disease and the Use of Flies in Diagnoses”

Hugo Bellen, DVM, Ph.D.

Professor, Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics and Neuroscience, HHMI Investigator, Baylor College of Medicine



November 2016

“Adipose Stromal Cell: Therapeutic Use, Pathological Roles, and Targeting”

Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor/Director, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases, McGovern Medical School, UT Health



October 2016

“Protein Misfolding at the Root of Brain Diseases: Strategies for Treatment and Diagnosis”

Claudio Soto, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurology, McGovern Medical School, UT Health


September 2016

“Inhibition of Candida albicans biofilms and virulence by Enterococcus faecalis bacteriocin, EF1097”

Carrie Graham, M.S.

Graduate Student, McGovern Medical School, UT Health


April 2014

“Pulling an All-Nighter:  Sleep Deprivation and Your Genes

Rachel Hopp, Ph.D.

Former HBU Biology Faculty Member


November 2013    

“Frankenfoods or fantastic foods? Do genetically modified foods make a healthy body?”

Hannah Wingate, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology, HBU


November 2013

“Analysis of the changes in acquisition of resistance to bacteriostatic and bactericidal drugs by Escherichia coli”

Gloria Besil-Rodriguez

HBU Honors in Biology Research Student


September 2013

“Analyzing Buffalo Bayou: Clean Water for a Healthy Body”

Betty Thompson, Ph.D.

Former HBU Biology Faculty Member


April 2013   

“PCR Detection of Naegleria fowleri in Texas Lakes”

Jean Ghosn

HBU Honors in Biology Research Student


February 2013

“Adult Stem Cells – Recent Progress”

Susan Cook, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology, HBU


September 2012

“West Nile Virus Under the Microscope”

Curtis Henderson, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology, HBU


April 2012
“Influence of Bacteria and Dissolved Organic Carbon on Algal Growth”
Heather Wilbourn

HBU Honors in Biology Research Student


Other past HBU Biology Research Seminars (Biology Honors Scholars Thesis Presentations):

May 4, 2018

Michael Clowers

“Antimicrobial properties of Solenopsis invicta Transferrin”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Agnieszka Czopik


May 5, 2017

Nemil Bhatt

“Testing for Tetracycline Resistance in Proprionibacterium acnes Using PCR”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jackie Peltier Horn


May 5, 2017

Kristen Ott

“Effects of Src Inhibitor PD166285 on Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hannah Wingate


November 20, 2014

Alexander Pop

“The Effect of Infrasonic Mechanical Vibrations on the Biofilm Formation”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jackie Peltier Horn & Dr. James Claycomb


November 6, 2014

Anam Kesaria

“An Analysis of Biofeedback, Alpha Waves, and Word Recall”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rachel Hopp


November 15, 2013

Gloria Besil

“Analysis of the Changes in Acquisition of Resistance to Bacteriostatic and Bacteriocidal Drugs by Escherichia coli”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rachel Hopp


April 26, 2013

Jean Ghosn

“Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to Detect Naegleria fowleri in Texas Lakes”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hannah Wingate


April 27, 2012

Heather Wilbourn

“Influence of Bacteria and Dissolved Organic Carbon on Algal Growth”

HBU Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicole Pinaire and Dr. Jackie Peltier Horn


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