Nov 25, 2020  
2015-2016 University Catalog 
    
2015-2016 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences


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Mission

The mission of the Department of Biological Sciences is as follows:

Education

  • Provide basic biology courses for all programs and majors.
  • Educate majors in biology, biomedical sciences, environmental science, medical laboratory science, and microbiology in advanced undergraduate subjects using techniques to promote critical thinking, creative problem solving, and lifelong learning.
  • Offer opportunities for qualified individuals to pursue graduate studies in the fields of cell biology, molecular biology, and biotechnology at the levels of the master’s (non-thesis and thesis) and doctorate degree.
  • Promote biological literacy at basic and advanced levels in keeping with the mission of the University.

Research

  • Conduct basic and applied research and other scholarly work for the purpose of advancing knowledge and education in biological sciences.
  • Disseminate the results of our research and scholarly work through publication in scientific journals and presentation to professional groups.
  • Provide undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly opportunities as a framework for the study of biological sciences.
  • Provide an environment that is conducive to scientific and educational research.

Service

  • Provide service to the University, alumni, schools, and community.
  • Provide service to professional organizations.

Overview

The Department of Biological Sciences provides the academic, intellectual, and practical foundation upon which all USciences students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to establish a strong biological sciences career.

Through basic biology courses and laboratory experiences, all students at USciences:

  • Learn fundamental concepts in biological sciences.
  • Learn to apply scientific reasoning.
  • Appreciate their discipline from a biological perspective.

The department educates undergraduate majors in advanced biology, biomedical sciences, environmental science, medical laboratory science, and microbiology. Graduates with a major in the biological sciences will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in state-of-the-art methods and techniques used in analytical and problem-solving approaches to current problems, concerns, and questions that must be addressed through scientific inquiry.
  • Interpret primary source scientific publications in the biological sciences, integrating fundamental concepts of chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
  • Incorporate scientific information into well-constructed, valid written documents and oral presentations.
  • Recognize relevant socioethical perspectives in the context of the biological sciences through a strong and balanced general education experience.

The department provides students with research experience as a framework for the study of biological sciences. All undergraduate majors in the Department of Biological Sciences in good academic standing who express a desire to perform investigative research can do so. These opportunities allow students to:

  • Gain experience in the use of modern laboratory techniques and equipment.
  • Construct valid experimental designs.
  • Demonstrate familiarity in analytical and problem-solving approaches to hypothesis testing.
  • Write scientific communications for presentation in public forums or publication.

USciences has articulation agreements with Camden County College, Penn State University-Brandywine, and Montgomery County Community College to facilitate earning BS degrees in biology and microbiology after two years of study at the other school. In addition, articulations exist to facilitate USciences students to earn degrees in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary sciences at selected schools. Further information can be obtained from the Department of Biological Sciences or from the dean of Misher College of Arts and Sciences.

Additional Degree Options

Students with majors in the biological sciences may choose to specialize within their field by choosing to earn a forensic science certificate or by pursuing the BS/MS program.

BS/MS Program

Students who complete the requirements of the BS degree in biology, biomedical sciences, or microbiology may finish a non-thesis MS degree with one additional calendar year of full-time study. The specific prerequisites of this program are successful completion of BS 240, CH 341, BS 461, and BS 466. To be eligible to apply for this program, students should have maintained a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all biological science courses at the 200 level and higher. Credits earned in addition to the minimum 130 required for BS graduation may be eligible for transfer to the MS program. Students may apply to this program during the spring semester of the third year.

Forensic Science

The forensic science program is a multidisciplinary program integrated with various majors at USciences, including biology, biomedical sciences, microbiology, environmental science, and medical laboratory science. The forensic biologist collects and analyzes information and available biological evidence to understand the nature of a legal problem being investigated. This may include the use of serological methods and DNA technology on physical evidence such as blood, semen, or saliva or on insect and animal evidence. Those with advanced degrees in medicine or dentistry can explore the career options available in forensic pathology or odontology. Microbiology graduates may participate in microbial forensics, a new type of forensic analysis important to local law enforcement agencies, federal regulatory and security agencies, and public health agencies. The forensic program in environmental science prepares graduates to participate in investigation of environmental disturbances, usually with a focus on legal action. Care for the environment is supported by detailed laws as communities and nations seek to manage, conserve, and protect the environment.

For more information about the forensic science  program, please see its section elsewhere in this catalog.

Faculty

Peter B. Berget
BS, PhD (University of Minnesota)
Professor of Biological Sciences
Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
Phone: 215.596.7417
E-mail: p.berget@usciences.edu

Ara DerMarderosian
BS, MS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); PhD (Rhode Island)
Professor Emeritus of Biology
E-mail: a.dermar@usciences.edu

Grace A. Farber
BS (Rider University); PhD (University of Pittsburgh)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.3157
E-mail: g.farber@usciences.edu

Stacey Gorski
BS (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia); PhD University of Virginia
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8520
E-mail: s.gorski@usciences.edu

Christopher Janetopoulos
BS (Augustana College); PhD (Texas A & M University)
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: 267.295.3118
E-mail: c.janetopoulos@usciences.edu 

Margaret R. Kasschau
BA (University of Rochester); MS, PhD (University of South Carolina)
Professor Emeritus of Biology
E-mail: m.kassch@usciences.edu

Zachary Klase
BS (Rutgers University); PhD (George Washington University)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8521
E-mail: z.klase@usciences.edu

Melissa G. Marko
BS (Penn State University); MS, PhD (Tufts University)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7437
E-mail: m.marko@usciences.edu

Alison M. Mostrom
AB (Mount Holyoke College); PhD (University of Pennsylvania) 
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.895.1137
E-mail: a.mostro@usciences.edu

Suzanne K. Murphy
BA (Rosemont College); PhD (Hahnemann)
Professor of Biology 
Dean, Misher College of Arts and Sciences
Director, Pre-Health Professions Programs

Phone: 215.596.8921
E-mail: s.murphy@usciences.edu

Kenneth Myers
BS (Philadelphia University); PhD (Drexel University)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7531
E-mail: k.myers@usciences.edu

Dana A. Pape-Zambito
BA (University of Delaware); PhD (Pennsylvania State University)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 267.295.3173
E-mail: d.zambito@usciences.edu

Lois H. Peck
BS, MEd (West Chester University); EdD (Temple University)
Professor Emeritus of Biology
E-mail: l.peck@usciences.edu

Bela Peethambaran
BTech (St. Xavier’s, India); MS (Gujarat University, India); PhD (Mississippi State University)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8923
E-mail: b.peethambaran@usciences.edu

John R. Porter
BS (Pittsburg State University, Kansas); PhD (University of Montana)
Professor of Biology
Research Professor of Pharmacognosy
Director, Biology Graduate Programs
Phone: 215.596.8917
E-mail: j.porter@usciences.edu

Catherine Purzycki
BS (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science); MS (Rutgers University)
Lecturer in Biology
Assistant Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biological Sciences

Phone: 215.596.8498
E-mail: c.purzyc@usciences.edu

Margaret A. Reinhart
BS (Millersville University); MT (ASCP); MMA (Pennsylvania State University); MS (Villanova University)
Lecturer in Biology
Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program
Phone: 215.596.8797
E-mail: m.reinha@usciences.edu

Robert A. Smith
BS, MS (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science)
Distinguished Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8918
E-mail: r.smith@usciences.edu

C. Nicole Sunnen
BS (University of Guelph, Canada); PhD (Baylor College of Medicine)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7420
E-mail: n.sunnen@usciences.edu 

Kevin C. Wolbach
BS (Muhlenberg College); MS (Lehigh University)
Senior Lecturer of Biology
Assistant Dean, Misher College of Arts and Sciences
Director, Destination: Success
Phone: 215.895.3129
E-mail: k.wolbac@usciences.edu

Visiting and Adjunct Faculty

Wasim Anwar
MBBS (Allama Iqbal)
Visiting Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Physiology
Phone: 267.295.3156
E-mail: w.anwar@usciences.edu

Gary Collins
MD (University of the West Indies)
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology and Forensic Science

Allison Goldberg
BS (Rider University); PhD (Rutgers University)

Robert R. Gulay
BA (Rutgers University); MPH (University of California, Berkeley)
Adjunct Instructor in Microbiology

David C. Kurland
BS, MS, JD (University of Pennsylvania)
Adjunct Instructor in Environmental Law

Cristina Ramaciotti
BS (University of California, Los Angeles); MS (Duke University)
Adjunct Instructor in Environmental Geology

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