Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Natural Sciences Faculty Research

Natural Sciences Faculty Research Interests 

Dr. Yevgeniya Alkayeva: The products of alkylpyridines partial oxidation (aldehydes and acids) are valuable vitamins, feedstocks for synthesis of physiologically active substances, dyes, and other synthetic chemicals.  We are using new catalysts – mixtures of vanadium and titanium oxides - to find green and selective ways for partial oxidation of pyridine derivatives. Modification of the catalyst composition and investigation of the reaction kinetics will be examined to improve the catalyst activity and desired product yield.

Dr. Mark Botton:  In collaboration with Dr. Hamilton, I study the responses of marine invertebrates to environmental stresses such as temperature, osmotic shock, and pollution.  In particular, we plan to continue the our studies with horseshoe crab embryos and larvae, with emphasis on the roles of heat shock proteins (Hsp's) and other biochemical responses to physiological stress.

Dr. Martin Di Grandi: My interest is using medicinal chemistry to improve the biological activity of natural products for the treatment of viral infections and cancer; the total synthesis of natural products.

Dr. Mary Hamilton: We mainly work with invertebrates at this campus. Except for Drosophila we are without a “genome” and therefore we work from the bottom up, i.e. with the proteins. I have been studying stress proteins in the horseshoe crab and snails with Dr. Botton and certain lobster enzymes with Dr. Vernon.   My current interest is in “defensive” proteins, especially superoxide dismutase.

Dr. Deborah Luckett: My research interest involves mammalian aging. I am also interested in Progeroid cells and human chromosomal disorders.

Dr. Robert Madden: My general area of interest is the sensory foundation of animal orientation and navigation.  My present work involves arthropods, which provide excellent models for behavioral and neurobiological studies.  I will be continuing work on honeybee response to magnetic fields at the Calder station.  Possible projects at the LC campus this summer include response to magnetic field in Drosophila, use of time-varying visual information by honeybees, and olfactory learning in honeybees.

Dr. Jason Morris: This summer we will be working to determine which gene is disrupted in fried mutants.  Loss-of-function in fried results in defects in oogenesis (egg production) and in larval growth and pupal development.  In addition to molecularly characterizing the fried mutants, we will also be working on a detailed phenotypic description of the developmental defects in fried larvae and pupae.

Dr. Joan Roberts:  With Dr. Dan-Ning Hu (New York Eye and Ear Infirmary), I examine the potential damage of various agents in the eye and attempt to block such damage with non-toxic antioxidants.

Dr. Guy Robinson: My research is in paleoecology, a multidisciplinary approach to reconstructing past landscapes and environments. I mainly work with core or excavation samples taken from wetlands to address questions concerning climate, vegetation cover, as well as human and large animal presence. I also manage Fordham’s Aero-allergen monitoring station, which takes air samples on a daily basis from March through October, posting daily reports on pollen and mold spores in the Tri-state area.

Dr. Grace Vernon: I study defensive mechanisms that operate in the hemocytes of both healthy lobsters and those suffering from a bacterial infection described as “Brown Shell” disease.  For example, we use immunohistochemical techniques to localize and identify enzymes within the hemocytes.  We plan to investigate other processes such as apoptosis.

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