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Biology and Environmental Science News

Date: Oct 2014

Dr. David Harbourt, a Biosafety Officer for the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, presented to a Biotechnology 205: Biosafety and Quality Assurance class about his experiences in biosafety. He has worked as a Biosafety Officer for the past two years. He is a member of the American Biosafety Association and the Society of Toxicology, and is a Councilor for the Chesapeake Area Biological Safety Association (ChABSA).  Dr. Harbourt graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Ph.D. in Toxicology. The BT 205 course introduces safety and quality control issues related to product development in the biotechnology industry and Dr. Harbourt’s presentation enhanced student learning about biosafety.

Tribeta’s new biological sciences t-shirts are now on sale! These shirts will be specific for Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Medical Technology programs. Ordering is open to faculty, staff, and students. The idea behind the shirts is that biological science students will be able to show pride in their majors and that they will bring the biological sciences closer together. Anyone interested can use the links below to see the sizing information and place their order, including payment, online.  The orders must be placed by November 7th.

The capstone work of Hadassa Guttman (BT, ’14) and several other scientists is being presented as a poster at a joint meeting between the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) and the Japanese Society for the Study of Xenobiotics. ISSX was founded in 1981 as an international group that studies the metabolism of foreign compounds. Hadassa completed her capstone internship at Bioreclamation IVT in Baltimore, MD, developing human liver cells as models for drug development. Her work is included in a poster, “Impact of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Human AOX1 on the Enzymatic Activity of Aldehyde Oxidase in Cryopreserved Human Hepatocytes” and in an industry sponsored symposium entitled “Extreme Donor Variability in Human Aldehyde Oxidase Activity: Pharmacogenomics and In Vitro Solutions.” The link to the abstract can be found here -

Kirstin Powell has been the Director of Biopharma Global Quality, in Lonza Walkersville, for the past three years. Ms. Powell came to Stevenson last week to speak to students in the BT 205 course: Biosafety and Quality Assurance. For the previous 10 years, she acted as the Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory affairs at Lonza. She shared her years of experience in the field of Biotechnology with students to improve their understanding of what it is like to work in the Biosafety and Quality Assurance industry. Ms. Powell received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University.

Ajani Khalfani, a senior biology major, completed an internship at GBMC this summer to fulfill her senior capstone hours. With the help of one of her professors here at Stevenson, Ms. Carol Schmidhouser, Ajani secured the internship in the general surgery department with the Finney Trimble Surgical Associates Team. She was able to observe many surgeries in the general operating room ranging from hernia repairs, to appendectomies, a cholecystectomy, a thyroidectomy, and even some plastic surgery procedures. Ajani additionally was able to observe several deliveries in the Labor and Delivery Suite (both vaginal and C-section), as well as shadow residents in the GYN Oncology Suite. Some of the duties she performed during her internship included answering and making phone calls from the operating room when the nurse was occupied and turning over the operating room for the next patient. Ajani says that her favorite part of her experience was being in the Labor and Delivery Suite, because she is working towards becoming an obstetrician, and this internship offered her the opportunity to see firsthand what obstetricians do and the environment in which they work. The picture above shows Ajani at the hospital dancing in a video submission for the Medline Pink Glove Dance Contest, which raises money for breast cancer. GBMC took first place in the competition, winning $10,000 for a local breast cancer organization. Great job Ajani!

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