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CBS News - September 2003

From the Dean: The Nature of Life at CBS

It was good to see many of you at our annual Community Day on September 5. Strengthening our sense of community is vital to our success, especially as we continue to grow. It also makes our work more enjoyable and fulfilling.

The Nature of Life program, launched this summer at Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories, gave our community a big boost. Nearly all of our freshmen attended one of the three-day sessions held in August to help them get acquainted with faculty, each other, curriculum, research opportunities, and social activities. I would like to thank all of the many faculty, staff, and students who helped to make this new program such a big success.

We strengthened community in many other ways this past year. With the opening of the MCB and Cargill buildings, we created new communities for research and learning. The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, funded by the Legislature with $20 million, also created opportunities to build community with people in other parts of the University, such as IT and the Humphrey Institute, as well as people in government and industry.

New research facilities and funding also enable us to attract the best and brightest faculty and students. This year we welcomed 10 outstanding new faculty members, many of whom will work in the MCB or Cargill buildings. The quality of our students also continues to rise. A third of our freshmen were in the top 5 % of their high school class.

The Science Education Partnership with Greater Minnesota is another way we build community outside of the University. Jane Phillips and Ken Jeddeloh have been working with the College of Education and Human Development and 11 school districts in northern Minnesota to recruit, train, and retain biology teachers for secondary schools. We have established many connections with government and the business community to support the growth of biotechnology industry in Minnesota this year. Planning for the University Enterprise Laboratories incubator is moving rapidly, along with financial commitments to support it. This is important to CBS because it will provide students with internship and job opportunities and faculty with a place to develop their ideas for new technologies.

As I look back, I realize how much we have accomplished this year in spite of economic obstacles. We have overcome these to some extent through relationships - by reaching out to people within and outside of CBS to achieve common goals. The financial challenges will still be with us this year, but I believe we can continue to make the best of things through good relationships.

Bob Elde, Dean
College of Biological Sciences


  • Nature of Life program launched in August
    Freshmen got their first taste of life at CBS at the Nature of Life program in August at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories. Nature of Life is a new program designed to introduce freshmen to each other, faculty, curriculum, research opportunities, and social activities. Nearly all of the 340 members of the freshman class attended the one-credit program. Thanks to all of the faculty, staff, and students who helped to get Nature of Life off to a strong start. They are Kate VandenBosch, Dave Biesboer, George Weiblen, John Anderson, Sehoya Cotner, Pete Snustad, Robin Wright, Bob Elde, Frank Barnwell, Bob Zink, Claudia Neuhauser, Scott Selleck, Tom Soulen, Rogene Schnell, Regina Zmich, Erin Maki, Maggie Kubak, Sarah Huhta Corrigan, Jean Underwood, Sarah Endrizzi, Ola Betiku, Imee Cambronero, Melissa Goettner, Kristen Seitz, Chuck Hernick, and Fred Williams.

  • Meet the CBS class of 2007
    Welcome to the 327 freshmen who arrived at CBS this semester. Here's a little bit about them:

    • 61% are female; 39% are male

    • 65% are MN residents; 25% are WI residents

    • 34% were in the top 5% of their high school class

    • 77 were admitted to the honors program

  • Look for freshmen wearing NOL t-shirts
    Faculty and staff will soon receive coupons to give to freshmen wearing NOL shirts on Fridays. Students with the most coupons will win big prizes at the CBS Year-End Picnic. If you don't receive coupons or need extras, you can pick them up in Student Services, 223 Snyder Hall. Call Sarah Endrizzi, 612-624-9717, with questions.

  • Welcome, new CBS faculty
    Welcome to new faculty who have arrived at the University over the past few months. They are:

    • BMBB: Timothy Griffin, Reuben Harris, Romas Kauzlauskas

    • EEB: Jeannine Cavender-Bares and Jacques Finlay

    • PBio: Jane Glazebrook, Fumiaki Katagiri, and Nathan Springer

    • GCD: Robin Wright

    • Microbiology: Ken Vernick

  • Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment update
    Research clusters have been formed under the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment to explore development of bio-based energy and materials.
    Leaders are:

    In May, the Legislature funded the initiative with $20 million in energy company funds. Faculty are invited to contact leaders to apply for funds for seed grants, educational programs, and to match or leverage special opportunities for funds from other sources. Dick Hemmingson of the University's Government Relations Office is serving as interim director of IREE. For more information, contact him at 625-2263 or

    • Hydrogen: Jane Davidson, IT; Mike Flickinger, CBS; Lanny Schmidt, IT

    • Bioenergy and Bioproducts: David Kittelson, IT; Roger Ruan and Don Wyse, COAFES; Larry Wackett, CBS

    • Policy, Economics, and Ecosystems: Ken Keller, HHH; Steve Polasky, COAFES; Dave Tilman, CBS;

    • Conservation and Efficient Energy Systems: John Carmody, CALA; Greg Cuomo, COAFES; Ned Mohan, IT.

  • Cargill Building tenants move in
    Nearly all of the Cargill Building tenants have moved into their new quarters in the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics. Checked in so far are Ron Phillips (agronomy and plant genetics, CMPG director), Suzanne Livingston (associate CMPG director) Kenneth Vernick (microbiology), Dan O'Sullivan (food science & nutrition), Sue Gibson (plant biology), Fumi Katagiri (plant biology), Jane Glazebrook (plant biology), Nevin Young (plant pathology), and Phillip Pardey (applied economics). Vivek Kapur (microbiology), Sagarika Kanjilal (veterinary pathobiology), Nathan Springer (plant biology), and Jonathan Kahn (law) will move in by the end of the month. Claudia Schmidt-Dannert and Arkady Khodursky (microbial biochemistry) have robotic equipment in the building but will maintain offices and labs in Gortner Laboratories.

  • Student jobs and internships now posted online
    Have a job opening in your lab? Know a student or alum who's looking for job opportunities? CBS' online job and internship posting system has proven to be valuable and user-friendly to both job-seekers and employers this summer. Post your openings on, or refer your students to, Call the Career Center, 612-624-9270 with questions.

  • Fall Job and Internship Fair
    For the first time, CBS Career Services is co-sponsoring a fall job and internship fair with the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences. Career Day 2003 will offer bioscience employers and CBS students a structured opportunity to make connections in the fall (in addition to CBS' annual fair in early spring). Career Day 2003 will take place on October 8 in the North Star Ballroom in the St. Paul Student Center. 

  • Mentors needed for CBS students
    Would you like to mentor a CBS undergraduate student? Do you know a student who could benefit by having a mentor through the school year? The goal of the CBS Mentor Program is to provide involvement opportunities to more than 100 mentor-student pairs this year. Our students' interests include veterinary medicine, biotechnology, pharmacy, clinical research, dentistry, medicine, education, and R&D in industry. If you or someone you know could commit to monthly contact with an undergraduate student from November to April, please apply at . Applications will be accepted until September 30.

  • Imaging Center acquires new fluorescence microscopy system
    The Imaging Center has acquired a high resolution digital imaging system for fluorescence microscopy. The new system will be used with the Imaging Center's Nikon fluorescence microscope for high-resolution live-cell fluorescence imaging, green fluorescent protein imaging, ion imaging, fluorescence particle tracking, and FRET microscopy. It is a significant improvement, in quality as well as quantitative capability, over the old system. The Imaging Center is located in 23 Snyder Hall. Phone number is 624-3454.

  • 12th Annual Developmental Biology Symposium
    "From Egg to Organ: Cell Cycle Regulation in Development," will be held Sept. 29 - 30 in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union. Speakers include Bruce Edgar, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Terry Orr-Weaver, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; David Glover, University of Cambridge; Bruce Bowerman, University of Oregon; Martine Roussel, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Sander van den Heuvel, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center; Martin Hulskamp, University of Koln; James Maller, University of Colorado, and Jacqueline Lees, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For registration information contact Tami Jauert at or 624-4981.

  • CBS Fall Forum
    The Department of Plant Biology will host the CBS Fall Forum on November 21 at 3 p.m. in the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics. Lecturer is Bill Gray, associate professor, who will speak on "Molecular genetics of auxin signaling: A degrading story of plant development."


Bob Elde, CBS Dean , was named to the Minnesota Biosciences Council by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in August. The council will advise the governor and the Legislature on biosciences policy development and strategies to support the growth of bioscience industry in Minnesota. Frank Cerra, AHC Sr. VP; Doug Johnson, Carlson School of Management, and Jennifer Kuzman, Humphrey Institute, were also named to the 15-person council. The group includes several people from bioscience industry and four legislators.

Martin Blumenfeld , associate professor of genetics, cell biology, and development, was selected as an "Innovator of the Year" by Finance and Commerce, the Twin Cities daily business journal. Blumenfeld was one of 15 recipients recognized at an awards ceremony at Le Meridian Hotel earlier this month. He was selected for inventing the I-Scan Imager, a DNA chip reader that is smaller and less expensive than others on the market.

Jean Underwood was named Director of Student Services this summer by Associate Dean Robin Wright. Jean, who was interim director for a year, has more than 25 years of experience in student services, with an emphasis on career services. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in counseling from Mankato State University.

Bob Sterner, former head of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, stepped down at the end of August to devote full time to his research. Claudia Neuhauser has been named interim head.

Correction: Apologies to Claudia Neuhauser for identifying her as assistant professor in the fall issue of BIO. Neuhauser is professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior. She was incorrectly identified in a story announcing that she received the Dagley-Kirkwood Undergraduate Education Award at Commencement in May.

The Department of Microbiology will celebrate the career of retiring faculty member Martin Dworkin with a mini-symposium titled "Bacteria: Paradigms for Diversity, Development and Evolution" and dinner on Friday, October 3, 2003. James Shapiro, University of Chicago; Dale Kaiser, Stanford University; Lawrence Shimkets, University of Georgia; and John Breznak, Michigan State University will give talks on their research at the mini-symposium, which will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Coffman Union Theater and end with a reception from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the theater lobby. For further information, call 612-624-6190.

Mark Sanders , Imaging Center director, was co-author of a publication in Developmental Cell, Vol 4, 941-952, June 2003, titled "Asymmetric Distribution of Nuclear Pore Complexes and the Cytoplasmic Localization of È2-Tubulin mRNA in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii." Mark has also been asked to co-chair a session at the Conference on Food Structure and Food Quality in Cork, Ireland in October 2004.

Events & Seminars

7th annual Winford P.Larson Lecture
"Human Cytomegalovirus Triggers and Then Blocks an Innate Anti-viral Response"
Thomas Shenk, Princeton University"
Monday, September 29, 12 noon"
Mississippi Room "
Coffman Memorial Union"
Reception to follow."

CBS Fall Forum
"Molecular genetics of auxin signaling:
A degrading story of plant development."
Hosted by the Department of Plant Biology Lecturer: Bill Gray, associate professor November 21, 3 p.m. Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics