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Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Newsletter of the Department of Biological Science, Florida State University

Number 4, Winter 2005
Farewell to Conradi Building

Yes, we've heard it before, several times in fact—Biological Science will get a new building to replace Conradi--but this time it's actually happening.

During the fall of 2004, faculty and staff have spent many, many hours in planning meetings with local architectural firm Elliott, Marshall, Innes and laboratory planners from the Atlanta office of national laboratory architects Lord, Aeck, Sargent, first brainstorming about all the features the department would want in such a building, then making the hard decisions about what will and will not fit within the projected budget. Priorities for the structure include lots of natural light and a design that will promote faculty collaboration and spontaneous "intellectual collisions." It will include teaching labs, a 150-seat auditorium, several conference rooms, a rooftop greenhouse, space for all the department's administrative offices, and on the upper floors, laboratory and office space for about 36 faculty members and their graduate students and postdoctoral associates.

The proposed site is on Stadium Drive, just south of the new FSU College of Medicine, which is currently in phase II of construction at Stadium Drive and Call Street on the site of the old developmental research school, Florida High. (The school moved this year to its new location in the Southwood development, southeast of Tallahassee.) According to current plans, the College of Medicine, the new Biological Science building, and the new Psychology building will all flank a landscaped "Science Quadrangle." A food-service facility similar to that in the Oglesby Union is under construction on an adjoining site.

About 60% of the $45 million needed for the project are so far in hand. Planning will continue throughout 2005, construction will begin in 2006, and the new building is scheduled to open its doors in time for fall semester of 2007.

Building Déja Vu

Long-time faculty and staff members are hearing something familiar. Take Dr. Marc Freeman, for example, who says, "When I was recruited in 1972 as a new assistant professor for the Program in Medical Sciences (PIMS), aside from promises of a glorious but temporary laboratory of my own in Biology Unit I, I was shown the plans for a state-of-the-art new PIMS building. My laboratory and office were clearly marked. I hastened to sign my contract before others were assigned my space! When the university president announced at that fall's general faculty meeting that his highest budgetary priority, after the PIMS building, was a large raise for every faculty member in the following year, I knew I had made the best move I could by joining the faculty of Florida State University. Nothing came of either one, of course, or of the several 'new buildings' planned or promised since, so it's about time!"

What about Conradi?

The list of faculty who will occupy the new building is yet to be determined, but whatever the final arrangement, when the new building opens, Biological Science will vacate Conradi Building, which will be completely renovated and go on to serve the university in some other capacity.

Arrivals and Departures

This year, the department combined recognition of retirements, new arrivals, and awards at all levels with simple celebration in a gala Halloween party.

Dr. Dexter Easton "fully" retired after 22 years (!) of half-time retirement as a University Service Professor. Dr. Easton came to FSU in 1955 as an assistant professor in the Physiology Department, before that department merged with three others to form Biological Science. His research interests in neurophysiology encompass the development of a mathematical theory of rate processes as applied to the membrane currents of excitable cells, a subject on which he continues to publish.


Dr. Robert J. "Skip" Livingston retired after 34 years in Biological Science. His research has centered on continuous, long-term analyses of several river and coastal systems in the southeastern United States and has frequently served as the basis for conservation decisions.


Carol Heiman, the department's long-time Facilities Manager, retired in September of 2004. Carol supervised a large fraction of the department's staff and such diverse operations as the stockroom; the machine, wood, and electronics shops; the motor pool; and the greenhouse facilities. Her 1985 FSU Exemplary Employee award was only a small reflection of her enormous contribution to the department's operation.


In the fall of 2004, Dr. Hengli Tang joined the department as an assistant professor. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, in 1998 and worked at Immusol, Inc., before coming to FSU. Dr. Tang studies virus–host cell interactions of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), and his current main focus is on molecular and cell biology of HCV replication.


In Memoriam

Lee David Bowen, of the Biological Science stockroom, died suddenly on 17 July 2004 at age 47. Aside from his duties within the department, Lee was the popular "Voice of Seminole Baseball" and had provided play-by-play radio coverage of FSU games for 15 years.

Two organizations currently offer FSU Biological Science t-shirts for sale. The TriBeta Biological Honor Society offers three designs, and the Office of Science Teaching Activities offers shirts featuring the logos of its middle-school outreach program, Saturday-at-the-Sea, and its elementary-school program, Sea-to-See. For more information about the TriBeta shirts, contact TriBeta president Sarah Carufe (850-574-2547, sbc5506@garnet.acns.fsu.edu). For the OSTA shirts, contact Bob Lutz (850-644-9828, lutz@bio.fsu.edu).

2004 Faculty Awards

FSU Developing Scholar Award: Dr. David Houle.

FSU Undergraduate Advising Award: Dr. Robert H. Reeves.

The department's Loretta Ellias Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching: Dr. Debra A. Fadool.

Student Awards

Undergraduate Awards

John Mark Caffrey Memorial Scholarship: Aaron Kline (Tallahassee, Fla.), Kathleen Phipps (St. Petersburg, Fla.), and Marilina Resasco (Norman, Okla.). Faculty Undergraduate Endowed Scholarship: Amanda Steel (Plymouth, Minn.). Charles M. McAllister Endowed Scholarship: Brian Bielfelt (Grand Island, Fla.). Biological Science Alumni Endowed Scholarship: Karen Cherkis (Newburgh, Ind.). Howard Hughes Computational Biology Fellowships: Christopher French (Panama City, Fla.), Carolyn Hemmer (Pocono Manor, Penn.), John Jacobs (Orange County, Fla.), Aaron Kline (Tallahassee, Fla.), Theresa Landon (Concord, Calif.), Yang Liu (Margate, Fla.), Michael Miller-Baquero (Maryland), Kimberly Nevader (Maryville, Tenn.), Fiona Smyth (Cape Coral, Fla.), Kimberly Thornton (Tallahassee, Fla.), and Jennifer Walker (Fairhope, Ala.).

Graduate Awards

Margaret Menzel Endowed Award: Calin Marian (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Likai Song (Beijing, China), Margaret Gunzburger (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), Jill Holiday (Lakeland, Fla.), and (omitted from last year's issue) Jason Robotham (Shirley, N.Y.). Brenda Weems Bennison Memorial Scholarship: Maria Adreani (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Richard Chi (North Palm Beach, Fla.). The Robert B. Short Scholarship in Zoology: Katie McGhee (Calgary, Alb.). The Robert K. Godfrey Scholarship: Sarah Tso (Kansas City, Mo.). The Graduate Student Publication Award: Margaret Gunzburger (Oak Ridge, Tenn.). The Jack Winn Gramling Research Award in Marine Biology: Peter Bouwma (Grand Haven, Mich.) and Pablo Munguia (Guadalajara, Mexico). TriBeta travel scholarship: Jonathan Block (West Palm Beach, Fla.). At the TriBeta National Convention, in Grand Junction, Colo., both Jonathan Block and Eric Powell (Miami, Fla.) received honors in the oral competition, Katie Puckett (Pensacola, Fla.) took first place for her poster on cell and molecular division, and Mariam Gudarzi (Gainesville, Fla.) took third place with a poster about organismal division.

Staff Awards

The Sheila B. Lutz Memorial Scholarship: The 2004 Lutz Scholarship, intended to help an FSU staff member complete a college degree, was awarded to Mary L. Strickland. Mary has worked at Florida State for 10 years, in several administrative departments, but is now a full-time Admissions/Registrar Officer in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. In the personal statement that formed a part of her application, she said, "Although no one else in my family has gone to college, it has been my goal to get an education not only to better myself but also to set high goals for my children. They know the most important thing to me is their education." Mary is working toward a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, and she maintains a GPA above 3.25.

History of the University

As though to echo the Biological Science History Project, Florida State University has initiated the FSU Heritage Protocol, a project intended to locate and catalog objects—artifacts, landmarks, memorabilia, papers, and photographs—that reflect the university's history and heritage before their significance is forgotten or the objects are lost. Visit the Heritage Protocol website at http://www.heritage.fsu.edu to learn more or to register objects you may have in your possession.

News from Alumni

Remember that we can fit only a fraction of each entry into the print newsletter. Visit the on-line version of News from Alumni for the full stories and original wording.

1960's
Robert W. Perkins: I am a 1969 law graduate of FSU. I am a long-time attorney and lobbyist in Florida, former head resident counselor in the Southern Scholarship Foundation. I have long known of the excellence of biological sciences at FSU. I am presently into malacology (freshwater clams) in Florida and would appreciate any information about them and especially location and types of populations in the lakes and ponds of north Florida and south Georgia. Please send me any information you have on these freshwater clams. [Editors' note: If you have such information, please let us know. We'll be glad to put you in touch with Mr. Perkins.]

1970's
Dave Jolkovsky, B.S. 1977: Thanks very much for sending Biofeedback. It brought back many warm memories of the wonderful people in the Biology Department when I was at Florida State. It was sad to hear that several wonderful professors had passed on. Dr. Stuy was particularly kind in allowing me to do a Directed Individual Study at his lab after I took his genetics lab course. I can still remember his love of kayaking.

As for me, I successfully completed Phase A of PIMS and transferred to UF College of Medicine, where I realized during Phase B that I did not like working with sick people. I transferred to the UF College of Dentistry and graduated in 1981. After enjoying traveling with the US Air Force for a few years as a dentist, I went back to school and completed a Masters in Oral Biology from UCLA and a residency program in Periodontal Surgery. I have had a private full-time periodontics and implant practice in Davis, California, since 1991 and am still part-time faculty at UCLA School of Dentistry. I enjoy travel, photography, and tennis. My wife of 20 years (Ann) and I have two wonderful daughters (Hanna age 10 and Eliana age 8). Every spring I still reminisce about how wonderful and beautiful Tallahassee was with all of the plants blooming and the fragrant smells, but the people are what really make FSU and Tallahassee so special.

I would love to hear from some fellow students from my era. I will be forwarding a donation as a way of remembering Drs. Stuy and Walborsky.

David Lucking, B.S. 1976: After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Biological Science, I was employed at various medical related firms. Presently, I am Co-Founder, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of SoLapharm, Inc., a developmental stage pharmaceutical company specializing in cardiovascular drugs. Before SoLapharm I was Executive Director of Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs at Noven Pharmaceuticals, where I was responsible for conducting preclinical and clinical trials, interfacing with the FDA and European regulatory agencies, and creating strategic plans relating to the development of new drugs. I am currently a Board member of SFBC International, Inc., a public clinical research organization. In addition, I have authored an article in the European Journal of Clinical Research.

D. Bruce Means, B.S. 1968, M.S. 1972, Ph.D. 1975: In September of 2004, my new book, coauthored with fellow Biological Science alum and courtesy faculty member Anne Rudloe, appeared in bookstores: Priceless Florida, by Ellie Whitney, D. Bruce Means, and Anne Rudloe (Pineapple Press, Sarasota). According to the publisher, Priceless Florida is about the incomprehensible riches of every kind of natural ecosystem found in Florida, from the Gulf of Mexico abyssal plain to the highest, driest sand ridge.

J. Kenneth Shull, Ph.D. 1973: My FSU major professor was Margaret Menzel. I was on the faculty of Loyola University in New Orleans from 1973 through 1984 and served as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. I moved to Boone, NC, in 1984, where I joined the faculty of Appalachian State University as professor of biology. Carolyn and I have been married 36 years. We have two children and two grandchildren.

Michael Spear, B.S. 1976: The last issue of BioFeedback brought to mind Robert Short, who was my favorite professor at FSU. I truly regret that I never contacted him to tell him how much I appreciated his efforts on my behalf. I was a member of one of the early PIMS, graduated from the UF College of Medicine in 1979, and now have a gastroenterology practice in Bristol, TN. Both of my sisters are FSU alumnae (my eldest sister Pat Spear is chairman of microbiology at Northwestern University). [Editors' note: BioFeedback was able to put Dr. Spear back in touch with Dr. Short, who at this writing is alive and well and living in Tallahassee, although long retired from the department.]

1980's
Mark Bloeth, B.S. 1989: I have been employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1990. I've worked in the Pesticides and Toxic Substances Branch and have dealt in areas such as PCB regulation, PCB spill cleanup, and chemical manufacturer requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act. I'm currently involved in pesticide product enforcement, pesticide regulation, and pesticide import/export, which also touches on Homeland Security issues under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

In the mid 1990s I was heavily involved in the enforcement investigations in Mississippi and Tennessee regarding widespread illegal use of methyl parathion in homes, daycares, schools, churches, etc. Lately, I was involved in the "Quail Plantation cases" in South Georgia involving several quail plantations whose illegal use of carbofuran in chicken eggs killed predators of wild quail and quail eggs. I've also investigated and brought a multi-million dollar action against a major pesticide producer for illegal import and distribution of pesticides. My biology degree and education at FSU have definitely helped in my career in achieving some "real world" environmental protection.

Joel D. Bumgardner, B.S. 1984: After graduating with honors from FSU, I attended graduate school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Biomedical Engineering. I got interested in biomedical engineering through my honors work in immunology with Dr. Ken Roux. While at UAB I received another BS degree in Materials Engineering in 1988, an MS in Biomedical Engineering in 1989, and my PhD in 1994. My biomedical engineering research has focused on biomedical alloys, their corrosion/degradation properties, host/cellular material interactions, and surface modifications. I received a Fulbright Fellowship (1993–1994) to the University of Umea, Umea, Sweden, to do research on dental materials and implants. I have been in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at Mississippi State University since Fall 1994 working in the biomedical engineering program within the Bagley College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am now an associate professor and the Interim Department Head. A few years ago, I came back to FSU, the first time since graduating, to give a seminar in the Biomedical Engineering Department. A former undergraduate student of mine now attends law school at FSU and another has applied to graduate school in the Biology Department at FSU. I will be moving to the Biomedical Engineering Program at the University of Memphis-University of Tennessee Health Science Center in August 2004. Go Noles!

Stephen V. Guida, B.S. 1983: I went on to podiatry school, received my D.P.M. in 1989, then completed a residency in podiatric medicine and surgery at the Marion V.A. Medical Center in 1990. I completed a one-year associateship in 1991 and have been in private practice since 1992. I am grateful to the FSU Biological Science Department for preparing me for my medical career.

Frank Jordan, M.S. 1989: It was nice receiving a copy of BioFeedback and seeing what's going on in the old department. I was especially interested in hearing about retirements of faculty that I had gotten to know during my time at FSU.

I went on to earn a PhD in Zoology from UF. Currently, I am an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans. My research focuses on ecology of freshwater and estuarine fishes with an emphasis on development of ecological metrics used to evaluate wetland restoration.

My wife, Christine Widdows Jordan (B.S. 1987, PIMS 1988), went on to earn her MD at UF, do an OB/GYN residency at University Hospital in Jacksonville, and serve as an Assistant Professor of OB/GYN at University Hospital in Jacksonville. She is currently a member and chair of the Department of OB/GYN at East Jefferson Hospital in Metairie, Louisiana.

We have two children, Jessica and Joshua.

We're still Seminole fans, even though UF tried to convert us to the dark side.

Michael Kuperberg, B.S. 1986, M.S. 1986: Both my bachelor's degree and my master's are from FSU. I received my Ph.D. in Phamaceutical Sciences (Environmental Toxicology) from FAMU in 1999. I worked for Skip Livingston from 1980 until 1988, and I've worked for Roy Herndon (FSU Center for Biomedical & Toxicological Research) since then. I am currently on assignment to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science in Bethesda, Maryland, through a two-year IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act--the federal legislation that allows federal agencies to "borrow" employees from non-federal entities like universities). As a Program Manager in the Environmental Remediation Sciences Division, I manage approximately 40 multi-year basic science research projects in the general areas of ecology and subsurface remediation science.

My wife Jeanne has a job with Cordus (the cardiac subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson). She is a clinical specialist for their cardiac cath lab product line. She visits 10 or 15 hospitals in this area as "tech support" for their products. The pay is good and the working conditions are great. Lots of flexibility and no call! Our daughters have adapted pretty quickly and seem to enjoy life in the big city.

1990's
Anthony J. Caruso, B.S. 1992: I attended Life Chiropractic College 1993-1996. Currently, I'm a chiropractic physician in solo practice in Lake Worth, Florida. Married 10 years with 2 children (4 & 6), and looking forward to taking my kids to their first football game and tour of the campus. I loved my years at FSU and received a great education that prepared me for my postgraduate years.

Kenneth D. Matejka, B.S. 1990: I attended med school (University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida), then did my residency (diagnostic radiology, Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation, New Orleans, La.), general surgery internship (Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation, New Orleans, La.), and finally a fellowship (MRI at Ochsner Medical Foundation, board certification from the American Board of Radiology). Currently I practice with Radiology Associates in Corpus Christi, Texas. Married seven years to Amy Zenick, a lawyer, from Ft. Worth, Texas.

Jason H. Moore, B.S. 1991: I worked with Drs. Siwo deKloet and Laura Keller as an undergraduate. After that, I worked as a research assistant for two years and then earned an M.S. in Applied Statistics, an M.S. in Human Genetics, and a (1999) Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. I started as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Center for Human Genetics Research at the Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville. In 2003 I was given an endowed Ingram Professorship in Cancer Research, and in 2004 left Vanderbilt to join the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire as the Frank Lane Research Scholar in Computational Genetics, Associate Professor of Genetics, and Director of Bioinformatics for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. My Biological Science education at FSU has served me well. I hope to visit sometime soon.

Jennifer Wade Seaton, B.S. 1995: I enrolled in medical school at Hahnemann University (now Drexel) in Philadelphia in August 1998 and graduated in 2002 with a degree in medicine (ob-gyn). I am currently finishing my second year of residency at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia and expecting my first child in September 2004. Incidentally, my mother, Cynthia Headen Wade, is also a graduate of FSU, August 1972, Elementary Education.

2000's
Marlin P. Seay, B.S. 2002: After FSU, I entered graduate school at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville to obtain my master's in Healthcare Administration. I worked in the Emergency Department at Baptist Medical Center during my didactic studies at UNF, and I am currently completing my administrative residency at Piedmont Medical Center in Atlanta. I anticipate finishing my residency in May 2005, at which time I will formally graduate with my UNF cohort. I enjoy reading about the career progress of other alumni and I look forward to the next issue of BioFeedback. Keep up the great work!

The Real BioFeedback

Please let us know what you're doing now and how you've passed the time since you left Florida State. Please don't let space limit you. Add more sheets or send an e-mail. Did you respond last year? Feel free to send an update! If you can include a financial contribution as well, it would help the department to maintain it's quality in the face of the current fiscal crunch, but we would be delighted just to hear from you. Be sure to let us know whether we can post your remarks on our website and/or include excerpts in the next issue of BioFeedback. Thank you!

Send your news by letter, fax, or e-mail, to

Dr. Anne B. Thistle
Department of Biological Science
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1100

Fax: (850) 644-9829
E-mail: thistle@bio.fsu.edu or biology@bio.fsu.edu

Please let us know whether we can included the information you send us in future alumni news columns or on the web as part of the departmental history project or whether you would like it kept confidential.

Read the replies from readers!


Editorial board: Anne B. Thistle (chair, thistle@bio.fsu.edu), Joanna Carter (carter@bio.fsu.edu), and Cathy Oakley (oakley@mailer.fsu.edu).