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  • Dental determination: Jackson Stigers Accepted to University of Iowa College of Dentistry

    Jackson Stigers (’22 biology, psychology) had a clear plan for his professional goals in high school. He wanted to become a dentist, which would require earning an undergraduate degree and preparing a competitive application to dental school.

    “I had to make sure that whatever I majored in would check all the dental school prerequisites,” he said. “Biology is a perfect major for many pre-health students like me because we can get our degree while simultaneously completing all necessary prerequisites for our respective graduate school programs.”

    Luckily, just up the interstate from his home of Johnston, Iowa, was Iowa State—and its excellent undergraduate biology program.

  • ISU scientists receive federal grant to advance research on blood stem cells

    AMES, Iowa – The ability to generate a patient’s blood cells in order to treat blood diseases has eluded scientists for years, but a recently awarded federal grant could help Iowa State University scientists take critical steps toward turning that possibility into reality.
    Raquel Espin Palazon, an assistant professor of genetics, development and cell biology, leads an interdisciplinary research team examining a genetic pathway triggered when cells undergo inflammation due to injury or infection. Espin Palazon said the genetic pathway also plays an important role in the development of blood stem cells, or undifferentiated cells with the potential to develop into all human blood cell types.

  • Kate Henderson-biology '97

    Kate Henderson (biology, 1997) honored with Citation of Merit Award from Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    [AMES, IOWA, October 1, 2021]—Kate Henderson, an accomplished leader and executive in the health care industry, will receive the Citation of Merit Award from Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at a ceremony on Friday, October 22, 2021 in Ames, Iowa. The award recognizes distinguished alumni in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and received national or international recognition.

  • Students who are looking for additional advanced biology credits in their program of study should consider taking Dr. Tom Jurik's BIOL 495 seminar this coming Fall.  

    To register for this course, use the online course registration system in AccessPlus on or after your registration start date.  You can view your registration start date in your Student tab of AccessPlus under “Current Stdnt Info.”  Instead of using the “Search for Class” dropdown menu, you will need to enter course reference number 2075440 in the appropriate field and then select “Add Class” (see - – for a video walkthrough).

  • Sophomores in Biology can enroll in a new learning community experience for the Fall 2021 semester: The Sky is the Limit.  This unique opportunity will enable students to connect with like-minded peers, network with faculty in their field of interest, develop goal-oriented academic and professional skills, as well as engage with peer mentors.  

    There are four different course sections associated with The Sky is the Limit learning community.  To register, add LAS 103D (1 credit) to your class schedule in AccessPlus.  Further questions about this program may be directed to Clark Coffman (, Sarah Wehner (, or Norah Warchola (

    LAS 103D Section 1 - Save Planet Earth

    Meeting Time: Mondays, 3:20 pm to 5:10 pm

  • Our experiential learning coordinator, Norah Warchola (, has created a new course to help Biology students work on their professional development.  Offered for the first time in Fall 2021, BIOL 395X "Professional Development in Biological Sciences - Exploring Experiential Learning" counts as an advanced biology course within the major and helps students navigate questions like:

    Why do research or shadowing? What if I don't have research experience? How do I contact potential mentors? How do I find internships? Where do I start with all these application materials? What experiences are right for me?

    This 2 credit course will meet on Fridays, from 3:20 to 5:00 pm and can be added in the AccessPlus registration system.  


  • This Fall, Biology and Genetics major can enroll in an Undergraduate Biology Seminar (BIOL 495) in genome evolution. 

    Course Scheduled: Fall 2021 on Thursdays from 10:00 am to 11:30 am

    Credits: 2

    Prerequisites: BIOL 313 (genetics) and BIOL 315 (evolution) or permission of instructor

    Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Wendel (

    To add the course, enter reference number 2075265 in the AccessPlus registration system.  Students with questions about the course may contact the instructor directly.  

  • Similarly to last year, ecology (BIOL 312) will not be offered this summer.  Instead, we will be offering a course called “Special Topics in Ecology” (BIOL 495 section T2) that will serve as a substitute for this class for Biology majors.  This three credit asynchronous online course will include the lecture components of BIOL 312 only and no laboratory.  The course will run for the first eight weeks of the summer (Session 1) or from May 18th to July 9th.  Dr. Tom Jurik will be the course instructor for Special Topics in Ecology.  Please contact him at if you have additional questions about the course. 

  • Every Fall and Spring semester, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Council recognizes graduating seniors who have gone above and beyond while attending Iowa State. 

    This Fall, one of our students, Augusta Hamaker, has received the award for Distinguished Service.  This award recognizes a senior who has dedicated their time to better their community through community service activities and organizations. 

    Augusta has been very involved with SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers), a student organization that serves as a food pantry for Iowa State students, faculty, and staff experiencing food insecurity.

  • After serving as the Biology Program Director for 15 years, Dr. Jim Colbert (EEOB) is stepping down and passing the torch to Dr. Don Sakaguchi (GDCB). 

  • Students returning to campus for the Fall 2020 semester will get to enjoy some newly-renovated spaces in Bessey Hall.  

    New Study Spaces

    Construction of these two new student use spaces began earlier in the Spring 2020 term and is now completed.  Located on the first floor of Bessey Hall, these will be great for studying!

    Renovated Lecture Space

    Recognize 210 Bessey Hall?  This room has hosted seminar speakers from around the world and been home to many mid-sized Biology Program classes.  With students off campus for the Spring, this renovation project was able to move forward early and will be finished for Fall 2020.  

  • The Biology Program is offering a new advanced biology course for students to take as part of their program of study this Fall 2020:

    Biology of Aging (BIOL 421X) - 3 credits

    Meeting Times for Fall 2020: this course is delivered through web instruction

    Instructors: Anne Bronikowski (  

    Prerequisites: BIOL 211 and BIOL 212

    Course Description: Basic biological principles of aging. Course modules include an introduction to the aging process, body systems and normal aging, and environment and the biology of aging. In addition, disorders and diseases of aging, prevention and treatment and exercise and aging topics will be covered. 

  • The Biology Program is offering a new advanced biology course for students to take as part of their program of study this Fall 2020:

    Bee Biology, Management, and Beekeeping (BIOL 358X) - 3 credits

    Meeting Times for Fall 2020: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:40 pm to 2:00 pm

    Instructors: Amy Toth ( and Randall Cass ( 

    Prerequisites: previous coursework at the 200-level in biology, entomology, and/or agriculture; or by instructor permission

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