2013 K-INBRE Symposium Speaker Biographies
Matt Arterburn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology, Washburn University
Title: Breeding Perennial Wheat Via Wide-Hybrid Amphiploids
Matt Arterburn is an Associate Professor of Biology at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas. He has a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Cell Biology from Washington State University. His research focus is on the genetic mechanisms that cause the switch between annual and perennial life cycles in wheat and its relatives. The primary goal of his research is the production of an agronomically viable perennial wheat for use in sustainable agriculture systems, an objective he pursues in collaboration with colleagues at the Mt. Vernon Agricultural Research Station in Washington State and The Land Institute in Salina, KS. Dr. Arterburn teaches courses in Genetics, Cell Biology and Immunology, and frequently contributes to interdisciplinary courses in bioethics and the socially responsible use of genetic research.
Jeff Aube, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Kansas
Dr. Jeff Aubé attended the University of Miami, where he did undergraduate research with Professor Robert Gawley (with whom he later co-authored the graduate text “Principles of Asymmetric Synthesis,” which was just published in a second edition). He received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1984 from Duke University, working with Professor Steven Baldwin, and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Yale University with Professor Samuel Danishefsky. In 1986, he moved to the University of Kansas, where he is now University Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. He also holds a courtesy professorship in the Department of Chemistry. The Aubé laboratory is primarily interested in organic synthesis and in medicinal chemistry. In the former field, his group discovered the Schmidt reaction of alkyl azides with ketones and has applied it to problems in alkaloid and peptidomimetic synthesis. The group’s work in medicinal chemistry currently includes efforts in opioid pharmacology and androgen biosynthesis inhibitors.
Phillip Harries, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology, Pittsburg State University
Title: Virus movement and the host cell cytoskeleton: hijacking cellular pathways to enable virus spread.
Phillip Harries, Ph.D., is from Columbia, Maryland, and is in fourth year as a professor at Pittsburg State University. He received his PhD in Plant Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and worked with Dr. Ralph Quatrano to study the role of the actin cytoskeleton in the polar growth of plant cells. His completed his postdoctoral at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, OK, where he worked with Dr. Rick Nelson studying the interaction between plant viruses and the cytoskeleton. In the last four years with Pittsburg State, he has published in Plant Physiology, PNAS, Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, Virology, and Molecular Plant.
John Pijanowski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas
John Pijanowski, Ph.D., is a professor and former administrator with 20 years of experience as an educator. As an associate professor and program coordinator of Educational Leadership at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Pijanowski teaches several ethics courses including The Moral Mind in Action, Moral Courage, Teaching Character, and Leadership Ethics. In 2010 he was honored with the college's top faculty award for outstanding service, teaching, advising and research and in 2011 honored by the university with the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award. Dr. Pijanowksi earned his B.A. in psychology from Brown University and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in Educational Leadership.
Jeroen Roelofs, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Biology, Kansas State University
Title: The role of chaperones and quality control in assembly of the 26S Proteasome
Jeroen Roelofs joined the faculty of the Division of Biology at Kansas State University in 2009 as an assistant professor. He is originally form the Netherlands, where he received an undergraduate and masters degree from the University of Wageningen. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Groningen with the distinction Summa cum Lauda. His Ph.D. studies in the lab of Peter van Haastert were aimed at studying guanylyl cyclases and the role of cGMP in chemotaxis of Dictyostelium Discoideum. In 2001 he received an EMBO long-term fellowship and joined the lab of Dan Finley at Harvard Medical School in Boston MA. Here he identified three chaperones required for efficient assembly of the eukaryotic proteasomes, a complex protease formed by 33 unique subunits. At KSU he studies the assembly and regulation of the proteasome using a variety of molecular and cell biological techniques in combination with yeast genetics.
Irfan Saadi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center
Title: Role of SPECC1-like Cytoskeletal Proteins in Craniofacial Morphogenesis and Malformation
Irfan Saadi received his B.Sc. (Hon.) and M.Sc. degrees in Biology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he began his research career in Dr. Rima Rozen’s laboratory working on genotype-phenotype correlation in patients with cystinuria. He earned his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Iowa studying the molecular consequences of disease-causing mutations in Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome with Dr. Andrew Russo. His postdoctoral training at Harvard was in genetic analyses of palate and tooth development with Dr. Richard Maas, a preeminent scholar of craniofacial morphogenesis. He joined the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2011. His research focuses on understanding the genetic etiology and molecular mechanisms underlying craniofacial birth defects.
Thomas Wiese, Ph.D.
Professor, Chemistry, Fort Hays State University
Title: L-Fucose Metabolism: A Journey from Diabetes to the Brain
Dr. Wiese received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of
Wisconsin-River Falls and a Ph.D. In Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
(minor in Microbiology and Immunology) from the University off North
Dakota School of Medicine. He then did post-doctoral work at Washington
University School of Medicine and the University of Iowa College of
Medicine before accepting a position at Fort Hays State University. He
is the author of more than 40 total publications and has received about
$600,000 in grants.