Chuck Bailey - Geology differs from many other sciences in that time and place are important, for example where and when a fault zone slips, generating a damaging earthquake, is valuable information. I am a structural geologist that studies the architecture of the Earth’s crust, and one of the mountain belts that I study is the Appalachians. Over the next year, W&M Geology majors Katherine ‘Katie’ Lang and Richard Watson will work to better constrain the timing of geologic events in the Appalachians. Katie will date when rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains were metamorphosed and deformed - she’ll be examining three-dimensional exposures in the old Blue Ridge tunnel, a 19th century railroad tunnel that was once America’s longest tunnel. In addition to studying the structural geology, Katie will tell the story of the links between geology and human history in the Blue Ridge. Richard is interested in both the emplacement and exhumation of the Petersburg batholith, a massive complex of granite in east-central Virginia. Other researchers have determined that the granite crystallized 300 million years ago; we plan to use a set of low-temperature geochronometers to determine when these rocks were exhumed, and better define the transition from tectonic collision to rifting in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Lisa Landino - Our laboratory studies the effect of reactive oxygen species on key brain proteins that have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease especially the cytoskeletal proteins, tubulin, tau and microtubule associated protein-2. Tau is the primary component of the paired helical filaments in the neurofibrillary tangles that are observed in Alzheimer’s disease. We have recently directed our attention to oxidative damage to several glycolytic enzymes including pyruvate kinase and lactate dehydrogenase. While enzymes of the glycolytic pathway are essential for proper energy metabolism in all cells, the brain is particularly vulnerable to changes in this pathway due to its high glucose need. Our focus is damage or modification to protein cysteines because this amino acid is the most easily oxidized and the damage can be reversed via normal cellular repair processes.
In addition to damage and repair of cysteines in brain proteins, we also study modification of this reactive amino acid with glutathione, a peptide that plays an important antioxidant role in cells. Lastly, we study modification of protein cysteines with plant-derived antioxidants including quercetin and caffeic acid as well as the neurotransmitter, dopamine. The link between an antioxidant rich diet and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease sparked this interest because antioxidants can become pro-oxidants during oxidative stress.
English-Stonehouse Student Fellows
Katherine 'Katie' Lang - Katie is a junior geology major from Chesapeake, Virginia. Katie's research revolves around the historic Blue Ridge Tunnel in Rockfish Gap, Virginia (~ 30 minutes West of Charlottesville). She is interested in understanding decimeter-thick zones of shearing in the greenstones of the Catoctin Formation, and seek to understand the kinematics and vorticity these features represent. Her project will additionally look into the people behind the construction of the Tunnel in order to better understand the complex interplay of geology and history. Katie is Editor in Chief of The Colonial Echo, W&M's Yearbook, which is the oldest student run publication on campus. She is a Lab Technician in anthropology professor Martin Gallivan’s archaeology lab, where the research focuses on the culture history of the native societies in the Chesapeake, a competitive equestrian who was previously part of Team USA in an international horseback riding competition. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, horseback riding, volunteering in archaeological digs, visiting museums, and reading all the classic books she can.
Richard Watson - Richard is a junior geology major with a planned marine science minor. Richard’s hometown is Richmond, Virginia. He is the liaison officer for the William and Mary Pep Band and plays trumpet in the band. Richard is a member of the Phi Sigma Pi Honors fraternity, and is enjoys volunteering on and off campus. Richard’s research is on the Petersburg Batholith, a large body of granite stretching from Ashland to Dinwiddie.
Lydia Boike - Lydia is a junior chemistry major and self-designed biology and dance major from Coon Rapids, Minnesota. She has worked in Professor Landino’s lab since her freshman year, and will pursue honors research during summer 2017 and her senior year. Her project focuses on the role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from undergraduate science research, Lydia enjoys captaining Haasya, William & Mary’s first classical South Asian dance team, leading United Against Inequities in Disease, volunteering with Alzheimer’s patients, and researching literacy interventions in Haiti. Her future aspirations include pursuing a career involving scientific research as well as teaching and choreographing dance professionally.
Rachel Smith - Rachel is a sophomore Neuroscience major with an Arabic minor from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Rachel is very active on campus as the Captain of the women’s club running team (“Team Blitz”), an Arabic language department tutor, as well as a Monroe scholar. Rachel also loves reading and hiking.