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
Hope is a junior geology major from Lutherville, Maryland. Hope’s research focuses on understanding the time and depth history of the Goochland Terrane in Central Virginia. She is interested in putting together a time-constrained model of exhumation for the terrane, while also understanding the kinematics of its deformation. Outside of research, Hope is the incoming president of the Geology Club, a confidential advocate at The Haven, and an active member of Alpha Phi Omega and the Young Democrats.
Hannah is a sophomore chemistry major from Manassas, Virginia. She is active on campus as the Vice President of William and Mary's ACS certified Chemistry Club and a member of the school’s Harry Potter club. She was also an Orientation Aide for the class of 2021 and is a W&M Scholars Undergraduate Research Experience (WMSURE) scholar. Hannah also enjoys skateboarding and critiquing book to film adaptations.
Rachel is a junior neuroscience major with an Arabic minor from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. She has worked in Professor Landino’s lab since her sophomore year, and is currently pursuing honors research, which she will continue into fall 2018. Her research focuses on the role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of undergraduate science research, she is president of the club running team, co-founder and vice president of the Arabic Language Club, a Monroe scholar, and works as an organic chemistry tutor and Arabic TA. Her future aspirations include pursuing both a Master’s in Arabic language and literature as well as a Ph.D. in Neurochemistry to someday do humanitarian work and research in the Middle East.
Kinsey is a Geology major from Fort Valley, Virginia. Kinsey's research is focused on the Scottsville Basin which a part of the Mesozoic Basin chain that extends the length of the Eastern Coast of North America. She is working on creating exhumation and depth models of the basin using zircon double-dating. Outside of undergraduate research, Kinsey is the incoming Vice President of the Geology club, Secretary of WM's chapter of OSTEM, a member of the Salsa club, and works in set construction in the Theatre department.