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Department of Biology

Department of Biology

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The Department of Biology provides training for both undergraduate and graduate students. The strongest areas of training in the program are in Animal Behavior, Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Computational Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Plant Biotechnology.  In addition, the Department is closely affiliated with other divisions such as the School of Medicine and the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University.  Cooperative programs outside of Case, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and the Holden Arboretum allow for students to have a variety of resources at hand.  Research in the department is primarily conducted in one of three focus areas: Cell and Developmental Biology, Neurobiology and Neuromechanical Systems, or Evolution and Ecology.  This focus framework allows faculty to build on common research interests. Mentored teaching and research programs with faculty and students foster a strong educational environment in the Department.


Biology welcomes new Department Chair, Dr. Mark Willis

Date posted: July 16th, 2015

Mark Willis Chair

Dr. Willis began his tenure as Department Chair on July 1, 2015. He has been with the department since 2001. Read about his research interests on his website here. […Read more]

Dr. Chris Cullis steps down as Biology Chair

Date posted: June 18th, 2015

Chris cake

Dr. Chris Cullis’s tenure as Department Chair was honored on Tuesday, June 16h. Incoming chair, Dr. Mark Willis spoke briefly about the improvements to the department under Dr. Cullis and hung his picture along side the past department chairs in Clapp 405. Dr. Willis will begin his tenure as Department Chair on July 1, 2015.
[…Read more]

Biology’s Rebecca Benard receives Wittke Award for commitment to students

Date posted: May 27th, 2015

R Benard Award

A biology instructor who believes books and lectures aren’t enough has won a 2015 Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Read about Dr. Rebecca Benard and her award by clicking here […Read more]

Karen Abbott named Early Career Fellow of Ecological Society of America

Date posted: May 26th, 2015


Karen Abbott, Assistant Professor of Biology, was named an Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America. The fellowship is awarded to individuals “who have begun making and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions” to the field of ecology.
Nine Early Career Fellows were named for 2015. The Ecological Society of America is the world’s largest society of professional ecologists, with around 10,000 members. […Read more]

Biology graduate student awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Date posted: May 4th, 2015

Abe Perez

Abe Perez, a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Sarah Diamond, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to fund his research on linking insect community responses to urbanization with morphology and physiology. He is one of three Case students to receive the highly competitive award, and the only student from Arts & Sciences; at the national level, the success rate was 12%, or 2000 funded proposals out of 16,500 total. For information on the Diamond lab, […Read more]

CWRU researchers in Biology find possible trigger to skin fibrosis

Date posted: April 15th, 2015


When her father was diagnosed with lung-scarring pulmonary fibrosis, Radhika Atit, an associate professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University, began digging into every detail about the disease.
Read the rest of this article here. […Read more]

Graduate Student in Biology discovers new “Shape-shifting” frog

Date posted: March 25th, 2015

Kathy Krynak 1

Katherine Krynak, a PhD student at Case Western Reserve University and her husband Tim Krynak, project manager at Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources Division, discovered the new species, called the Mutable rainfrog (Pristimantis mutabilis), in 2006 at nature preserve Reserva Las Gralarias. The couple nicknamed the amphibian the “punk rocker” frog for its thorn-like spines. It wasn’t until three years later that the couple discovered the species’ secret shape-shifting skills, […Read more]

Department of Biology alum receives prestigious award

Date posted: February 11th, 2015


Still early in his career, Paul Tesar’s continuous string of accomplishments grew even more robust on Jan. 20 when he was named the recipient of the prestigious International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the premier international award for young stem cell researchers. Tesar will accept the honor at the 2015 ISSCR annual meeting this June in Stockholm, Sweden.
Read the rest of the article here […Read more]

Graduate Student Angeline Catena publishes in Palaeontologia Electronica

Date posted: January 30th, 2015


Click here to read about Angeline Catena’s paper published in Palaeontologia Electronica. Angeline is in the lab of Dr. Darin Croft.
  […Read more]

Dr. Arnold Caplan featured in Orthopedics Today article

Date posted: December 14th, 2014

Image: David Schwartz Photography

More research needed to fully harness power of stem cells in sports medicine
Stem cells have demonstrated promise across all facets of medicine, including sports medicine, where early results have exhibited the potential for enhanced cartilage, tendon and meniscal healing.
These results have increased demand among patients. Several high-profile professional athletes, including National Football League players Chris Johnson and Peyton Manning and Cy Young-winning pitcher Bartolo Colon, have sought relatively untested cell-based therapies for sports-related injuries. […Read more]


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