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.
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.
Still, many aspects of stem cells remain unknown. In this issue, Orthopedics Today talks to leaders in stem cell research and medicine to find out how these burgeoning therapies can be applied in sports medicine, whether there is sufficient evidence to support their widespread use and what obstacles block their use.
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The director of Case Western Reserve’s University Farm dresses elegantly and works out of a charming office on the top floor of a former dairy barn. But Ana Locci once had a less illustrious post on these 400 acres 10 miles east of campus. During the early 1980s, while completing her master’s degree in aquatic ecology, she assisted her faculty advisor on the farm. Once a week, she climbed inside giant, foul-smelling fish tanks and scrubbed them clean. Fieldwork in the Snowbelt was no joke either, particularly for a native Venezuelan. “I was in the ponds in the middle of the winter, breaking through the ice and doing all sorts of water measurements,” she laughs. “It nearly killed me!”
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Two undergraduate students in Biology, Riley Tedrow and Russell Engelman, make new species discoveries and become lead authors of the papers that described them. Read more about it in THINK: