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The mission of the Biotechnology Program is to provide cross-disciplinary education and training in twenty-first century concepts and biotechniques to a diverse group of regional, national and international students. The Program prepares a cadre of professionals for careers in the diverse industries being revolutionized by Biotechnology and prepares its graduates for advanced education. Through coursework, laboratory work and other academic experiences such as internships, students advance their critical thinking skills, and master the technical skills necessary to solve complex biological problems.
At West Virginia State University, you will learn state-of-the-art Biotechnology as you conduct research that addresses environmental, agricultural, and bio-medical problems. Our program provides instruction in the broad field of Biotechnology, as well as specialized training in the many sub-disciplines of Biotechnology.
The West Virginia State University Biotechnology Graduate Program is housed within the Department of Biology and offers both MA and MS degrees.  It consists of 14 Ph.D. faculty and some 20 students.  In addition, our affiliation with the Research Scientists of the Gus R. Douglass Institute for Land Grant Research provides opportunities to choose from a surprisingly diverse variety of research projects. 
Application Deadlines
  • For Fall 2021 admission to the program without a Graduate Assistanship, the application deadline is June 13, 2021. To be considered for a Graduate Assistantship the deadline is March 15, 2021.  Fall 2021 orientation and classes start mid August 2021.
  • For Spring 2022 admission to the program without a Graduate Assistanship, the application deadline is November 10, 2021. To be considered for a Graduate Assistantship the deadline is October 15, 2021.  Spring 2022 classes start early January 2022.  
Admission Requriements
We require official documents showing to be sumitted to Dr. Umesh Reddy, Biotechnology Graduate Program Coordinator:
  1. Application form (PDF available on this website)
  2. Statement of purpose (no form but info available on this website)
  3. Sealed official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions showing an over-all GPA of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale), and a GPA in the natural sciences of 3.0 from an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, with a strong background in biological and physical sciences.
  4. GRE scores released to WVSU (code 5903) with minimum scores of 140 verbal and 150 quantitative.
  5. Three letters of professional reference sent directly to the Biotechnology Graduate Program Coordinator (An optional PDF is available on this website)
  6. For all international applicants, we require all post-secondary transcripts to be evaluated by an outside agency such as WES (www.wes.org) or ECE (www.ece.org)
  7. For all international applicants, a minimum TOEFL score of 80 (code 5903) or an IELTS score of 7. 
Consult the "Application Checklist" for a full list of documents required in an application portfolio.

Dr. Mark Chatfield

Plant Physiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology   chatfield@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Chatfield's lab is interested in the interaction between microflora of the soil and trees, particularly with respect to reclamation of strip mines.

Dr. Sean Collins

Social Insect Biology, Insect Population Biology, Ecology   scollin5@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Collins' lab uses molecular approaches to define population distributions of social wasps.
Dr. Jonathan Eya
Fish Biology and Nutrition, Aquaculture, Nutrigenomics, Nutritional Immunology  eyajc@wvstateu.edu Dr. Eya's lab is interested in applied aquaculture, and is currently exploring mitochondrial gene expression relative to nutrition.
Dr. Richard Ford
Coordinator, Biotechnology Graduate Program.  Principles of Biology, Fundamentals Biology, Microbiology, Virology   fordri@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Ford does not have a lab.
Dr. Gerald Hankins
Tumor Biology, Gene Therapy   ghankins@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Hankins' lab studies aspects of meningioma biology, including gene therapy and the effects of exogenous chemicals (ex. progesterone) on gene expression.
Dr. Katherine Harper
Chair, Department of Biology.  Genetics, Cell Biology, Virology  harperkl@wvstateu.edu
Dr. Rob Harris
Muscle Physiology   harrisro@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Harris studies the response of smooth muscle cytoskeletal response to stimuli such as mechanical stress and nutritional chemicals (ex. resveratrol).
Dr. Amir Hass
Environmental Soil Chemist amirhass@wvstateu.edu; Dr. Hass research focus on fate and chemical behavior of nutrients and pollutants in soil and water, on beneficial use of agronomic, municipal, and industrial waste-streams, and on development of reclamation and mitigation practices to offset anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem services.
Dr. David Huber
Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Microbial Genomics, Microbial Diversity, Biofilms, Anaerobic Digestion   huberdh@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Huber's lab uses molecular approaches to characterize the identity and function of microbial communities in poultry waste treated in a thermophilic anaerobic digester.
Dr. Barbara Liedl
Plant Breeding and Genetics, Horticulture, Plant Reproductive Barriers, Sustainable Agriculture liedlbe@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Liedl's lab is developing insect and disease resistant tomato varieties for greenhouse and high tunnel production using marker assisted selection.  Her lab also works on reproductive barriers between cultivated tomato and their wild species to assist in transfer of resistance traits.
Dr. Padma Nimmakayala
Research Scientist and Associate Professor: Quantitative Genetics, DNA marker-assisted plant breeding  padma@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Nimmakayala's research focuses on molecular marker development, genetic and physical mapping, marker assisted selection in vegetable crops (pepper, watermelon, sweetpotato and other cucurbits).
Dr. Umesh Reddy
Plant Genomics, Biotechnology   ureddy@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Reddy teaches Biotechniques, Genetics, Crop Diversity and Evolution, Graduate Seminar and Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics.  Dr. Reddy's lab specializes in genomics of significant traits in commercially important plants, including cotton, peppers, melons.
Dr. Tim Ruhnke
Systematics and Evolution of Parasitic Platyhelminths, Environmental Parasitology ruhnketr@wvstateu.edu  Dr. Ruhnke studies the phylogeny and evolution of tapeworms in sharks and rays, using both traditional phenotypic characterization as well as molecular (rDNA) approaches.
Dr. Sanju A. Sanjaya
Plant Biotechnology, Molecular biology, Synthetic Biology, Biofuels and Phytoremediation. sanjaya@wvstateu.edu  http://www.wvstateu.edu/energy.aspx  Dr. Sanjaya’s lab is leading an active research program to design plants and microalgae with enhanced bioenergy, nutritional value, industrial compounds and phytoremediation for higher production, profitability and sustainability. His lab uses bioinformatics, biochemical, molecular and cell biology, genetics and genetic engineering approaches to understand plant lipid metabolism mechanisms.
Biotechnology Program Core courses (12 credits)
  • BT 555 Statistics 3 credits
  • BT 567 Current Concepts in Biotechnology - 3 credits
  • BT 571 Techniques in Biotechnology I - 2 credits
  • BT 572 Techniques in Biotechnology II - 2 credits
  • BT 511 Biotechnology Seminar - 2 credits (1 credit each semester, taken for two semesters)
MS degree requirements 
  • 30 credits
    • 12 credits of biotechnology program core courses
    • 12 credits elective classes
    • 6 credits of graduate research BT 695 Master's Thesis Research
  • Research Advisor must be a member of WVSU Biotechnology Graduate Faculty.
  • Thesis Committee is composed of the Research Advisor plus at least two other program faculty.
    (one may be an Affiliate Graduate Faculty member)
  • The Research Adviser and the student's Thesis Committee will assist the student in developing the plan of study for the MS degree and thesis proposal. The student's Thesis Committee must accept both.
  • A minimum of two sections of graduate teaching experience (even if you're not a GTA)
  • Oral defense of thesis, public presentation of thesis research, hard-copy of thesis accepted by the WVSU Library
MA degree requirements
  • 36 credits
    • 12 credits of biotechnology program core courses
    • 24 credits elective classes
  • No thesis required
  • A minimum of two sections of graduate teaching experience (even if you're not a GTA)
  • Written and/or oral comprehensive examination over the course work

Because all Graduate Students are required to teach at least two sections, and because many Graduate Students will be employed as Graduate Teaching Assistants, we strongly encourage all Graduate Students to enroll in the elective "Seminar for Teaching Assistants" (BT 501, 1 credit) as early in the Program as possible. One credit of BT 501 counts as a Biotechnology elective. 
Biology Graduate courses  (BIOL)
510.      CONSERVATION ECOLOGY  (3 credit hours)
This course reviews the evolutionary and ecological bases for the Earth’s biodiversity and its
importance to ecosystem function and human welfare.  The causes, rates and patterns of loss of
biodiversity throughout the world and the concepts and techniques used in ecological conservation
and restoration are reviewed.  Three class hours per week.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
521.      ANIMAL PARASITISM  (4 credit hours)
This course details the ecological concept of parasitism, utilizing the prominent parasitic species of
animals and man.  The laboratory component of the course concerns the identification of species and
structures of the important parasites of animals and man.  Lab and field projects dealing with natural
and host-parasite systems will also be undertaken.  Six class hours per week.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
550.      EVOLUTION  (3 credit hours)
A course covering the concepts and theories of modern evolutionary biology, including the mechanisms
of genetic change in populations, speciation patterns, and geologic change through time.  Three class
hours per week.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
561.      MICROBIAL GENETICS  (4 credit hours)
Genetic mechanisms of bacteria, including their viruses, plasmids and transposons.  Integration of
genetic principles and genetic/molecular tools for understanding biological questions.  Select topics
in eukaryotic microbial genetics will be included.  Six class hours per week including laboratory.
Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
565.      THE BIOLOGY OF FISHES  (4 credit hours)
This is an introductory course that examines the evolution, morphology, anatomy, physiology, and
ecology of fishes.  The course will relate the above subject areas to aquaculture principles and practices.
Six class hours per week.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
573.      EUKARYOTIC MOLECULAR GENETICS  (4 credit hours)
A study of genome structure, organization and function of model organisms with special reference to Arabidopsis and other higher eukaryotes; theory and methodology of genetic and physical mapping, comparative genomics, sequencing, sequence analysis and annotation; emphasis on the function of complex genomes, genome-wide expression analysis, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, gene silencing, transposons, genome duplication and evolution.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
575.      PRINCIPLES OF AQUACULTURE (4 credit hours)
An in-depth step-by step study of the principles and practices underlying commercial aquaculture
production, aquatic productivity and the levels of aquaculture management.  Practices in the United
States will be the primary focus with attention to the world in general.  Six class hours per week.
Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
599.      SPECIAL TOPICS  (1 - 4 credit hours)
An in depth study of special topics proposed by members of the biology faculty.  Open to graduate
students.  Prerequisite: graduate status and permission of instructor.
605.      ADVANCED ECOLOGY  (4 credit hours)
This course explores the topics at the forefront of basic and applied ecology through current and
seminal primary and review literature.  Topics include plant adaptations to stress and environmental
heterogeneity, ecosystem nutrient and energy dynamics, processes that generate and regulate
biodiversity, the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem function, and the application of this
information towards management, conservation and reclamation.  In laboratory, these concepts will be
explored using field and laboratory experiments.  Six class hours per week.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
635.      ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY  (4 credit hours)
This course is designed as an introduction to the mechanisms and principles involved in life processes.  A general and comparative approach is used to develop and understanding, in biophysical and
biochemical terms have how animals function in order to produce an integrated functioning of the
organ systems.  While all levels of organization are considered, particular emphasis is placed on the
whole animal and its dynamic organ systems.  The course also emphasizes physiological responses to
environmental stresses.  Six class hours per week including laboratory.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
640.      FIELD BOTANY  (4 credit hours)
An integrated laboratory study of the taxonomy, ecology and geography of plants with emphasis on
the flora of West Virginia.  Six class hours per week.  Prerequisite: graduate status and permission of instructor.
644.      PLANT PHYSIOLOGY  (4 credit hours)
This course includes an analysis of the cell biology, biochemistry, metabolism, ecological physiology, and development of plants.  Lecture topics include water relations, respiration, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, mineral nutrition, plant hormones, plant molecular biology, genetic engineering, and the role of environmental signals in plant development, and the environmental physiology of Mid-Atlantic, mixed mesophytic, deciduous forests.  Lectures will be supplemented with reading in research journals. Laboratory exercises are designed to demonstrate basic research techniques as well as the principles covered in lecture.  Six contact hours per week.  Prerequisite:  graduate status and permission of instructor.
Microbial functions, interactions, and diversity in natural and man-made environments.  Applications
of microbial activities in bioremediation, biodegradation, agriculture, health and environmental
biotechnology.  Six class hours per week including laboratory.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
666.      CANCER BIOLOGY  (3 credit hours)
This course will introduce the student to the biology of tumors.   Emphasis will be placed on the cellular and molecular events that lead to tumor formation and progression to cancer. The course format will be a combination of traditional lecture and seminar.  Three class hours per week.  Prerequisites: Entry into the Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of the instructor.
Discussion of current and classical research literature in environmental microbiology, including
microbial ecology and evolution, and the interface with plant, animal and medical microbiology.  Two
class hours per week.  Prerequisites: graduate status and permission of instructor.
Biotechnology Graduate Program  (BT)
501.      SEMINAR FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS  (1 credit hour)
This elective course that will introduce graduate students to the teaching profession.  The course focuses on the structural organization of the academic institution, selected techniques in teaching, issues in the classroom, and current literature in higher education.  There will be selected readings, exercises, and guest speakers.  Class meets one hour per week.  A maximum of one credit of the course may be applied toward the course requirements of the Biotechnology MS or MA degrees.  Prerequisite: admission to graduate program or permission of instructor.
511.      BIOTECHNOLOGY SEMINAR  (1 credit hour) 
This is a graduate-level seminar course involving a literature search, and written and oral presentations of biotechnology research.  Includes evaluation of presentations by off-campus professionals, faculty and peers.  Two class hours per week.  Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program.
555.      BIOSTATISTICS  (3 credit hours)
An introduction to statistics emphasizing its application in biological investigation.  Topics include central tendencies, dispersion, normality, confidence intervals, probability, parametric and non-parametric tests of hypothesis (including tests of independence and goodness of it, correlation, regression, t-test, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and planned and unplanned comparisons), the relationships between effect size, power, and sample size, and fundamentals of experimental design. Two lecture and two lab hours per week.  Prerequisites: Math 101 or Math 121; admission to the program.
567.      CURRENT CONCEPTS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY  (3 credit hours)
Recent developments in animal, plant, environmental and microbial biotechnology, including the engineering of biological processes from molecular to ecosystem-level scales.  Lecture/discussion format.  Three class hours per week.   Prerequisite: Admission to the program.
571.      TECHNIQUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY I  (2 credit hours)
The first in a two semester laboratory series, this course includes a broad scope of protein, RNA and DNA protocols providing experience in the manipulation of macromolecules and transformation of microbes.  Emphasis is on building the skills and intellectual framework necessary to work in the biotechnology field.  Six class hours per week.   Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program.
572.      TECHNIQUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY II  (2 credit hours)
This is the second course in a two semester laboratory series.  This course includes numerous organism-specific techniques of culture, propagation, maintenance and study.  These exercises provide training in bioinformatics, plant and animal genetic engineering, bioreactors and fermentation, research microscopy and cytogenetics, aquaculture, immunology and molecular diagnostics.  Six class hours per week.  Prerequisites: BT571 or equivalent; Admission to the program.
590.      GRADUATE RESEARCH  (1 - 4 credit hours)
An independent research topic designed by the student with the assistance of a graduate faculty advisor that supervises the project.  The topic should be acceptable to the advisor and the chair.  Limited to specific problems in the biotechnology field.  A maximum of 4 credits of BT 590 may be counted toward a Master's in Biotechnology.  Variable contact hours.  Prerequisites: admission to Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of instructor.
591.      GRADUATE INDEPENDENT STUDY OR RESEARCH  (1 - 4 credit hours)
An independent research topic designed by the student with the assistance of a graduate faculty advisor that supervises the project.  The topic should be acceptable to the advisor and the chair. Limited to specific problems in the biotechnology field.  Available after fulfilling 4 credit hours of BT 590.  Variable contact hours.  Course is graded pass / fail only.  Prerequisites:  admission to Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of instructor.
592.      GRADUATE LIBRARY RESEARCH  (2 credit hours) 
Extensive library research techniques in a particular biological area.  Staff assigns a topic and supervises the project.  A maximum of 2 credits of BT 592 may be counted toward a Master's in Biotechnology.  Prerequisites:  admission to Biotechnology Graduate Program and permission of instructor.
598.      INDUSTRY INTERNSHIP IN BIOTECHNOLOGY  (1-3 credit hours)
Experience in the biotechnology industry through work at an industrial site or governmental agency.  Arrangement determined by industry/government partner in conjunction with the student’s graduate committee.  Prerequisites: Admission to graduate program; approval of graduate committee.
599.      SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY  (1-4 credit hours)

An in-depth study of special topics proposed by members of the Biotechnology graduate faculty.  Open to graduate students.  Prerequisite: graduate status. 

695.       MASTERS THESIS RESEARCH  (1 - 9 credit hours)
An independent research project designed by the student with assistance from the Thesis advisor and acceptable to the Thesis committee.  Variable contact hours.  Course is graded pass / fail only.  Prerequisite: admission to the Biotechnology Graduate Program and approval of the graduate committee.
Graduate Assistantships are awarded to students on an annual basis, without regard to financial status, race, sex, age, color, religion, disability, national origin or ethnic origin. Our assistantships (teaching or research) not only provide you with valuable training and experience, they also come with a tuition waiver and a stipend for two semesters (contact us for the current amount). Over 90% of our students are fully supported with assistantships.  
Graduate Assistantships
Almost all WVSU Biotech graduate students are supported by either a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA).  In Spring 2021, we will have five GTA positions and four GRA positions.  Our GTAs teach half-time, which (for a team of two GTAs) means four sections of teaching labs (eight teaching hours, plus 12 hours of preparatory time) per week.  Our GRAs are also half-time (20 hours per week), and the nature of each GRA varies with the particular lab in which the GRA works.
Graduate Assistantships include full tuition coverage and stipends of $12,000 per academic year.  Currently, there are about $400 per year of fees that are not covered by WVSU; however, the Program often has ways to help with these fees.
The Biotech faculty expect that most graduate students will complete their degree in about two years.  Although we do not guarantee support for both years, we make every effort to do so, provided you are making acceptable progress through the Program.  
Graduate Assistantships are awarded to students without regard to financial status, race, sex, age, color, religion, disability, national origin or ethnic origin.  In order to be eligible for assistantships, you must be enrolled in the Program full-time (9 credit hours).
You do not need to apply for a graduate assistantship, you must simply apply to the Program.  We assume that you want to be considered for a graduate assistantship, unless you tell us otherwise.
Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) awardees are chosen by the Biotechnology Graduate Faculty, based on such factors as the number of assistantships available and the academic preparedness of the candidates.  Once a graduate student has been awarded a GTA, the Faculty make every effort to continue supporting the student for four (4) contiguous semesters, not counting summers.
The teaching performance of GTAs is to be evaluated each semester by the faculty member with whom the GTA has taught.  In addition, The Coordinator  will observe teaching by new GTAs, as well as any other GTAs who bear further observation.  Graduate Teaching Assistantships are awarded on a single-semester basis, but are renewable.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) are available through various funding sources.  Some Biotechnology Graduate Faculty are able to employ GRAs through their individual grants monies.  For details, contact the faculty member who sponsors the assistantship.  Graduate Research Assistantships are awarded on a single-semester basis, but are renewable.
Graduate Research Assistantships are not usually awarded to new, first-semester graduate students.

A. Biotechnology Program Core Classes

12 credits of core classes:

  • BT 511 Seminar (2 credits total): 1 credit for each of two semesters
  • BT 555 Statistics* (3 credits)
  • BT 567 Current Concepts in Biotechnology* (3 credits)
  • BT 571 Techniques in Biotechnology I (2 credits)
  • BT 572 Techniques in Biotechnology II (2 credits)

B. MS Degree Requirements

  • 30 total credit hours
  • 12 credit hours of biotechnology program core courses
  • 12 credits elective classes
  • 6 credit hours of graduate research BT 695* Master's Thesis Research
  • Research advisor must be a member of WVSU faculty
  • Thesis committee composed of three faculty (one may be an external examiner)
  • The adviser and the student's thesis committee will assist the student in developing the plan of study for the MS degree and thesis proposal. The student's thesis committee must accept both.
  • One semester graduate teaching experience minimum
  • Oral defense of thesis and public presentation of thesis research

C. MA Degree Requirements

  • 36 total credit hours
  • 12 credit hours of biotechnology program core courses
  • 24 credits elective classes
  • No thesis required
  • One semester graduate teaching experience minimum
  • Written and/or oral comprehensive examination over the course work
The faculty's publications and grants as well as news & events are listed on the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Website here

Master of Science Graduate Theses

Genetic Analysis of Fruit Shape in Capsicum chinense,  Bhagarathi Shahi,  Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), May, 2020.

Study of Dynamic Genetic Effects on Aluminum Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis Using GWAS, Menuka Bhandari, Dr. Padma Nimmakayala (Advisor), July, 2020.

Identification and Functional Characterization of a Novel Regulator of Arenic Stess Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana, Yadira Peña-Garia, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), July, 2020.

Challenges to Improving Vintage Tomato Varieties with Multiple Pest Resistances Using Marker Assisted Selection and Background Genome Selection, Sandhya Gautam, Dr. Barbara Liedl (Advisor), July, 2020.

The Effects of the Genome Doubling on the Transcriptome, Methylolme, and Chromatin Organization of Watermelon, Marleny Garcia-Lozano, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), July, 2020.

Comparative GWAS for Seedling Root Variation in Acidic Conditions Across the Cultivated Pepper Species Complexes, Tosin Enimofe Akinsipe, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), May, 2019.

Effect of Ghost Pepper on Epigenetic Modifications in Human Renal Cell Adenocarcinoma In Vitro, Binlit Mathew, Dr. Padma Nimmakayala (Advisor), July, 2019.

Metabolomic and Transcriptomic Insights for Fruit Cutin in Habanero Peppers, Tolulope Abodunrin Akinmoju, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), May, 2019.

Effects of Water from Arbuckle Creek in Minden, WV on Expressions of AHR, CYP1A1, ESR1, and TFF1 in MCF7 and MDA MB 231 Breast Cancer Cells, Sabin Khadgi, Dr. Gerald R. Hankins (Advisor), December, 2019.

Microbial Ecology and Function Gene Diversity of the Kanawha River Sediment, Andrielle Larissa Kemajou Tchamba, Dr. David H. Huber (Advisor), December, 2019.

Agrobacterium-Mediate Genetic Transformation of Switchgrass, Tawna S. Heath, Dr. Sanju A. Sanjaya (Advisor), July, 2019.

Improving Vintage Tomato Varieties with Tobacco Masaic Virus Resistance Using Marker Assisted Selection and Background Genome Selection to Speed Recovery of Vintage Types, Kshitiz Dhakal, Dr. Barbara E. Liedl (Advisor), May, 2019.

Exploration Into Natural Variation in Arabidopsis to Identify Novel Genes in Response to Aluminum Toxicity and Acidic Growth Conditions, Arjun Ojha Kshetry, Dr. J. Mark Chatfield (Advisor), December, 2019.

Genome-wide Effects of Body Weight and Triglycerides for Dietary Responses of Various Capsicum Species on Drosophila Melanogaster, Nirwan Tandukar, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), December, 2018.

A Survey of the Gut Microbiome Diversity in Response to Dietary Treatments of Various Pepper Species in Drosophila Melanogaster, Joshua Haynes, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), December, 2018.

Characterization of Phytochemicals in Peruvian Peppers (Capsicum baccatum), Marjan Nadimi, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), May, 2018.

Identification of Trichome Development Related Genes Using Genome-wise Association Studies (GWAS) in Citrullus lanatus sp. (Watermelon) and Molecular Analysis of Allelic Effects, Dimple Sharma, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), May, 2018.

Molecular Prospecting for Species of Paraorygmatobothrium (Cestoda: Phyllobothriidea) from Hammerhead Sharks, Victoria Renee Daniel, Dr. Timothy Ruhnke (Advisor), Spring, 2018.

Synthesis and Investigation of a Series of Mixed-Metal Ru-BL-MIII-Cp* (M=Ir, Rh) Bimetallic Complexes as Anti-Cancer Photodynamic Therapy Agents, Abha Maskey, Dr. Gerald R. Hankins (Advisor), July, 2018.

Mining Candidate Genes Specific to Acid Coal-Mine Water Toxicity by Genome-wide Association Study, Bandana Ghimire, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), December, 2017.

Genome-wide Identification and Characterization of Ankyrin Gene Family and Other Genes Involved in Capsaicin Content and Fruit Weight in Pepper, Lav Kumar Yadav, Dr. Padma Nimmakayala (Advisor), May, 2017.

Measuring Stability and Resilience in a Thermophilic Anaerobic Microbiome, Vadesse Lhilhi Noundou, Dr. David H. Huber (Advisor), December, 2017.

Increasing Carboxylate Production in Thermophilic Methanogenic Microbiomes, Alejandro de Jesus Ramirez Garcia, Dr. David H. Huber (Advisor), May, 2017.

Spatial Structure of Microbial and Chemical Diversity in the Sediment of an Industrialized Applachian River, West Virginai, Ifeoma Rosemary Ugwuanyi, Dr. David H. Huber (Advisor), December, 2017.

A Survey of Truffles in WV Forests to Better Understand their Ecology, Mickey King-Fowler, Dr. J. Mark Chatfield (Advisor), December, 2017.

Comparative Fruit Color Analysis for Capsicum spp. Using Genome-wide Microsatellites, Krittika Vilas Tonapi, Dr. Padma Nimmakayala (Advisor), August, 2016.

The Search for Ecotypes of Spotted Salamanders in Kanawha County, West Virginia, Khyra Fullen, Dr. Sean Collins (Advisor), Spring, 2016.

Synthesizing and Triesterified Monosaccharides on the Biocontrol Generalist Predator, Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla ruflabris, Hannah M. Payne, Dr. Barbara E. Liedl (Co-Thesis Advisor) and Dr. Micheal W. Fultz (Co-Thesis Advisor), May, 2016.

Transcriptome Analyses of Watermelon Trichomes, Vasilios Frank Dianellos, Dr. Umesh Reddy (Advisor), May, 2016.

Effect of Dietary Composition and Genetics oon Mitochondril Enzymatic Activities and Associated Mitochondrial Genes Involved in Oxidative Phosphorylation, Iniyavan Pushpalingam, Dr. Jonathan C. Eya (Advisor), August, 2016.

The Effect of Carbon Amendments on Squash and Radish Germination and Growth, in Herbicide Treated Soils. Jessica Hoffman. Mark Chatfield, Advisor. December 2015.

Molecular and Morphological Evaluation of the Rubus Species Diversity in West Virginia. Douglas Bright. Barbara Liedl, Advisor. December 2015.

Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) for Trichome Density and Trichome Length in Watermelon. Abiodun Bodunrin. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. August 2015.

Diversity Analysis and Association Mapping of Fruit Colors in Capsicum annum. Brittany Davenport. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. May 2015.

Molecular Prospecting for Species in a New Genus of the Rhinebothriidea. Andrew Haslach. Timothy Ruhnke, Advisor. December 2014.

Thermophilic Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Poultry Litter and Crude Glycerol. Akintolami Adeleye. David Huber, Advisor. December 2014.

Analysis of Genome Diversity in Watermelon and Association Mapping for Fruit Traits. Lavanua Abburi. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. December 2013

Linkage Disequalibrium and Population Structure Analysis Among Capsicum Annum L. Cultivars for Use in Association Mapping. Venkata Lakshmi Abburi. Padma Nimmakayala, Advisor. May 2013.

Molecular and Morphological Characterization of Four New Species of Anthocephalum Linton 1890. Allison Cox. Timothy Ruhnke, Advisor. May 2013.

Understanding the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: DNA Binding Sites, and Knockdown Studies in Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells & Gene Expression Profiling of Scwannomas, a Nerve Sheath Tumor. Jackie Fletcher. Gerald Hankins, Advisor. May 2013.

Cytogenetic Characterization of Important Genes Using BAC-FISH and Building a Genetic Map of Citrullus lantus var. lantus. Abhishek Bhandari. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. December 2012.

Microbial Ecology and Performance of Anaerobic Digesters Through Changes in Organic Loading Rates. Jesus Chavarria Palma. David Huber, Advisor. December 2012.

Comparitive Study of Plant Biomass Degradation in the Insect Gut Microbiome. Niranjan Aryal. David Huber, Advisor. July 2012.

Differential Expression of miRNA Across the Grafted Tissue Collected from Heterografts Involving Different Genera of Cucurbitaceae. Hugh Dalton. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. July 2012.

Fibroblast Growth Factors as Steroid-Responsive Autocrine Signals in Meningiomas. Shelly Bright. Gerald Hankins, Advisor. May 2012.

Resveratrol Attenuates Fluprostenol Indiced Hypertrophy of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Rahul Nagmal. Robert Harris, Advisor. May 2011.

Cytomolecular Characterization of rRNA Distribution and Copy Number Variation Among Various Citrullus Species Using Flourescent In Situ Hybridization. Nischit Aryal. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. May 2011.

Nuclear Localization Mediated Function of CHMP1A in the Regulation of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Signaling. Sumanth Manohar. Dr. Maiyon Park, Advisor. Dr. Gerald R Hankins, Thesis Committee Chair. May 2011.

Evaluation of HEK 293 Cells as a Human in vitro Model for NSAIDs Nephrotoxicity. Sophia N. Brown. Gerald R. Hankins, Advisor. December 2010.

In Vitro Screening of Hibiscus Sabdariffa Extract for Anti-Tumor Properties and Effects on Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration and Proliferation. Christopher R. Racine. Gerald R. Hankins, Advisor. August 2010.

Understanding Microbial Community Structure and Performance During the Co-Digestion of Stillage Waste and Poultry Litter by a Thermophilic Anaerobic Digester. Deepak Sharma. David H. Huber, Advisor. May 2010.

The Role of Mitochondrial Function and Gene Expression in the Growth of Performance and Feed Efficiency of Juvenile Rainbow Trout. Charles F. Pomeroy. Jonathan C. Eya, Advisor. December 2009.

The Genus Anthobothrium (Van Beneden, 1850): Molecular Systematics and Description of Six New Species. Leah M. Wilson. Tim R. Ruhnke, Advisor. December 2009.

DNA Methylation in alteration of US Watermelon Heirloom Genetic Diversity and Regulation of Growth and Development in Arabidopsis Ecotypes. Renee Gist. Umesh K. Reddy, Advisor. July 2009.

Morophological and Molecular Identification of Three New Species of Paraorygmatobothrium Ruhnke 1994 from Carcharhiniform Sharks. Katherine E. Cappellari. Timothy R. Ruhnke, Advisor. June 2009.

Microarray Analysis of Gene Expression in Mechanically Stretched Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Phillip R. Jones. Robert T. Harris, Advisor. April 2009.

Identification of Glucose-Utilizing Anaerobic Bacteria in a Thermophilic Anaerobic Digester Using Stable Isotope Probing (SIP). Tandiwe Mpabanga. David H. Huber, Advisor. December 2008.

Effects of Progesterone and 17-beta-Estradiol on Proliferation and the Expression of DLC1, CAV1, and JUN in Meningioma Cells in Culture. Velvet L. Worstell. Gerald R. Hankins, Advisor. December 2008.

Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci in Tetraploid Watermelon. Mohammad A. Rahman. Umesh K. Reddy, Advisor. December 2008.

Dynamics of Genetic Diversity in Cotton as Revealed by the Methylation Profiles. Venkatagopinath Vaija. Umesh K. Reddy, Advisor. July 2008.

Biomining of P, K, Mg and the Metals Al and Cu from Thermophilic Anaerobically Digested Poultry Litter UsingAgrocybe aegeritaandPleurotus ostreatus. Jeremy Michael Sisson. J. Mark Chattfield, Advisor. April 2008.

Differential Actin Isoform Involvement in Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Smooth Muscle Cells. Stacie Lynne Franson. Robert T. Harris, Advisor. December 2007.

Systematics of Selected Phyllobothriid Species Utilizing the Entire Large Ribosomal Subunit. Joshua Greenwood. Tim R. Ruhnke, Advisor. November 2007.

Co-Localization of Fruit Yield Related Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) to Understand Domestication Footprints in Cultivated Capsicum Complexes. Srinivasa Rao Asturi. Umesh K. Reddy, Adivsor. November 2007.

A First Linkage Map of Sesamum (Sesamum indicum L.) using AFLP and SSR Markers. Jooha Jeong. Umesh Reddy, Advisor. April 2007.

Transient Phosphorylation Events Mediate Contractile Tension Maintenance During Inhibition of Ca2+-Dependent and Ca2+-Independent Contractile Pathways in Rat Aorta. Brenda M. Hill. April 2007.

Resveratrol Alters Stretch Induced Changes in Morphology and Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Signalling in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Shaik R. Sharif. Robert T. Harris, Advisor. December 2006.

DNA Sequencing Variation in Geographic Diverse Samples ofParaorygmatobothrium(Tetraphyllidea: Phyllobothriidae) Collected from the Blacktip Shark,Carcharhinu Limbatus. Robin Le Turner. Tim R. Ruhnke, Advisor. December 2006.

The Fate of 17-beta-Estradiol in a Thermophilic Anaerobic Digester System. Steven Wade Monday. J. Mark Chatfield, Advisor. November 2005.

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Sean
Dr. Sean Collins
Associate Professor, Department Chair
Phone: (304) 766-4150
Dr. Richard
Dr. Richard Ford
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: (304) 766-5742
Dr. Katherine
Dr. Katherine Harper
Professor, Department of Biology
Phone: (304) 766-3142
Dr. Amir
Dr. Amir Hass
Associate Research Professor
Phone: (304) 204-4045
Dr. Padma
Dr. Padma Nimmakayala
Professor of Research, Department of Biology
Phone: (304) 766-3258
Umesh K.
Umesh K. Reddy, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics and Genomics Department of Biology
Phone: (304) 766-3066
Dr. Sanju A.
Dr. Sanju A. Sanjaya
Director, WVSU Energy and Environmental Science Institute, Assistant Professor
Phone: (304) 204-4062

Dr. Umesh Reddy
Biotechnology Program Coordinator
(304) 766-3066
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