State system grant funds DNA research

Nicole DaFoe, Slippery Rock University associate professor of biology, has received a $9,924 grant from the State System Faculty Professional Development Council for a student-faculty research project on cellular DNA.

DaFoe said she and biology majors plan to study a cell function called "endorepulication," which scientists observe in plants and organisms. It is a cell cycle in which a cell's DNA is replicated, but the cell does not divide.

"Although it is commonly observed, the function of endoreduplication, or how it is regulated, is not fully known," DaFoe said. "This research project focuses on understanding how endoreduplication is regulated, specifically in soybeans, an agriculturally important crop species. We will also analyze gene expression patterns to determine if these genes are associated with the occurrence of endoreduplication in soybeans."

The board of governor' established the council to encourage continuous attention to the professional growth and development of system faculty as teaching scholars.