Presenters

Nobel Conference Sneak-Peek Retreat

Margaret Bloch-Qazi

Margaret Bloch-Qazi

Margaret Bloch-Qazi is Associate Professor of Biology at Gustavus. Here’s how she describes her work: “I study insect reproductive behaviors and physiology using two model systems, the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). While males and females must cooperate to reproduce at all, there is also often conflict regarding how many progeny to produce, when to produce them, and who will fertilize the female's eggs. This tension between cooperation and conflict results in fascinating reproductive behaviors and physiology. While these types of male-female interactions have been documented in organisms ranging from primates to plants, insects present a particularly tractable study system. My research includes techniques and questions from the disciplines of animal behavior, physiology, genetics, development, and evolution.”

I am interested in understanding how female reproduction changes with age, a process called reproductive senescence. I use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system because at the level of the cell flies function much like humans, and because of the wealth of genetic manipulations available enabling scientists to “dissect” processes such as aging and reproduction. Just like women, female fruit flies produce fewer offspring as they age and those offspring are less healthy than those from young mothers. I am interested in understanding what physiological changes are occurring in the aging females that negatively impact their offspring. These findings offer potential avenues for research to understand causes of human infertility.

Yurie HongYurie Hong

Yurie Hong is Associate Professor of Classics and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Gustavus. Professor Hong teaches language courses in Ancient Greek as well as courses in English on Greek history, myth, and culture. Her research focuses on the representation of pregnancy and childbirth in ancient literature, from early Greek poetry to medical texts, historiography, and tragedy. These days, she is particularly interested in examining the ways in which the study of ancient literature and culture can prompt us to think more deeply about contemporary concerns about marriage, family, reproduction, and diverse bodies.

 

Colleen Jacks

Colleen Jacks

Colleen Jacks is Professor of Biology at Gustavus. She teaches courses in cell and molecular biology and genetics. Of her research, Colleen says this: “ I am interested in gene expression and how gene expression is regulated.  We are using  ribosomal protein genes of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana in our investigations.  Ribosomes are found in three compartments of the plant cell - the cytoplasm, the plastid (e.g. chloroplast) and the mitochondrion.  All three types of ribosomes contain a unique set of proteins, mostly encoded by genes within the nucleus of the cell.  The genes encoding cytosolic ribosomal proteins are coordinately regulated, i.e. turned on and off together, in many organisms.  In plants, many of the ribosomal proteins are encoded by families of genes. We want to understand the role of each family member in the growth and development of the plant.  Currently, we are studying the ribosomal protein S15 gene family.  Data from the Arabidopsis genome project indicate there are five members of this gene family and cDNA/EST sequences are available for two members.  We are determining the expression pattern in different plant tissues and at different developmental stages for each of these family members using RT-PCR and have isolated a T-DNA insertion mutant for one of the S15 genes.”

Mary Gaebler

Mary Gaebler

Mary Gaebler is Associate Professor of Religion at Gustavus. Professor Gaebler teaches in the area of theological ethics. Here’s Mary’s description: “My work emerges from a preliminary interest in Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation, and Lutheran theology.  Teaching and research interests include theological anthropology and the related issues of identity and human agency.  Of particular interest is the formation of "self" and the challenge of difference, particularly the personal and social challenges raised by religious differences of "ultimate concern."

Professor Gaebler has a growing interest in theological issues related to consumerism, environmental degradation and the economic/social effects of a globalized capitalism. Publications include, The Courage of Faith: Luther and the Theonomous Self (Fortress Press, 2013),  "U.S. Property Law Reconsidered in Light of the Lutheran Finitum Capax Infiniti," Lutherans and the Law, (Eerdman's 2015), "Luther on the Self" Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 2002; and a review of "Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation" by John Witte Jr. in the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, Feb. 2004.