Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics


THE FISHER ENDOWED CHAIRS

Academic Years 2014 – 2017

  Dr. Elana Ehrlich
 
Dr. Elana S. Ehrlich, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is the ninth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.

We are very pleased to announce that Elana S. Ehrlich, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been selected as the ninth recipient of the Jess & Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences. Dr. Ehrlich's appointment to the Fisher Chair began on July 30, 2014 and will be for three years. As holder of a Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair, she will be provided a monetary award for each of three years that may be used for, but is not limited to, a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Professor Ehrlich joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences in August 2011. Dr. Ehrlich earned her Ph.D. from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, in 2007. Her bachelor's degree is from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she was a McNair Scholar. Before joining Towson University, Dr. Ehrlich held postdoctoral fellowships at the Bloomberg School and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Ehrlich teaches Cell Biology and Molecular Biology. Her two research foci are geared toward understanding (1) the activity of certain viral proteins, and (2) how individual genetic factors relate to the effectiveness of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Dr. Ehrlich finds it rewarding to work with many students. To date, she has mentored nine undergraduate students and four master's students. She actively encourages women and, in particular, women of color a reflection of a deep commitment to increasing diversity in the sciences. Dr. Ehrlich has two recent publications with undergraduate and graduate student co-authors, and her students have presented at the TU Research Expo and the Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference. She has received several internal grants and has submitted four extramural grant proposals, two of which are currently under review.



Academic Years 2013 – 2016

Dr. Petra Tsuji  
Dr. Petra A. Tsuji, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is the eighth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.
 

We are very pleased to announce that Petra A. Tsuji, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been selected as the eigthth recipient of the Jess & Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences. Dr. Tsuji's appointment to the Fisher Chair began on July 30, 2013 and will be for three years. As holder of a Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair, she will be provided a monetary award for each of three years that may be used for, but is not limited to, a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Professor Tsuji previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Cancer Prevention (from 2007 to 2011) at the National Institutes of Health. She earned her Vordiplom (B.S.) and her Diplom-Biologin (M.S.) at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. This was followed by a M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Charleston, a Ph.D. in Biomedicine/Molecular Biology from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Tsuji teaches Cellular Biology and Genetics. Her research goal is to elucidate the mechanism by which various dietary molecules, particularly those containing selenium, allow for intervention strategies in colorectal cancer. Dr. Tsuji’s research is supported with funds from the Office of Dietary Supplements, and she has published seven journal articles and several book chapters since arriving at Towson University. She has already engaged eight undergraduate students in her research.



  Dr. Joel Moore
 
Dr. Joel Moore, Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences, is the seventh recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.
We are very pleased to announce that Joel Moore, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences, has been selected as the seventh recipient of the Jess & Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences. Dr. Moore's appointment to the Fisher Chair began on July 30, 2013 and will be for three years. As holder of a Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair, he will be provided a monetary award for each of three years that may be used for, but is not limited to, a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Professor Moore previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow (from 2008 to 2011) in the Department of Geological Sciences at Northwestern University. Professor Moore earned his B.A. degree in Geology and History from Wheaton College, and his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Moore teaches Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, and Hydrogeology. His research focus is biogeochemistry, with applications to weathering, global tectonics, and atmospheric CO2. His Endowed Chair project will examine the environmental fate and consequences of the application of road salt. Dr. Moore has published two journal articles since arriving at Towson University, with one more in press and a fourth, with an undergraduate coauthor, in revision..


Academic Years 2011 – 2014

Dr. Matthew Hemm  
Dr. Matthew Hemm, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is the fifth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.
 

We are very pleased to announce that Matthew Hemm, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been selected as the fifth recipient of the Jess & Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences. Dr. Hemm's appointment to the Fisher Chair began on November 18, 2011 and will be for three years. As holder of a Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair, he will be provided a monetary award for each of three years that may be used for, but is not limited to, a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Professor Hemm previously served as a Postdoctoral Researcher and a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He earned his B.S. degree from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University. Dr. Hemm teaches Molecular Biology and his research focus is the abundance and function of small proteins. His studies show that small proteins and the short genes that encode them can be prevalent and that they can have very specific functions. Dr. Hemm is currently publishing a paper with four undergraduate coauthors.



 

Previous Endowed Chairs

Academic Years 2012 – 2013

  Dr. Meghan May
 
Dr. Meghan May, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is the sixth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.

Dr. Meghan A. May, Assistant Professor of Biology, joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences in August 2010. Professor May previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow (from 2006 to 2010) in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology at the University of Florida. Professor May earned her B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Pathobiology and Bacteriology from the University of Connecticut.

Professor May teaches Biology I: Cellular Biology and Genetics, Medical Microbiology, and Pathogenic Microbiology. Her research focus is on the evolution of virulence, not only to determine how new diseases appear and where they come from but also how to predict what new disease might arise next - pathogen forecasting. Her current research uses the microbial parasite, Mycoplasma synoviae, as a model system to study mechanisms of pathogen attachment to host cells: the first step in how a pathogen causes disease in a host organism. Dr. May is a Co-Principal Investigator on a recently awarded grant from National Institutes of Health and on a grant from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program.
She has published with Towson University undergraduates as
co-authors and she took undergraduate students to present their research at the recent American Society for Microbiology Annual meeting.

Academic Years 2010 – 2011

Dr. Elizabeth A. Duncan-Vaidya  
Dr. Elizabeth Duncan-Vaidya, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, is the fourth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences
 

Dr. Elizabeth A. Duncan-Vaidya, Assistant Professor of Biology, joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences in August 2008. Professor Duncan-Vaidya previously served as an Intramural Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in Baltimore, Maryland. Professor Duncan-Vaidya earned her B.A. degree in Biology, magna cum laude, from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Prof. Duncan-Vaidya teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II. Her research is designed to investigate the neural mechanism, or underlying brain circuitry, involved in motivational disorders such as drug addiction and binge eating. Working with rats, she is exploring the impact of caffeine exposure on the motivation for sugar, as well as the role of the molecule interleukin-2 in the motivation for alcohol. Prof. Duncan-Vaidya published a 2010 article with two undergraduate student co-authors in Brain Research reporting her research.

 

 


Academic Years 2009 – 2012

  Dr. Timothy Brunker
 
Dr. Tim Brunker, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, is the third recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.

Dr. Timothy J. Brunker, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry in August 2008. Professor Brunker previously served as a lecturer in chemistry at Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts), a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts), and a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire). Professor Brunker holds both the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Chemistry degrees from the University of Oxford (Oxford, United Kingdom).

Prof. Brunker teaches Organic Chemistry, and his research focuses on the synthesis of novel chiral metal complexes and their potential applications as chiroptical molecular switches. Chiral molecules are those that can exist in both left-handed and right-handed forms – they behave identically in almost every way except that they can display different chemical properties if they interact with other chiral molecules. This behavior allows the design and synthesis of chiral molecules that can be switched back and forth, making them potentially useful for the storage of digital information.

 

Academic Years 2007 – 2010

Dr.Jennifer Scott  
Dr. Jennifer Scott, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, is the second recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.
 

Dr. Scott received her B.S. (Highest Honors and Highest Distinction) in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994 and her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University Research Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute of Johns Hopkins University and as a National Research Council Fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research focuses on quasars – the distant, powerful galactic nuclei powered by accretion onto super-massive black holes – and the intergalactic medium, the gaseous matter between galaxies and the reservoir of material from which they formed. She has authored 15 peer-reviewed research papers published in top tier astronomical journals.

As one of the Fisher Endowed Chairs, Scott’s research plans include studies of quasar environments; examinations of the connections between galaxies and the intergalactic medium; and refinement of measurements of the ultraviolet background radiation field. She will conduct much of this work in close collaboration with her undergraduate students. Scott also intends to use the visibility of the Fisher Chair to promote community outreach and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education efforts by creating the first Project ASTRO network in the Baltimore-Washington area. Project ASTRO links astronomers to teachers by bringing inquiry-based astronomy activities to K-12 classrooms.

Academic Years 2006 – 2009

  Dr. Joy Watts
 
Dr. Joy Watts, Assistant Professor of Biology, is the first recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences.

Dr. Watts received her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Applied Biology from Liverpool John Moores University and her Ph.D. in environmental microbiology from the University of Warwick. Before arriving at Towson in 2004, Dr. Watts served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. Dr. Watts is a leading expert in the use of molecular tools to examine the ecology and distribution of microbial communities associated with PCB dechlorination in the environment. Her research plans during her tenure as the Fisher Endowed Chair will include continuing studies of microbial communities in the Chesapeake Bay as well as new projects focusing on studies of new dehalogenating microorganisms that exist in symbioses with sponges from the Chesapeake Bay and identifying new microorganisms from catfishes that are associated with the degradation of carbon polymers in wood that normally resist degradation. Dr. Watts will conduct much of this work in close collaboration with her undergraduate students.



 

 

 


The Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chairs in the Biological and Physical Sciences were established in June 2005 established by the Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation to honor the memory of Jess Fisher ’34, his wife Mildred, and their family, and to maximize the benefit of their philanthropy for students in the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics. A specific objective is to incorporate high quality research opportunities into students’ undergraduate learning experiences through the support of the scholarly growth of highly promising early-career faculty members in the physical and biological sciences. The Fisher Professor, who is selected by the Dean of the Fisher College, serves a term of three years.


The Jess and Mildred Fisher
College of Science and Mathematics
Smith Hall, Room 312 (campus map)
Phone: 410-704-2121
Fax: 410-704-2604
E-mail: fcsm@towson.edu

 
 

 

 
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