Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Department of Biological Sciences

    green anole
    green anole
    antarctic mountains
    bacillus anthracis
    bee on flower
    oral cancer cells
    cancer cells
    derring hall in snow
    field girls
    students in greenhouse
    student in lab
    leaf stain
    banded mongoose
    bacteria with pili
    schubot article header
    test tubes
    wood frog


Gene removal could have implications beyond plant science

For thousands of years humans have been tinkering with plant genetics, even when they didn't realize that is what they were doing, in an effort to make stronger, healthier crops that endured climates better, and produced more.  Zachary Nimchuk, assistant professor of biological sciences and a member of the faculty of health sciences at Virginia Tech, is working with a technology that refines the process by honing in on individual genes within a plant's DNA.




Biological Sciences takes active approach to class instruction

Walk into a freshman Principles of Biology class and you'll notice the students are all talking to each other, and the professor doesn't mind a bit because they're not being disruptive - they're learning.  It's an active classroom that made its biology debut at Virginia Tech in the fall 2013 semester and raises the bar as a way to make a big impact on a big class.




Klaus D. Elgert honored with emeritus status

Klaus D. Elgert, professor of immunology in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.


    research day

Thanks to everyone who made our 11th Annual Research Day another huge success!  And congratulations to the winners of the oral and poster competitions:

Best Oral Presentation: Josh Nicholson (Cimini Lab)
EEB Poster First Prize: Sahnzi Moyers (Hawley Lab)
EEB Poster Second Prize: Matt Becker (Belden Lab)
MCMC Poster First Prize: Ben Webb (Scharf Lab)
MCMC Poster Second Prize: Jordan Mancl (Schubot Lab)
First/Second Year Poster Prize: Laura Schoenle (Moore/Bonier Lab)


Physics model helps biologist explain histone memory

Associate Professor Jianhua Xing, in a paper published January 30 online in Physical Review Letter, uses statistical physics to explain histone memory.  His work with histones involves epigenetics, the study of heritable changes in gene activity not caused by changes in the DNA sequence, and how cells remember patterns.  Epigenetic memory involves chemical decoration on the genome by special molecules. When cells divide, they can remember the patterns of these decorations and largely take those patterns with them.



In the Fralin Student Spotlight: Revathy Ramachandran

A sixth year graduate student in biological sciences in the College of Science, Revathy Ramachandran is working with Professor Ann Stevens to study the phenomenon of quorum sensing and how it is used by the plant pathogenic bacterium Pantoea stewartii, which causes Stewart’s wilt in corn plants.




Professor Ann Stevens appointed to the Academy of Faculty Service

Dr. Stevens is one of seven faculty members who was appointed by Provost Mark McNamee to the Academy of Faculty Service, effective January 1, 2014.  The Academy recognizes a faculty member's exceptional service to the university beyond their usual responsibility.  Instructional, research, administrative, and professional faculty members are eligible for inclusion.


    faculty positions

Faculty Positions in Immunology, Molecular Cell Biology

Recent Honors and Awards

The Department of Biological Sciences is proud to announce recent awards presented to members of our department.  Congratulations to all of the award recipients!


More news....

Biological Sciences (MC 0406)
Derring Hall Room 2125
1405 Perry Street
Mail Code 0406
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Undergraduate Office:
(540) 231-6407

Graduate Office:
(540) 231-8929

Main Fax Number:
(540) 231-9307

Department Head: 
Brenda Winkel

Asst. to Dept. Head:
Dreama Price
(540) 231-5712

General Inquiries:
(540) 231-8930


Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 24, 2014: EEB Seminar by Andrew Wargo of the VA Museum of Marine Science, entitled, "Drivers of virulence evolution in a fish virus," 3:30 p.m., Fralin Auditorium

Friday, April 25, 2014: VTCRI Seminar by Colleen Clancy of the University of California-Davis, entitled, "Sex, Drugs, and Funky Rhythms in Silico," 11:00 a.m., Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Friday, April 25, 2014: VTLSS Seminar by Mark Estelle of the University of California-San Diego and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, title TBA. 12:20 p.m., VBI Conference Center

Friday, April 25, 2014: Annual Spring Picnic/Potluck, sponsored by Biological Sciences and the Biology Graduate Student Association.  5:00 p.m., Price House Nature Center

Thursday, May 1, 2014: VTCRI Distinguished Scholar Series Seminar by Terrence Sejnowski of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Salk Institute, entitled, "What Makes the Brain Human," 5:30 p.m., Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute