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Biology journal accepts professor’s research on stress and its impact on infection


Biology journal accepts professor’s research on stress and its impact on infection

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College Assistant Professor of Biology Christopher Fonner, Ph.D., recently had a manuscript accepted for publication in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.

The paper, titled “Effects of corticosterone on infection and disease in salamanders exposed to the amphibian fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis,” is a collaborative effort with Shreya A. Patel, Shelby M. Boord, Matthew D. Venesky, Ph.D., and Sarah K. Woodley, Ph.D. It focused on the crux of Fonner’s doctoral work at Duquesne University, where he worked with several undergraduate students, along with professors at both Duquesne and Allegheny College. The results of this work show that elevation of the stress hormone corticosterone can influence infection resistance in salamanders.

The results garnered from this research provide a framework for Fonner’s current research aims at Thiel College, in which he is further investigating potential physiological and hormonal mechanisms that may influence pathogen resistance in other amphibians.

The leading peer-reviewed journal in its field, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms covers all aspects of disease phenomena in aquatic organisms. It strives for the highest possible quality, quick publication and a premium standard of technical presentation.

Fonner received his doctorate in biology from Duquesne University in 2015. He won first place for his poster presentation at Duquesne University’s Graduate Student Research Symposium in 2014. Fonner also won a travel award from the North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology in 2011. He began teaching at Thiel College in fall 2015. He was awarded grant funding by the Greenville Neuromodulation Center Faculty/Student Research Institute in both 2016 and 2017 focusing on undergraduate research in his specific research areas.

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Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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