Posted On: Monday, September 25, 2017
The recipient of the third annual NIGHTSEA/EMS KEY Award for New Faculty is Dr. Kristen Gorman at California State University Chico. The award, sponsored jointly by NIGHTSEA and Electron Microscopy Sciences, includes a NIGHTSEA Stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter system outfitted with two excitation/emission combinations plus $750 in supplies from the EMS catalog. The KEY Award was instituted by NIGHTSEA founder Dr. Charles Mazel to acknowledge his own mentors and “as a way of giving back to the scientific community.”
Dr. Gorman, now an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences, specializes in genetically caused spinal curvatures, especially idiopathic scoliosis (IS), a pediatric spinal deformity. During her doctoral studies (under the supervision of Dr. Felix Breden at Simon Fraser University), she applied small laboratory fish to spinal studies to develop the first genetic animal models for IS. Recently, she used genomic sequencing to identify curvature genes in these fish models. At this time the only therapeutic options for IS are bracing or surgery. Dr. Gorman’s hope is that her research will result in transformative therapies in molecular orthopaedics.
Dr. Gorman will use the SFA to screen and sort specimens on a laboratory stereo microscope, thus reducing demand on the shared high performance microscope. Fluorescent screening will confirm the integration of transgenes and identify founders for stable transgenic lines. She will involve students in this research, and will also use the SFA system in teaching laboratories and for STEM educational outreach.
The 2018 edition of the KEY Award will be announced in January.