About IU Northwest Biology
The Department consists of eight full time faculty - seven doctoral recipients (Ph.D.) and one M.S. level instructor. Adjunct faculty include Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. level instructors who are carefully selected to fill specific teaching niches.
We occupy modern facilities in a setting where science is rapidly expanding. Facilities housed in the department that enhance teaching and research include multi-user molecular and microbiological laboratories, cutting edge anatomy and physiology classrooms, tissue culture facilities, a tropical greenhouse, an on-campus ecosystem restoration and numerous links to other campus and local resources. For example, across campus is the Northwest Center for Medical Education, a regional campus of the Indiana University School of Medicine, where many of our faculty have adjunct appointments. This link offers opportunities with other life scientists for joint ventures focused on medicine. Also, just up the road from campus, resources such as the Indiana Dunes National Park and Lake Michigan provide opportunities to study the interactions between rare ecosystems like black oak savanna and human endeavors like steel production.
We firmly believe that the education of an undergraduate is enhanced by experience in the “discovery side” of biology. Thus, most courses require laboratory experience and undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research with faculty mentors on projects ranging from understanding the links between hypertension and kidney disease to autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis; from discovering novel roles of select genes and proteins in fruit flies to extrapolate to homologous systems in humans; from investigating bacterial strains, populations, and diversity in our region's waterways to understand new transmissions of antibiotic resistance; from the active restoration of wetlands and other natural areas destroyed during industrialization to monitoring those areas to better understand how lasting those efforts are and provide guidance for future efforts; and from documenting the current diversity of fungi in our region including discovering new species to examining the ongoing impacts of air pollution on biodiversity (see below for specific details).
While we have a firm foundation in traditional life sciences, we are also engaged in several emerging interdisciplinary areas. Faculty participate in research and academic programs with colleagues in other departments on the IU Northwest campus, other major institutions in northwest Indiana, as well as those throughout the Midwest such as Northwestern University, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our interdisciplinary connections with internal and external collaborators are expanding with the development of new programs at the IU Northwest campus. The Department expects to take a leadership role in the development of new undergraduate and graduate programs in biotechnology and environmental sciences that promise to play critical roles in work force development required for the expansion of the life sciences in Northwest Indiana.