Department of Biological Sciences - Lehigh University

Volume 10, 2014 - Biological Sciences Newsletter - Spring 2014

In this edition.....

Please contact us if you would like a PDF of the print version of this newsletter.

Connect with us through our Facebook page





Alumni updates

John Dobrota (BA, Bio, 1961), now retired, earned his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in 1965 and went to to practice gastroenterology for 40 years at Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, PA. He is now retired. “Thank you LU Dept. of Biology. Pre-med courses had me very well prepared for medical school.“ While a student at Lehigh, John tutored other freshmen in Histology. “I appreciate all that LEHIGH did to prepare me for med school.”

Mike Kostelnik (BA, Bio, 1961) “After med school at Hopkins and five years of training in internal medicine (Pitt) and Gastroenterology (Tufts), I retired from 40 years of practice in Roxbury, NJ. I maintain season tickets from football and wrestling, and recently attended the 36th NCAA wrestling tournament.”

Robert Varnum (BA, Bio, 1965) went on to earn his medical degree in 1969 and then went on to do a residency and fellowship in pulmonary medicine. He was in the army for two years and then started a pulmonary practice in Colorado Springs in 1976.

H.L. Skip Nelson (BA, Bio, 1974) graduated with a VMD from the Univ. of Pennsylvania in 1978. “Lehigh prepared me well for veterinary school’s rigorous course work. I have enjoyed 35 years of general practice in Clarks Summit, PA – small town America. I have great memories of Professor Owen, comparative vertebrate anatomy, histology, and embryology.”

Peter Auerbach (BA, 1979) is a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist.

Thomas Koch (BA, Bio, 1986) “I had the best of times doing research with Murray Itzkowitz, spending hours looking at fish. From the fish tanks in the dungeons of Williams Hall, Murray graciously promoted me to open water diver in Discovery Bay Jamaica, leaving me to believe that academic life would continue with similar exciting experiences. I decided to understand more about the neural structure behind neural networks and its failure and engaged in PhD work in neurobiology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Ever since I have been with Procter & Gamble, moving from Germany to Brussels and now to Brazil.”

Linda Wimpfheimer Loeve (BA, Bio, 1986) received her Masters in Food Science from Cornell Unversity. She worked as a food microbiologist/product developer for General Foods in New York and M&M/Mars in New Jersey. “My family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona 10 years ago (unfortunately, there are not a lot of food companies in the desert). I am now working as a financial analyst for an engineering firm (Michael Baker Jr., Inc.); the company headquarters is in Pittsburgh.”

Cailin (Cordon) Pachter (BA, Bio, 1990) has been employed at Muhlenberg College since 1999 in various roles, and is presently director of pre-professional advising. “I have worked in higher education since 1992 and received an MA in Counseling in 1993.”

Janet Boyle (BA, Bio, 1990) “In 1989, during the fall of my senior year at Lehigh, I had an on-campus interview with Merck. It turned out to be a life-changing opportunity. I spent the next 22 years at Merck pursuing a rewarding career in Clinical Research. I earned a MS in Clinical Research Organization & Managment from Drexel University and in 2011, I partnered with two colleagues to launch our own consulting business, BCH Research Solutions, LLC. My Lehigh degree gave me the knowledge and credentials I needed to get my career started and my Lehigh education gave me the confidence to pursue my passionate interest in the life sciences.”

Michelle Casale (BA, Bio, 1993) “After graduation, I took a position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as a research tech in Dr. Schantz' Head and Neck lab. After two years there, I started in a Physician Assistant program in Brooklyn. I graduated from that program in 1997 and began working as a Cardiac Surgery PA at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In April 2000, I left and began working as a Clinical Specialist for Guidant Corporation, teaching endoscopic vein harvesting techniques and beating heart (CABG) surgery techniques. About six years later, Boston Scientific acquired us, then Maquet Cardiovascular in 2008. I have held a variety of positions throughout my years there and am currently an Account Manager for the Cardiac Surgery division of Maquet in and around the Philadelphia area.

Adam Levin (BA, Bio, 1988) “After graduating I received an M.D. at the Albany Medical College before becoming a ‘damn yankee’ as a resident in ob/gyn in Charleston S.C., at the Medical University of South Carolina. I followed with a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Johns Hopkins and then moved to Tampa Bay and went into a private practice for the next 12 or so years. During a mid-life crisis I took the LSATs and went to Stetson University College of Law at night. After graduating I gave up medicine and opened a law firm. I primarily practice health and administrative law and civil litigation.”

Chris Jewell (BS Mol Bio, BS ChemE, 2003) completed his postdoc at MIT and Harvard and in the fall of 2012 became an assistant professor at the Univ of Maryland, College Park, in the Bioengineering Department. “My lab is studying the interactions between biomaterials and the immune system, and how these interactions can be exploited to promote tolerance and combat autoimmune disease. I visited Lehigh last April and it was great to see many familiar faces around the department!”

Nir Patel (BA, Bio, 2004) earned a doctor of podiatric medicine from New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York in 2012. Nir is currently a podiatric surgical resident with a specialty in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery at Metropolitan Hospital.

Vera Partem (BS, Bio; BA, Int. Com, 2006) has been selected as a Fellow in the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program. “I will be completing a graduate program in public policy and international affairs at the University of Pennsylvania - Fels Institute of Government. After the completion of graduate studies, I will enter the United States Department of State in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer, embarking on a diplomatic career.”

Takahiro Sato (BS, Bio, 2007) received a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University in 2013 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Temple University studying cancer epigenetics.

Amber Horner (BS, Bio, 2008) is a 3rd year medical student at Temple University School of Medicine and is doing her third year clerkship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem.

Colin McLeod (BA, Bio, 2008) completed graduate studies in Environmental Engineering and has been working for URS Corporation working on groundwater remediation at large industrial sites.

Caitlin (Katrinic) Brown (BS Bio, 2010) worked for two years as a research lab technician in Baltimore, Maryland and is now living in New Orleans after getting married. “I am currently taking prerequisite classes to apply for physician assistant school and am getting certified as a nursing assistant.”

Laura Schafer (BS, BNS, 2010) attended UMDNJ School of Public Health where she earned her M.P.H. in Health Systems and Policy. She is currently at LECOM-Bradenton pursing a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.

Steven Bialick (BS, BNS, 2010) and Jena Andreu (BS, BNS, 2011) are both medical students at UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Kristen Morgado (BA, Bio, 2012) is attending Cooper Medical School. “Dr. Swann, Thank you so much for volunteering to write a letter on my behalf. Your faith in me contributed to the fulfillment of my lifelong goal of pursuing medicine and for that I am very grateful.”

Gina Notaro (B.S., BNS, 2012) is a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program at Dartmouth College.


Murray Itzkowitz, Chair | Michael Behe | R. Michael Burger | Lynne Cassimeris | David Cundall
Matthis Falk | Julie Haas | M. Kathryn Iovine | Michael Kuchka | Gregory Lang | Linda Lowe-Krentz | Julie Miwa
John Nyby | Amber Rice | Jeffrey Sands | Jill Schneider | Neal Simon | Robert Skibbens | Jennifer Swann | Vassie Ware