Nobel Prize-Winning Reaction to be Demonstrated at Biology Open House

On Thursday, November 16, the biology department of the University of Houston-Victoria will host an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. The event, which will be held at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, will feature guest speakers, lab tours and student demonstrations in an effort to highlight the possibilities for study and work in the biology field.


Demonstrations for the open house will include extracting DNA from cheek and hair cells and amplifying extracted DNA using the polymerase chain reaction method developed by 1993 Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary B. Mullis. The PCR technique can amplify a specific sequence of DNA by as many as 1 billion times and is important in biotechnology, forensics, medical and genetic research.


The open house will also feature Dr. Richard Gunasekera and Dr. Homer Black as speakers. Gunesekara earned his doctorate in biomedical sciences from Baylor University and is an active researcher in the field. He is coordinator for the biology program at UHV, and in that capacity he oversees the academic program and directs the biological science laboratories.


Black is professor of dermatology for Baylor College of Medicine as well as an adjunct for UHV. He holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Louisiana State University and has focused his research upon dietary impacts on mechanisms of sunlight-induced skin cancer. He has been a member of a number of scientific societies including the American Association of Cancer Research.


The Bachelor of Science in Biology program at UHV is designed to prepare undergraduates for a variety of careers in industrial or academic laboratories, as well as for medical and health professional programs and for graduate work in the biomedical sciences.


Academic advisors will be available at the open house to consult with anyone interested in pursing a biology degree. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Jennifer Southern at (281) 275-3051.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.