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Tara Williams-Hart, Ph.D.

Name: Tara T Williams-Hart Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor

Start Year at LSUS: 2003

Department: Biological Sciences

School: Mathematics and Sciences

College: Arts and Sciences

Office Location: Science Building, Room 220

Office Phone: 318-795-2416

Office Fax: 318-797-5222

Email: tara.williams-hart@lsus.edu

Office Hours:

SPRING 2019: January 7 - April 26, 2019

Mondays and Wednesdays

8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Teaching Assignments:

BCHM495: Independent Study in Biochemistry

BCHM722: Experimental Methods

BIOS101: General Biology for non-science majors

BIOS101L/110L/120L: General Biology/Biological Principles I & II Laboratory

BIOS120: Biological Principles II for science majors

BIOS210: Biological Inquiry

BIOS293: Independent Study

BIOS363/363L: Principles of Genetics

BIOS463/663: Medical Genetics

BIOS465/665: Applied Biotechnology

BIOS491/786: Research

BIOS492/493: Honors Thesis

BIOS787: Scientific Communication

BIOS789: Health Sciences Capstone

BIOS790: Special Topics in Biology: Visual Experiments/Biomolecules

BIOS799: Thesis (10 MS BS Graduates)

EFP: Educational Familiarization Program (MCAT Prep course) Instructor of the Biology section, Office of Multicultural Affairs at LSUHSC-S, June 4 - July 20, 2007; June 9 – July 21, 2008; MTWRF, one hour/day

Other Experiences:
  • Director, Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS BS) Program
  • Chairperson, Health Science Advisory Committee (HSAC), LSUS
  • Chairperson, Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
  • Faculty Advisor, Alpha Epsilon Delta: The Health Pre-professional Honor Society (AED)
  • Faculty Advisor, Minority Association of Pre-health Students (MAPS)
  • Faculty Advisor, Pre-Dental Society (PDS)

Research Interests:

Research Training

 

2003 – 2000   Ph.D. Dissertation, LSUHSC-S, Shreveport, LA. Laboratory of Kelly Tatchell. Subject: The regulation of glycogen metabolism and ion transport by protein phosphatase type 1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

2000 – 1996   M.S. Thesis, LSUHSC-S, Shreveport, LA. Laboratory of Kelly Tatchell. Subject: A novel role for the regulation of yeast ion homeostasis by GLC7.

1996 – 94       Student research worker, Center for Excellence in Cancer Research, Treatment and Education, Department of Hematology/Oncology, LSUHSC-S, Shreveport, LA. Supervisors: Rhonda Berroteran Ph.D., J. Abra Watkins Ph.D., and Jonathan Glass, M.D. Subject: Screen human genes for complementation of yeast genes for iron uptake.

1996 – 94       Masters candidate and graduate assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA. Research Mentor: James Liberators, Ph.D., Subject: Analysis of proteins liberated from cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni

1993 – 92       Research Fellow, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Spelman College. Supervisor and Sponsor: Victor Ibeanusi Ph.D., Subject: Bioremediation: I assisted my EPA research fellow sponsor with experiments for removal of lead and aromatic hydrocarbons from mixed microbial systems such as water and soil using molecular biological techniques. This experience included a 1993 summer scientific associate experience at the Environmental Protection Agency Research Facility in Athens, GA under the supervision of Rochelle Araujo, Ph.D.

1991              Summer Intern, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Supervisor: Jerry Johnson, M.D., Subject: I developed a dermatopathology computer-based module teaching module for medical students. All participants presented their projects. 

I have training and expertise in molecular genetics using Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) as a model organism. I joined the LSUS faculty in the fall of 2003 immediately after the completion of my dissertation work. In that time, I have served as the principal investigator or co-investigator for university-, state-, National Science Foundation (NSF)- and National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded grants. I have trained several undergraduate and graduate students in my research laboratory (e.g., Young Noh, Brandy Ervin, Krystl George, Randolph Stone, Trey King, Phoebe Rollyson, Amber Williams, Dominique Washington, Samantha Johnson Murphy, Adna Curukovic, Gary Wrobel, Neal Traweek, Christopher Madere, and Elizabeth Cockerham) – most of whom have matriculated into professional schools or a scientific career. I have served as a faculty and research mentor for a diverse population of future science professionals. Furthermore, I serve as the Faculty Advisor for three undergraduate student organizations (Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society, Minority Association of Pre-health Students and the PreDental Society) and I have also served as the Director of the Master of Science in Biological Sciences program in the Department of Biological Sciences. Each semester I have nine to twelve contact hours per week with students teaching lecture and laboratory courses: Principles of Genetics, Medical Genetics, General Biology, Biological Inquiry, Applied Biotechnology, Scientific Communication, Visual Experiments, Health Sciences Capstone, and Independent Study/Research. 

 

 

Selected Publications:

My first two publications illustrated a new role for protein phosphatase type 1 (Glc7) in budding yeast: ion homeostasis. These early studies reveal findings produced during my dissertation research in collaboration with fellow students under the guidance of Dr. Kelly Tatchell. The “power of yeast genetics” has allowed us to reveal novel cellular pathways for Glc7 that might correlate with mammalian PP1 regulation of cell division, glycogen metabolism, and ion transport.

 

a.     Williams-Hart T, Wu X, and Tatchell K. (2002) Protein phosphatase type 1 regulates ion homeostasis in Saccharomyces cerevisiaeGenetics, 160(4): 1423-37.

b.     Venturi GM, Bloecher A, Williams-Hart T, and Tatchell K. (2000) Genetic interactions between GLC7, PPZ1, and PPZ2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics, 155(1): 69-83.

 

Upon joining the LSUS faculty I engaged in collaborative activities with colleagues. We optimized methods for teaching statistical analysis to students in general biology laboratory courses. The first author initiated the teaching methods described in this work with suggestions for various troubleshooting solutions from co-authors.

 

Banks SW, Shepherd DK, Williams-Hart T., Gossett DR, and Crnkovic AC. (2007) The Use of Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Probability, Standard Deviation, Homogeneity of Variance and Student’s t-Test. Journal of Biological Education, 41(3): 131-137.

 

Alpha-synuclein (a-syn) and lipids are the two main components of Lewy bodies found in affected neurons of patients with Parkinson’s disease. This publication reveals 40 genes that, in high copy, suppress the toxicity of human WT-a-syn in budding yeast. My contribution to this work was the genetic screen of human genes in wild-type and mutant yeast strains.

 

Liang J, Clark-Dixon C, Wang S, Flower T, Williams-Hart T, Zweig R, Robinson L, Tatchell K, and Witt SN (2008) Novel Suppressors of Alpha-Synuclein Toxicity Identified Using Yeast; Human Molecular Genetics, 17(23): 3784-3795.

 

FC101 is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium equiseti that causes plant diseases such as wilt, scab, and rot. Several studies revealed that FC101 inhibits the growth of 35 human cancer cell lines, increases apoptosis of melanoma cell lines and reduces tumor growth in mice. These studies reflect our current findings using human cancer cell lines and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) to identify the molecular target(s) of FC101.

 

a.     Mahdavian E, Palyok P, Adelmund S, Williams-Hart T, Furmanski B, Yoon-Jee K, Gu Y, Barzegar,Wu Y, Bhinge KN, Kolluru GK, Quick Q, Liu, YY, Kevil C, Gopi K, Salvatore B, Huang S, Clifford J (2015) Biological activities of fusarochromanone: a potent anti-cancer agent, BMC Cancer Research Notes, 7, 601-612.

b.     Wynne M, El-Saadi, Williams-Hart T, Salvatore B and Mahdavian E. (2015) “Use of In-silico Assays to Both Characterize an In-depth ADMET Profile and to Search for Potential Therapeutic Targets of Fusarochromanone, a Novel Anti-Cancer Agent” In Silico Pharmacology, 3, 6.

c.     Rollyson PA, Key MN, King TC, Mahdavian E, Furmanski B, Cvek U, Trutschl T, Kim Y-J, Salvatore B, Rhoads R, Clifford J, Williams-Hart T  (2019) DNA Microarray Analysis of the Effect of Fusarochromanone on Human Malignant Cancer Cells and Budding Yeast, Manuscript in Preparation.

A complete list of peer-reviewed publications is located in MyBibiography:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=williams-hart

 

Personal Bio:

Education
  • B.S., 1994, Natural Sciences with a Biology concentration, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
  • M.S., 2000, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, LSUHSC-S School of Graduate Studies
  • Ph.D., 2003, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, LSUHSC-S School of Graduate Studies
Employment:
  • 2003 - 2009, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, LSUS
  • 2007 - 2015, gratis Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, LSUHSC-S
  • 2009 - present, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, LSUS

Honors

 

2017 – 06      “LSUS Alumni Association Vincent J. Marsala Professorship in Teaching Excellence,” LSUS Alumni Foundation 

2016, 14, 11, 10, 07

“Outstanding Student Organization Advisor of the Year,” nominated by AED (2007, 2011) / MAPS (2010) / PDS (2014) / AED, MAPS, PDS (2016) Student Government Association (SGA), LSUS

2015              “Distinguished Researcher,” Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN), National Institutes of Health, 2009 – 2015 Research accomplishments, January 31, 2015

2013-15,17,18  Nominee for "Professor of the Year," Student Government Association

2010              Graduate/Faculty member, Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK): The National Leadership Honor Society, LSUS

2010              LSUS Safety Award for obtaining the USDA permit to house Fusarium according to USDA

2007              Graduate member, Phi Kappa Phi (FKF) Honor Society, LSUS 

2005              Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Sciences, LSUS Foundation

2005              Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Ninth Edition, nominated by Shantelle Ceaser and Trisha Teague

2004, 05, 07-09            

One of the “Top Twenty” Professors, Student Government Association (SGA), LSUS 

1993              Beta Kappa Chi (BKC) Scientific Honor Society

1993              Howard Hughes Research Fellow

1992              Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Fellow

1991              Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) Honor Society

1990              Spelman College Academic Scholarship

 
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