Visiting Scholar Joins Ashland University Department of Biology/Toxicology
Dr. Heather Prior, an assistant professor from The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta, is joining Ashland University’s Department of Biology/Toxicology during her sabbatical as a visiting scholar for the fall 2011 semester.
Dr. Prior earned her Ph.D. in Ophthalmology from the University of Alberta and studies the genetics of eye diseases such as cataracts. At Ashland University, she will be working with Dr. Mason Posner, professor of biology and chair of the department of biology/toxicology, on collaborative research projects to investigate the effects of oxidative stress on cataract formation in the zebrafish, a model species used to study lens development and disease.
Drs. Prior and Posner also will be examining the role of individual proteins in forming the lens during early development. In addition to these research efforts, Dr. Prior will be helping to develop laboratory activities for Ashland University courses that use the zebrafish to teach basic development and sensory systems.
In addition to her vision research, Dr. Prior conducts studies on prevention of bacterial infection in honeybees and on the use of assisted reproductive technologies in Christian communities. She also will use her time at Ashland University to discuss with the toxicology faculty possible future projects on assessing the environmental impacts of Canadian oil sands development.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.