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Wesley Biological Chemistry Students’ Article Published

Posted July 27th, 2015 at 12:07pm

Wesley College biological chemistry students Catherine Gross, Alora Wilson, and graduate Jasbir Deol, recently had a peer-reviewed article published in the Clute Institute’s Contemporary Issues in Education journal. The article, “Integrative Biological Chemistry Program includes the use of Informatics Tools, GIS and SAS Software Applications,” detailed how Wesley’s biological chemistry program was restructured to include a one-semester Physical Chemistry for the Life Science course and two project-based courses. A primary focus of the article was the use of open-sourced geo-referenced census data to create maps that examine the existing chronic obesity problem within the contiguous United States.

The findings of the research showed that in 48 states, the obesity rates are directly proportional to high poverty and inversely proportional to median income and educational achievement. For Delaware, age and educational attainment were discovered to be limiting obesity risk factors in the state’s adult population. In the less densely populated Sussex and Kent County areas, the adult obesity rates were found to be progressing at much higher proportions in comparison to the national average.

Much of the research was obtained in conjunction with the recently launched informatics minor at Wesley. Informatics is defined as the science of data analysis including the collection, classification, storage, retrieval and dissemination of recorded knowledge that can be useful in health care and related fields. The new minor will open a number of doors to students interested in furthering their research and collecting data they otherwise would not be able to access.

The students worked with Wesley College Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research Dr. Malcolm D’Souza, Professor of Chemistry and Physics Dr. Richard Kashmar, Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Frank Fiedler, and former Wesley College Visiting Assistant Professor and Graduate Director of Environmental Sciences Dr. Kent Hurst while conducting their research. The complete article is available at
Wesley graduate Deol joins Temple University School of Pharmacy and Wilson has started a pharmacy program at University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The project was supported by an Institutional Development Award from the National Institute of Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (grant no. P20GM103446), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant (no. IIA-1301765 from the Delaware EPSCoR program), an NSF American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant (NSF ARI R2 0960503), an NSF S-STEM grant (NSF DUE 1355554 from the Wesley College Cannon Scholar program) and the State of Delaware.