The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Undergraduate Instructional Program

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MCB Advising Staff

MCB Advising Staff

MCB students are not assigned an advisor. You may choose to meet with any one or more of the advisors listed below, but we encourage you to find someone that you connect with and meet with them consistently throughout your time at Illinois. If you would like for us to assign you an advisor, just ask when you make your appointment.  Please call (217) 333-6774, use our online scheduler or stop by 164A Burrill Hall to set up an appointment. 


Tina Knox

Tina M. Knox

tmknox@illinois.edu
252 Davenport Hall
Advising since October 2003

Advising Interests
First generation students
Students from small towns
Access and Achievement Students (EOP and PAP)
Transfer student success
Appreciative advising
Career advising and exploration
Pre- health advising
ALLY to all students including LGBTQ and Undocumented

Education
Ed.M. Education Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, 2008
B.S. Biology, University of Illinois, 1992

Teaching Interests
Microbiology

Research Interests
Acclimation of undergraduates to campus
Resiliency in transfer students
Retention of undergraduates
In my past life: Peptidase activity in Salmonella typhimurium

Hobbies
Exercise, dance, reading


Timothy Bowers

Timothy Bowers

t-bowers@illinois.edu
175C Burrill Hall
Advising since 2000

Advising Interests
First generation students
Career Services
Graduate School
Greek Life

Education
M.S. Physical Chemistry, University of Illinois, 1993
B.S. Chemistry (ACS certified), Butler University, 1990

Research Interests
Magnetic resonance studies, MRI contrast agents

Hobbies
Growing orchids, gardening, reading, and spending time with my family.


Jennifer Brandyberry

Jennifer Brandyberry

jhbrandy@life.illinois.edu
164B Burrill Hall
Advising since January 2009
LAS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2015 - 2016

Advising Interests
2nd year students
High school to college transition
Transfer students
Career advising
Pre- health advising

Education
M.S. Adult Education, Capella University, 2005
B.S. Microbiology, University of Illinois, 1985

Teaching Interests
Microbiology
Biology

Research Interests
PMN response in urinary tract infections caused by E. coli

Hobbies
Yoga, reading, walking my dog and being with my family


Chester Brown

Dr. Chester Brown

cmbrown3@life.illinois.edu
217B Burrill Hall
Advising since 2006

Education
Ph.D.  Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois, 2007
M.S.  Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois, 1999
B.S. Bioengineering, University of Illinois, 1991

Advising interests
Career planning: professional degrees in the sciences (MS, PhD)
Underrepresented Students
Appreciative Advising

Teaching Interests
Anatomy and Physiology

Research Interests
Neurophysiology
Developmental neurophysiology
Developmental plasticity

Hobbies
Reading, art, spending time with my family


Aurora Cruz-Torres

Aurora Cruz-Torres

tacruz@illinois.edu
175B Burrill Hall
Advising since May 2015

Education:
M.S. Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois, 2012
B.S. Human Biology, University of Puerto Rico, 2006

Advising Interests:
Underrepresented students
High school to college transition
Graduate school
Intercultural students
Career advising and planning

Research Interests:
Neuroscience
Human Behavior
Electrophysiology
Neural circuits and systems

Hobbies:
Painting, reading, video games, board games, science fiction\horror movies and TV shows

 


Dr. Jack Ikeda

Dr. Jack Ikeda

jikeda@illinois.edu
175A Burrill Hall
Advising since August 2009

Education
Post-Doctoral Research: UC San Diego Medical Center, Durham VA Medical Center, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Colorado State University
Ph.D.  Microbiology, University of California at Davis, 1990
M.A.  Microbiology, University of California at Davis, 1984
B.S. Biology, Santa Clara University, 1980

Advising Interests
Pre-Health
Graduate school
Undergraduate research, senior thesis and Distinction

Teaching Interests
Microbiology
Molecular Genetics

Research Interests
Microbial pathogenesis

Hobbies
Boardgames, movies, photography, origami and the Beatles


Brad Mehrtens

Brad Mehrtens

mehrtens@illinois.edu
164C Burrill Hall
Advising since March 2004
LAS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2013 - 2014

Advising Interests
Making the transition to Illinois for freshmen or transfer students
Preparing for professional or graduate programs
Understanding the undergraduate research experience
Acknowledging and addressing academic or personal issues
Appreciative advising

Education
M.S. Microbiology, University of Illinois, 1993
B.S. Biology, Truman State University, 1991

Teaching Interests
MCB 150, Molecular & Cellular Basis for Life

Research Interests
Educational Pedagogy
Course Design
Assessment

Hobbies
Acting, theater, movies, music and sports


Dr. Shawna Naidu

Dr. Shawna Naidu

shawna@illinois.edu
175D Burrill
Advising since August 2006

Advising Interests
High-Achieving Students
Double Majors
First-Year Students entering with over 30 hours of credit
Advising towards Graduate and Professional School
Intercultural Students
Peer Advising
Assessment of Advising

Education
Ph.D. Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996
M.S. Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992                                                
A.B. Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, 1989                                                                                  

Teaching Interests
MCB 298 (Honors Lab Discussion Sections)
Introductory Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratories
General Biology, Plant Biology and Ecology

Research Interests
Plant response to global environmental changes (increased ultraviolet-B radiation, elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, ozone pollution, and cold stress)
Increasing academic success of at-risk students

Hobbies
Science Fiction/Fantasy literature and movies, knitting and crochet, cooking


MCB Leaders

A small group of accomplished students in MCB that want to help current and prospective students learn more about the University of Illinois, the College of LAS and the Molecular and Cellular Biology major.

Peer Advisors

MCB Peer Advisors are a small group of accomplished MCB majors who help the MCB Advising unit serve our students.


Additional MCB Advising staff available at specified times or by request

Peer Advisors are juniors and seniors majoring in MCB who are trained to help students with course planning. They are available on a walk-in basis in room 135 Burrill during each registration period. Watch our announcements for their posted hours.

A number of additional MCB Instructional Program members may serve as academic advisors during busy periods. These individuals are coordinators in the MCB Instructional Program, so they are well versed in courses and curricula, and we are thrilled to have their help as needed.

Ancillary Advisors:

  • Renee Alt
  • Deb Bielser, Prospective Student Advisor
  • Elizabeth Good
  • Nick Kirchner
  • Melissa Michael, MCB 299 Study Abroad Advisor
  • Melissa Reedy
  • Alejandra Stenger, Prospective Student Advisor

As always, you are welcome to request a specific advisor or simply schedule an appointment with the first available advisor. All of our appointments can be scheduled by calling 217-333-6774, or stopping by the Advising Office in 164A Burrill Hall.