Dordt College News

Dordt biology group contributes to paper for academic journal

November 23, 2010

SIOUX CENTER, IA – Sperm development, mouse testes, and the Cux1 gene. What is the significance of these? These are the topics that several researchers from Dordt College and Dr. Greg Vanden Heuvel of the University of Kansas Medical Center have studied collaboratively, leading to an important discovery.

Their findings proved to be of such significance that they are being published in the “Biology of Reproduction” academic journal, considered the top-ranked journal specifically dedicated to reproductive biology.

The paper is titled “Asynchronous Expression of the Homeodomain Protein CUX1 in Sertoli Cells and Spermatids During Spermatogenesis in Mice.”
For many years, Vanden Heuvel has been hosting biology students for summer internships in his lab. These students proved to be instrumental in the research and creation of this paper.

“Almost all the work was done by undergraduates, mostly Dordt students, which is quite a feat for a paper in a quality journal like this one,” said Tony Jelsma, biology professor with Dordt College and paper contributor. “It speaks volumes about the excellent students that we serve at Dordt College.”

The findings are significant as they relate to cell division and sperm development.

“Our work clearly shows that, while Cux1 is involved in cell division in other organs, in the testes Cux1 is found in non-dividing cells,” said Jelsma. “It also appears to be involved in regulating the process of sperm development. Sperm development is an important biological process and Cux1 is a new piece of the puzzle to help us understand how the process works.”

Contributors from Dordt College include Melissa R. Kroll, Engela S. Viss, Joy Horstman, Alexander Powell, Andrea Van Wyk, Kaarlo Hinkkala, Traci Hoogland, Matthew Schippers, and Tony N. Jelsma. 

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