Toppenish, WA, United States
Toppenish, WA, United States

Heritage University is a higher education institution located in Toppenish, Washington, on the Yakama Indian Reservation. It offers associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in a number of academic disciplines, including: English business administration mathematics computer science chemistry biology social workeducation↑ 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia.

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Oglesby-Sherrouse A.G.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Murphy E.R.,Heritage University
Metallomics | Year: 2013

For most living organisms, iron is both essential and potentially toxic, making the precise maintenance of iron homeostasis necessary for survival. To manage this paradox, bacteria regulate the acquisition, utilization, and storage of iron in response to its availability. The iron-dependent ferric uptake repressor (Fur) often mediates this iron-responsive regulation by both direct and indirect mechanisms. In 2002, Masse and Gottesman identified a novel target of Fur-mediated regulation in Escherichia coli: a gene encoding a small regulatory RNA (sRNA) termed RyhB. Under conditions of iron-limitation, RyhB is produced and functions to regulate the expression of several target genes encoding iron-utilizing enzymes, iron acquisition systems, and iron storage factors. This pivotal finding provided the missing link between environmental iron-limitation and previously observed decreases in certain iron-dependent metabolic pathways, a phenomenon now referred to as an "iron-sparing" response. The discovery of RyhB opened the door to the rapidly expanding field of bacterial iron-regulated sRNAs, which continue to be identified and described in numerous bacterial species. Most striking are findings that the impact of iron-responsive sRNA regulation often extends beyond iron homeostasis, particularly with regard to production of virulence-associated factors by pathogenic bacteria. This review discusses trends in the collective body of work on iron-regulated sRNAs, highlighting both the regulatory mechanisms they utilize to control target gene expression and the impact of this regulation on basic processes controlling bacterial physiology and virulence. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Lee A.H.,Midwestern University | Oconnor P.M.,Heritage University
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology | Year: 2013

Noasauridae is a clade of ceratosaurian theropods that evolved small body size independently of other non-avian theropods. The best-preserved and most complete noasaurid is Masiakasaurus knopfleri from the Maastrichtian-aged Maevarano Formation in Madagascar. An abundance of skeletal material from several individuals spanning a wide range of ontogeny makes Masiakasaurus an ideal candidate for the analysis of growth. We histologically sampled a growth series of elements consisting of four femora and three tibiae. Bright-field and circularly polarized light microscopy were used to distinguish between slowly and rapidly growing forms of bone. To simultaneously estimate age at death and reconstruct growth trajectories, we measured the perimeters of growth lines in each specimen and fitted models to these data using a novel application of mixed-effects regression. Our histological results show an external fundamental system in the largest tibial specimen and confirm that Masiakasaurus grew determinately, matured at small body size, and is not the juvenile form of a larger-bodied theropod. Parallel-fibered bone is unusually prominent and suggests relatively slow growth. Moreover, our quantitative analysis shows that the average individual took about 8-10 years to get to the size of a large dog. Although Masiakasaurus grew 40% faster than crocodylians, it grew about 40% slower than comparably sized non-avian theropods. Slowed growth may have evolved as a means to minimize structural and maintenance costs while living in a semiarid and seasonally stressful environment. Dimorphism does not appear related to asymptotic size or growth rate but seems to reflect the degree of skeletal maturity. © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Stuss D.T.,Rotman Research Institute | Stuss D.T.,Heritage University
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation | Year: 2011

Cognitive neurorehabilitation is rooted both in the cognitive function being treated and the neural substrates underlying that ability. Recent progress in understanding both brain (in particular brain plasticity) and the complexities of behaviour imply a promising future for cognitive neurorehabilitation. The manuscripts in this issue focuse on advances in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) as a tool for cognitive neurorehabilitation. This paper presents a broader context in which to understand the importance and potential of this specific approach. Achieving the promise requires theoretical and experimental rigour including selection of relevant outcome measures, and understanding of the complexities of individual patients. Success will depend on our ability to integrate knowledge and approaches. © 2011 Psychology Press.

Wurm-Schaar M.,Heritage University
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2015

The construct of a profession encompasses several core elements that guide the behavior of its members and the quality standards for the services they provide and products they produce: primarily, competency specifications for members of the profession, a code of professional and ethical behavior, and a commitment to serve the public good. Professionalism is the embodiment of a profession's expertise, ethos, and service to the public good. As an academic scientist, David Triggle exhibited an extraordinary mastery of professionalism in two domains: science and academic leadership in higher education. Sociocultural changes, including the commodification of knowledge, science, and higher education, are posing challenges to the professions and their traditional values. Whereas the effectiveness of ethics instruction is questionable, positive mentoring has shown promise as a means to help professionals maintain the ideals and the values of their chosen occupations. David Triggle was an extremely effective and revered mentor to numerous individuals in the sciences as well as in higher education, enhancing their professional enculturation and development. He fostered integrity of purpose in our respective professional lives and work, and was and remains an exemplar of professionalism. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Manoudis P.N.,Heritage University | Karapanagiotis I.,Heritage University
Progress in Organic Coatings | Year: 2014

The effects of nanoparticles, embedded into the matrices of polymer films, on the wettabilities of the surfaces of the composite films are investigated following a two-fold procedure. First, five particles such as silica (of two sizes), tin oxide, alumina and zinc oxide ranged from 7 to 100 nm are mixed with a poly(methyl siloxane). Second, silica nanoparticles (7 nm) are embedded in five different polymers such as poly(methyl methacrylate), polystyrene and three poly (alkyl siloxane) products. Nanocomposite films are produced by adding nanoparticles in the polymer solutions which are then sprayed on silicon substrates. In the first study, which includes the use of different nanoparticles, the contact angle hysteresis is monitored as a function of particle concentration. It is shown that similar water repellency that corresponds to hysteresis <5 is achieved using any of the five tested particles when these are mixed with the siloxane at elevated concentrations. However, the wettability of film surfaces prepared using dispersions of low particle concentration, is highly affected by the particle size and concentration: (i) water repellency of the modified polymer surfaces is enhanced when nanoparticles of small sizes are used i.e. films prepared using particles of small sizes correspond to lower hystereses compared to films produced using bigger particles. (ii) As the particle concentration increases, we first notice an increase in hysteresis, which then decreases. This result is explained with respect to the surface morphologies of the films which are revealed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). In the second study, which includes the use of different polymers, it is shown that superhydrophobicity can be achieved using any of the previously mentioned organic materials. According to SEM images, similar continuous rough structures are formed on the surfaces of the films, prepared using different polymers and (the same) silica nanoparticles. This is supported by the Cassie-Baxter equation which suggests that comparable surface porosity factors correspond to the different composite films. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Li Y.V.,Heritage University
Endocrine | Year: 2014

Zinc (Zn2+) is an essential element crucial for growth and development, and also plays a role in cell signaling for cellular processes like cell division and apoptosis. In the mammalian pancreas, Zn2+ is essential for the correct processing, storage, secretion, and action of insulin in beta (β)-cells. Insulin is stored inside secretory vesicles or granules, where two Zn2+ ions coordinate six insulin monomers to form the hexameric-structure on which maturated insulin crystals are based. The total Zn2+ content of the mammalian pancreas is among the highest in the body, and Zn2+ concentration reach millimolar levels in the interior of the dense-core granule. Changes in Zn2+ levels in the pancreas have been found to be associated with diabetes. Hence, the relationship between co-stored Zn2+ and insulin undoubtedly is critical to normal β-cell function. The advances in the field of Zn2+ biology over the last decade have facilitated our understanding of Zn2+ trafficking, its intracellular distribution and its storage. When exocytosis of insulin occurs, insulin granules fuse with the β-cell plasma membrane and release their contents, i.e., insulin as well as substantial amount of free Zn2+, into the extracellular space and the local circulation. Studies increasingly indicate that secreted Zn2+ has autocrine or paracrine signaling in β-cells or the neighboring cells. This review discusses the Zn2+ homeostasis in β-cells with emphasis on the potential signaling role of Zn2+ to islet biology. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Slepchenko K.G.,Heritage University | James C.B.L.,Heritage University | Li Y.V.,Heritage University
Experimental Physiology | Year: 2013

New Findings: • What is the central question of this study? The main aim of the present study was to determine glucose-stimulated zinc secretion and the effect of zinc on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells. • What is the main finding and its importance? Using a newly developed approach, we demonstrated a robust glucose-stimulated zinc secretion. Importantly, the application of zinc inhibited glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Our findings provide evidence that zinc, after being secreted, can regulate the insulin secretion of β-cells by a negative feedback mechanism. Diminished or inappropriate secretion of insulin is associated with type II diabetes. The cellular/molecular mechanism coupled with the regulation of insulin secretion is still under intense investigation. Divalent ion zinc (Zn2+) is co-packaged and co-secreted with insulin and is intimately involved in the process of insulin biosynthesis and the maturation of insulin secretory granules. The study reported here investigated glucose-stimulated zinc secretion (GSZS) and the effect of zinc on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in the HIT-T15 pancreatic β-cell line. Zinc secretion was measured using a newly developed fluorescent zinc imaging approach, and the insulin secretion was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. There was apparent granular-like zinc staining in β-cells. The application of glucose induced detectable zinc secretion or GSZS. Like GSIS, GSZS was dependent on the glucose concentration (5-20 mm) and the presence of extracellular calcium. The application of a zinc chelator enhanced GSZS. When brief paired-pulse glucose stimulations, which involve the initial glucose stimulation followed by a second round of glucose stimulation, were applied, zinc secretion or GSZS that followed the first pulse was inhibited. This inhibition was reversed by zinc chelation, suggesting a feedback mechanism on GSZS by zinc secreted from β-cells. Finally, the application of zinc (50 μm) strongly inhibited GSIS as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The present study suggests that insulin secretion is regulated by co-secreted zinc that may act as an autocrine inhibitory modulator. © 2013 The Physiological Society.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 267.90K | Year: 2012

A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) award has been made to Heritage University (HU) to provide 10 weeks of research training for 8 students in the summers of 2012- 2014. This program also includes an academic-year component that prepares students for the summer research program and assists them in preparing abstracts and papers for submission to conferences. After preparing students for the lab work, students spend 10 weeks in the summer at partner host labs of their choosing. A diversity of REU host labs will be offered to students and placement at labs will be determined, in part, by students interest and their needs to remain in or near the Yakama Valley. Potential host laboratories include those that are close enough for students to return home on weekends and others where students can return home daily. Distant REU sites include: (1) University of Washington, Seattle, WA (bacterial antibiotic resistance; dendrology, paleoecology); (2) University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA (polyploidy in plant evolution); and (3) NSF Science and Technology Center and Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission, Beaverton, OR (fisheries biology and ecology). Local REU sites include: (4) the Yakama Nation Fisheries Resource Management, Toppenish WA (lamprey biology, restoration); (5) USDA-ARS, Wapato, WA (insect molecular ecology); (6) Pacific Northwest University, Yakima, WA (microbiology); (7) Washington State University, Prosser, WA (molecular plant pathology); and (8) Heritage University, Toppenish WA, (DNA barcoding and well water quality assessment). The PI, coPI and partner sites prepare students for their internships and their presentations for national meetings. All REU students will participate in spring pre-REU and fall post-REU activities. Our overall strategy is to provide undergraduate students, who are mostly place-bound, with a fulfilling and challenging research experience supported by a richly mentored environment. These opportunities will provide a magnet for recruitment of STEM majors from the Yakima Valley and will help motivate students to pursue graduate studies and careers in science. Students are tracked to determine their continued interest in their academic field of study, their career paths, and the lasting influences of the research experience. Information about the program will be assessed by using the REU common assessment tool. More information is available at: dept/summer internships/reu, or by contacting Dr. Nina Barcenas (PI) at or Dr. Kazuhiro Sonoda (co-PI) at

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: IUSE | Award Amount: 298.31K | Year: 2016

Project i-NATURE (Indigenous iNtegration of Aquatic sciences and Traditional-Ecological-Knowledge for Undergraduate culturally Responsive Education) will incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge into existing models of STEM instruction and provide insights into environmental issues that impact American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. It will build an interconnected STEM program that fosters a culturally sensitive approach to teaching the natural sciences and resource conservation. AI/AN students have the lowest college enrollment and graduation rates of any student cohort at mainstream U.S. colleges and universities, and are significantly underrepresented in the STEM fields. This project seeks to understand and address this enrollment deficit, and prepare students for their futures through culturally relevant partnerships, research, and an experiential, learner-centered curriculum. i-NATURE will develop a collaborative network between academia and tribal natural resource programs in the Pacific Northwest, and produce an interconnected academic STEM program that fosters and builds on an existing cultural gravitation of AI/AN students toward the natural sciences and resource conservation. It will serve as model for other underrepresented groups and regions nationwide, as well as those interested in environmental issues.

The goal of i-NATURE is to develop a new, culturally responsive, place-based STEM curriculum that provides a seamless transition from high school and into the STEM workforce for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. i-NATURE will develop this model using multiple partnerships among academic institutions (including Tribal Colleges) and tribal natural resource programs in the Pacific Northwest. The program will be tailored to meet the needs of AI/AN students in a culturally responsive manner while helping students acquire the skills and knowledge most critical for success in STEM fields. It will also prepare students for the 21st century workforce. The components of this model include: (i) an experiential project-based learning model with an emphasis on data analysis and communication, (ii) intergenerational mentoring, (iii) summer internships, and (iv) regional partnership development to create programs uniquely tailored for AI/AN success in STEM. It will generate new evidence regarding the student-level impacts on learning, success, and affect as a result of a community-driven, Traditional Ecological Knowledge approach to STEM education.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RSCH EXPER FOR UNDERGRAD SITES | Award Amount: 266.37K | Year: 2015

This REU Site award to Heritage University (HU), located in Toppenish, WA, will support the training of 30 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2015-2017. The overall research theme of molecular biology involves 12 mentors from HU and five regional partner institutions. Students can select from projects that include 1) genomic studies on plants at the University of Washington, Seattle; 2) polyploidy in plant evolution at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma; (3) insect molecular ecology at the USDA-ARS Lab, Wapato; 4) molecular plant pathology at Washington State University, Prosser; 5) plant genomics and biotechnology at Washington State University, Pullman; and 6) role of histone variants in chromatin structure and DNA barcoding of native plants at HU. The ten week research experience will include a one week workshop at HU that will train students on the scientific method, basic skills in molecular biology, keeping a laboratory notebook, data management in excel, and ethics/responsible conduct of research. The overall strategy is to provide undergraduate students with a fulfilling and challenging research experience supported by a richly mentored environment. Students will be recruited at HU, Yakima Valley Community College and Columbia Community College, with emphasis on underrepresented students. These opportunities will provide students from the Yakima Valley area with career options that include pursuit of graduate degrees in STEM. Students are tracked to determine their continued interest in their academic field of study, their career paths, and the lasting influences of the research experience. The program will be assessed by using the REU common assessment tool (SALG URSSA).

It is anticipated that a total of 30 students, primarily from schools with limited research opportunities, will be trained in the program. Students will learn how research is conducted, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences.

Students are required to be tracked after the program and must respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information is available by visiting , or by contacting the PI (Dr. Nina Barcenas at or the co-PI (Dr. Kazuhiro Sonoda at

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