Cytogeneticist, Louisiana Tech alumnae to present as part of research lecture series

Oct 8, 2014 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Research and Development

Dr. Jennie Thurston, director of the Parke Cytogenetics Laboratory in Charlotte, North Carolina and a Louisiana Tech University alumnae, will present a lecture titled, “Clinical Cytogenetics: From Microscope to Microarray” at 3:30 p.m. October 20 in University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus.
Dr. Jennie Thurston

Dr. Jennie Thurston

Thruston’s presentation, sponsored by Louisiana Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences and School of Biological Sciences, is the second lecture in the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research lecture series for 2014-2015. Admission to the event is free and members of the campus and local communities are encouraged to attend. Cytogenetics is the study of the morphology of chromosomes and their relationship to disease. Thurston’s lecture will describe common methods of analyzing chromosomes, examples of diseases with chromosome abnormalities, and career opportunities in the field. The methodologies described will include Giemsa stain (G-banding) analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis, and microarray analysis. Using these methods, scientists are able to identify numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities that are found in both genetic conditions and in acquired diseases such as leukemia. The identification of chromosome abnormalities can contribute to the diagnosis of a disease, the staging of cancer, the likely response to chemotherapy, and the recommendation of an appropriate course of treatment for certain diseases. Thurston earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from Louisiana Tech under the guidance of Dr. James Spaulding, professor emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences. She went on to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Alabama and a postdoc at the Indiana University School of Medicine before going to work in the area of cytogenetics. She served as a director of laboratories and as a certified diplomate in clinical cytogenetics from the American Board of Medical Genetics. The New Frontiers in Biomedical Research lecture series is a year-long, multidisciplinary program that focuses on advancements in the fields of biomedical engineering, biology, physics, and chemistry in an effort to promote understanding of human health and disease. By interacting with leaders in these research fields, the series seeks to expose Louisiana Tech students to growing areas of research and enhance Louisiana Tech’s own impacts in biomedical research. “The series started last year as a way to introduce students, faculty and the community to ongoing research in the broad area of biomedical research and its clinical potential,” said Dr. Jamie Newman, assistant professor of biological sciences and organizer of the event. “We strive to bring in leading biologists, engineers and chemists to expose Louisiana Tech students to additional areas of research and foster collaborations for our faculty. By the end of last year’s series, we were filling University Hall with faculty, students, staff, and members of the Ruston, Monroe and Shreveport communities.” Lectures throughout the series are sponsored by the Lincoln Health Foundation, ADVANCEing Women in Science, Sigma Xi, Louisiana Tech’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science (CBERS), the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, the College of Engineering and Science, and the School of Biological Sciences. For more information on the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research series and access to recordings of all of the lectures, please visit or contact Dr. Jamie Newman at or Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore at