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Department of Life Sciences

NYIT
Theobald Science Center
Old Westbury, NY 11568-8000
516.686.3883
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The Life Sciences Department offers degrees at our campuses in New York City and Long Island, NY.


Lisa M. Runco, Ph.D.

Lisa Runco

Assistant Professor
Department of Life Sciences

Old Westbury Campus
Theobald Science Center

Phone: 516.686.1495
Email: LRunco@nyit.edu

Education

Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
B.S., Biology. Concentration: Cellular and Molecular Biology. Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut

Research and Professional Experience

Assistant Professor
NYIT Department of Life Sciences

  • Educate and enrich the professional development of eighth grade science teachers. Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Shiang-Kwei Wang, Ph.D., & Dr. Hui-Yin Hsu from the NYIT School of Education, and Dr. Todd Campbell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Dr. Paul Wolf, Ph.D., Professor from Utah State University.
  • Studying virulence factors of Yersinia pestis.  This research is being performed in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. David G. Thanassi at Stony Brook University.
  • Studying a new avenue for vaccine development against pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, specifically using synthetic biology and innovative gene design.  This research is being performed in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. J. Robert Coleman, Vitacode Biotechnology Inc.

Post-Doctorate Research Associate
Stony Brook University - Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

  • Characterized novel surface structures of Yersinia pestis and their role in virulence by performing cell culture infection assays.

Graduate Research Assistant
Stony Brook University - Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

  • Characterized the function of the Caf1A usher protein for F1 capsule assembly and secretion in Y. pestis, utilizing techniques such as electron microscopy, microarray analysis, fluorescence microscopy, and molecular cloning.
  • Provided innovative information regarding the ultrastructure of the F1 capsule and the presence of novel structures on the cell surface of Yersinia pestis via immunogold electron microscopy.

Independent Research
Fairfield University - Department of Biology

  • Molecular biology research led by Dr. Phyllis C. Braun, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology.
  • Used growth temperature to obtain hydrophobic and hydrophilic cell walls for yeast populations in vitro and investigated how the different cell wall surfaces influenced the transport of various nutrients into the cell.

Co-Director of BS/DO Program: 

  • Collaborate with the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Medicine, Vice President for Medical Affairs to manage program
  • Work closely with New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) to establish a strong connection between undergraduates and medical schools
  • Responsible for students’ admittance and advisement, MCAT preparation and recommendation letters
  • Participate in the recruitment process, hold monthly meetings, updating students of their responsibilities throughout their undergraduate career

Honors

  • 2012, NYIT Student Government Association (SGA) Faculty Member of the Year 
  • 2012, NYIT Women’s History Month Honoree
  • 2012, Selected to Chair session titled, “Exploring Science Education” AERA Annual Mtg.
  • 2011, Nominated & selected to present at the 1st Provost Discovery Luncheon
  • 2011, Pearson Publishers - Invited Speaker at Pearson Forum, Washington D.C.
  • 2009-2012, NYIT Faculty Scholar Honoree
  • 2006, Corporate Activities Program Student Travel Grant Award
  • 2002, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award
  • 2002, The National Dean’s List Award

Teaching

2007 - present:  NYIT, Department of Life Sciences
Courses taught/teaching:

  • BIOL 101 Humanity and the Biological Universe
  • BIOL 110 General Biology I and co-requisite laboratory
  • BIOL 150 General Biology II and co-requisite laboratory
  • BIOL 210 Human Gross Anatomy
  • BIOL 330 Microbiology and Laboratory
  • BIOL 345 Medical Microbiology and Laboratory
  • BIOL 425 Biomedical Research I
  • BIOL 455 Biomedical Research

2006:  Stony Brook University - Long Island Group Advancing Science Education (LIGASE)

  • Innovated “Teaching Science” graduate students, all of which are science educators, with advances in the fields of Microbiology and Immunology in course entitled “Current Topics in Microbiology for Teachers.”

2006:  Stony Brook University - Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)

  • Instructed selective groups of undergraduate and high school women to pursue science by providing exciting hands-on exposure to laboratory research.

Research Focus

NSF Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) Program:  Award No. DRL-1020091

  • “Collaborative Research & Cyber-enabled Learning: Digital Natives in Integrated Scientific Inquiry Classrooms”: provides professional development to make teachers comfortable with multi-user simulations and communications. Our group practices research-based pedagogies in the K-12 classrooms, enhance New York City teachers’ science and technology literacy, and cultivate students’ 21st-century skills.  This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the education and science departments at NYIT, and with the science education department at Utah State University.  Work closely to develop learning activities that integrate scientific inquiry-based learning and new literacy skills through cognitive tools approach. Teachers learn the technology that our digital natives are already familiar with, and integrate these technologies to motivate students’ learning in science classrooms.

Publications/Patents/Etc.

  • Hatkoff M, Runco LM, Pujol C, Jayatilaka I, Furie MB, Bliska JB, Thanassi DG. Roles of the Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis in the Murine Model of Plague and Adhesion to Host Cells. Infection and Immunity. 2012.
  • Hsu, H.-Y., Wang, S.-K., & Runco, L. Enhancing scientific inquiry and new literacies skills through the use of ICTs: Water Quality. American Biology Teachers. 2012. Under review.
  • Wang, S-K., Hsu, H.-Y., & Runco, L. Use social networking tool to facilitate scientific skills and new literacies. Paper will be presented at the 2012 Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). 2012 October. Louisville, KY.
  • Hsu, H.-Y., Wang, S.-K., & Runco, L. Middle school science teachers' confidence and pedagogical practice of new literacies. Journal of Science Education and Technology (JOST). 2012.
  • Wang, S.-K., Hsu, H.-Y., & Runco, L. Collaborative Research—Cyber-enabled Learning: Digital Natives in Integrated Scientific Inquiry Classrooms. NSF Discovery Research K-12 PI Meeting. 2012 June. Arlington, VA.
  • Runco, L., Wang, S.-K., Hsu, H.-Y., Roter, C. Cultivating new literacies through ICTs: using photosynthesis as an example. Paper presented at the National Science Teachers Association STEM Forum & Expo (2012 May, Atlantic City, NJ)
  • Wang, S.-K., Hsu, H.-Y., & Runco, L. Davis, M., Green, S., & Alforque, V. Use social networking tool to facilitate scientific skills and new literacies. Paper presented at the National Science Teachers Association STEM Forum & Expo (2012 May, Atlantic City, NJ)
  • Mukta S, Haroon C, Eng A, Chen C, Runco LM.  Epidemiology & Diagnosis of Y. pestis.  SOURCE. New York City, NY.
  • Tang J, Shaji N, Shehata A, Babu A, Ally I, Runco LM.  Exploring the Expression of Y. pestis Virulence Factors. SOURCE. New York City, NY.
  • Runco LM, Wang SK, Hsu HY (2012). Teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching science as inquiry and their classroom practices. Poster  presented at April 2012 Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, Canada.
  • Hsu HY, Wang SK, Runco LM (2012). Investigation of middle school science teachers’ preparedness to practice new literacies. Paper presented at April 2012 Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, Canada.
  • Wang, S.-K., Hsu, H.-Y., & Runco, L. (2012). Enhancing scientific inquiry and practicing new literacies skills through ICTs and mobile devices. Paper presented at the Mobile Learning IADIS International Conference in Berlin, Germany.
  • Hatkoff M, Runco LM, Pujol C, Bliska JB, Thanassi DG. Roles of Pili Formed by the Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis in Interactions with Host Cells and Virulence. [Poster]. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) 111th General Meeting; 2011 May; New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Runco LM and Coleman JR. Harnessing DNA Synthesis to Develop Rapid Responses to Emerging and Pandemic Pathogens. Journal of Pathogens. Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 765763.
  • Felek S, Jeong JJ, Runco LM, Murray S, Thanassi DG and Krukonis ES. Contributions of chaperone/usher systems to cell binding, biofilm formation andYersinia pestis virulence. Microbiology. 2011 Mar. 157(Pt 3):805-818.
  • Hatkoff MR, Runco LM, Pujol C, Bliska JB, Thanassi DG. Role of the Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis in Interactions with Host Cells and Virulence. [Abstract]. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) 110th General Meeting; 2010 May; San Diego, California.
  • Coleman JR, Runco LM, Mueller S, Papamichail D, Skiena S, Wimmer E. Rapid Development of Vaccines Against Emerging Threats Using DNA Synthesis and Gene Customization. [Abstract]. Gordon Research Conference: Chemical and Biological Terrorism Defense; 2009 January 18-23; Galveston, Texas.
  • Runco LM, Myrczek S, Bliska JB, Thanassi DG. Biogenesis of the F1 Capsule and Analysis of the Ultrastructure of Yersinia pestis. J. Bacteriol. 2008.190:3381-3385.
  • Felek S, Runco LM, Thanassi DG, Krukonis ES. Characterization of Six Novel Chaperone/Usher Systems in Yersinia pestis. In: Perry RD, Fetherston JD (editors). The Genus Yersinia: From Genomics to Function - Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. New York, NY: Springer, 2007. 603:97-105.
  • Felek S, Runco L, Thanassi DG, Krukonis ES. Characterization of Six Novel Chaperone/Usher Systems in Yersinia pestis [abstract]. The 9th International Symposium on Yersinia; 2006 Oct; Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Runco LM, Felek S, Krukonis E, Thanassi DG. Characterization of the Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis [abstract]. American Society For Microbiology (ASM) General Meeting; 2006 May; Orlando, Florida.
  • Runco LM, Thanassi DG. Chaperone/Usher Pathways of Yersinia pestis [abstract]. Northeast Biodefense Center (NBC) - NAIAID Region II Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research; 2005 Sept; Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
  • International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS); 2005 July; San Francisco, California
  • Northeast Biodefense Center (NBC) - NAIAID Region II Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research; 2004 Sept; Lake George, New York.
  • Vancza E, Runco L, Braun PC. Farnesol Increases Amino Acid Uptake by Wildtype and Cell Wall Auxotrophic Strains of Candida albicans [abstract]. American Society For Microbiology (ASM) General Meeting; 2003 May; Washington, DC.

*Awarded Corporate Activities Program Student Travel Grant for abstract submitted

Funded Grants

  • 2010-2015  $1,000,000 - NSF Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) Program:  Award No. DRL-1020091
  • 2012  $6,500 - NYIT ISRC Internal Grant  “Development of the I-TRM for Wireless Sensor Networks in Support of Medical Data Acquisition and Management”
  • 2010  $9,000 - NYIT ISRC Internal Grant  “Identification of Novel Drug Targets to inhibit Type 1 pili expression of E. coli”

Memberships in Professional Societies

  • 2012,  NSF DRK-12 PI Meeting Participant, Arlington, VA
  • 2012,  American Educational Research Association Member
  • 2010-2012,  Member of New York Academy of Science
  • 2010-2012,  Full Member of American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
  • 2009-2011,  National Association of Professional Women
  • 2002-2012,  Associate Member of Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society