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Vita Vernace
Curriculum Director for Biological Sciences /
Associate Professor, Science
School of Nursing and Health Professions
Office Location
195 Riverside Drive - 101
Courses Taught
Human Biology (BIO 120)
Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 211) - on ground, hybrid and online
Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO 212) - on ground, hybrid and online
I started working at Goodwin University in August 2009. I have been teaching Human Biology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II both on ground and online.
Ph.D. In Biological Sciences, subprogram Neuroscience, City University of New York, Graduate Center
M.Phil. in Biological Sciences, City University of New York, Graduate Center
M.A, in Psychology, subprogram Behavioral Neuroscience, State University of New York at Buffalo
B.A. Health and Human Services and Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo
Honors / Awards
Five Year Longevity Award
Areas of Interest / Study / Research
My areas of research started with developing an animal model for schizophrenia, and Parkinson's Disease. I narrowed down my focus and moved from mammalian models to creating a transgenic fruit fly as an aging model to be utilized across multiple neurodegenerative disorders. My transgenic fruit fly had a disrupted gene that is a key gene in the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway, which can be seen as losing its function in many neurodegenerative disorders. Some of the skills I have acquired are mammalian cell culture; site-directed mutagenesis by PCR; Quantitating 26S/20S proteasome activity; native and denaturing-PAGE; DNA electrophoresis; subcloning; mini- and large-scale DNA preparation; protein purification and protein induction; western blotting; familiarity with Drosophila genetics; ATP analysis; glycerol gradient fractionation; small animal surgery (mice, rat), immunocytochemistry, histochemistry, neuroanatomical dissections, neurotransmitter analysis using HPLC methodology and behavioral analysis.
Horowitz, J.M., Vernace, V.A., Myers, J, Stachowiak, M.K., Hanlon, D.W., Fraley, G.S., Torres, G. (2001). Immunodetection of Parkin protein in vertebrate and invertebrate brains: a comparative study using specific antibodies. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 21, 75-93.

Horowitz, J.M., Myers, J., Vernace, V.A., Stachowiak, M.K., Torres, G. (2001). Spatial distribution, cellular integration and stage development of Parkin protein in Xenopus brain. Developmental Brain Research, 126, 31-41.

Torres, G., Hallas, B.H., Vernace, V.A., Jones, C., Gross, K.W., Horowitz, J.M. (2004). A neurobehavioral screening of the ckr mouse mutant: implications for an animal model of schizophrenia. Brain Res Bull.Jan 15;62(4):315-26

Pierre, S., Vernace, V., Wang, Z and Figueiredo-Pereira, M.E. (2006). Assembly of Protein Aggregates in Neurodegeneration: Mechanisms Linking the Ubiquitin/Proteasome Pathway and Chaperones in: “Heat shock proteins in neural cells”, editor: Richter-Landsberg, C., Landes Bioscience, TX, pp. 1-11.

Vernace, V.A., Arnaud, L., Schmidt-Glenewinkel,T. and Figueiredo-Pereira, M.E. (2007). Aging perturbs 26S proteasome assembly in Drosophila melanogaster. FASEB J. Sep:21(11):2672-82.

Vernace, V.A., Schmidt-Glenewinkel, T. and Figueiredo-Pereira, M.E. (2007).Aging and regulated protein degradation: who has the UPPer hand? Aging Cell. Oct; 6(5):599-606.
Teaching Philosophy
I am an avid believer of utilizing a straight forward science aspect of teaching, combined with hands-on thinking out of the box creativity when I am engaging with my students. Today, we must utilize every tool and new technology to keep the students' interest, and communicate clearly and effectively, all the while keeping science fun. I will always go the extra mile for one of my students. I try to be accessible and always be helpful. Whether you are a current student or a former one, my door always remains open to you.