Cancer Regression, Teaching Methods and Voting Predictability Among Faculty Research

April 05, 2010

In researching a "revolutionary technology for tumor regression," Dr. Pratibha Phadke-Gupta, instructor of biology at Mount Union College, is helping to develop a way to activate certain cells already in the body of a cancer patient and have them gobble up the cancerous mutations.


Gupta and other faculty presented their findings at Mount Union College's 11th Faculty Research Forum, where chosen teachers are asked to share with the rest of the college community the studies they have been developing.

Gupta, who joined the faculty at Mount Union in Fall 2003, has studied under scientists at the forefront of tumor regression research. The technique they have been developing, she said, has only been tested in animals and must pass through the Food and Drug Administration before being used on humans.

She believes getting it passed by the FDA will take a considerable amount of time. The macrophage, the cells inside the body that are the central part of her research, takes a long time to develop and is hard to remove from the body.

Stepping out of the "comfort zone" has been on the mind of Dr. Larry Catalano, assistant professor of education, since the early sixties. "Why was my basketball team so good on Thursday but not Saturday?" he asked himself.

This interest in how people perform in certain physical, mental and emotional environments led him to believe that as a teacher, "comfort zones are the most significant thing we develop."

Built out of communication, trust and respect with the students, comfort zones unload the disequilibrium that commonly exists in the classroom. "We all view comfort differently," Catalano said. "Your perception is your reality."

Through personal experience, he has found that if students feel like part of a family and trust the teacher to create the disequilibrium, students will grow and learn more effectively.

"Ask analytical questions," Catalano suggested. "Your questions should cause disequilibrium and that's where learning occurs."

The foreign policy voting pattern of Russia shifted between 1992 and 1999 according to Dr. Michael Grossman, assistant professor of political science, who compared how often Russia voted similarly to the United States in the United Nations General Assembly.

His research investigated if there are ways to anticipate change in Russian Foreign Policy by the roles expressed by Russian leadership. Based on the Role Theory that suggests an individual's behavior is conditioned by his or her position in society and that countries function similarly to those individuals, Grossman's research led him to study 673 speeches made by Russian leadership and identify 11 roles.

The strongest, being the Anti-Hegemon Role which rejects the domination of the United States, was brought up more frequently over the span of seven years. Over that time, the instances of Russia and the United States voting similarly decreased.

In finding a connection, Grossman said his research needs to expand to include other countries.

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