Professor of Biology
Chair, Department of Biology & Biochemistry
2009 Fulbright Scholar to Japan
In 2009, Dr. Winslow was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and conduct research at the Misaki Marine Biology laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Winslow investigated the immune system of three species of Asian Pacific sea urchin and their role as biological indicators of the effects of global warming and rising ocean temperatures.
“My lifelong passion to integrate faith and the study of biology influences my teaching and my research at Northwestern College.”
Welcome to the world of Marine Biology at Northwestern College!
There is plenty of sea life swimming around the labs at Northwestern. We have three 120 gallon aquaria and many smaller aquaria teeming with marine invertebrate life for student investigation and scientific research.
In my lab we study the role of immune cells in the body cavities of marine invertebrates. These cells, called coelomocytes, have the power to fight infections, heal wounds and combat disease. Our primary model system is the sea urchin, Lytechinus variegates, a warm water species from the Gulf of Mexico. However, additional student projects include investigation of coelomocytes in starfish and sea cucumbers as well as sea anemones and jellyfish.
Immune Cell Function and Cell Motility
In order to understand how coelomocytes fight disease, we must first understand how the cells function. There are five distinct cell types in the sea urchin, they are:
- Red Spherule
- Colorless Spherule
- Petalloid Coelomocytes
- Nocodozole sensitive Cells
- Migratory Cells
Each of these coelomocyte subtypes possess a unique cell shape, cell motility and physiological function. Research projects are ongoing in my lab on each of these cell types. Students also study the coelomocytes from other marine invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, comb jellies (ctenophores) and jellyfish.
Environmental Stewardship-Gulf Oil Spill of 2010
As stewards of God’s creation we seek to study the environment and help to contribute to the care of the environment. The massive and catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was deemed the most devastating environmental catastrophe in human history. Our research on sea urchin immunity was significantly affected by this event since we have been studying sea urchins for 10 years in this region. Since the oil spill, we have been conducting toxicology studies on the sea urchins and the morbidity effects of the pollutant on immunity and longevity.
Wound Healing and Regeneration
Echinoderms such as sea urchins, starfish and sea cucumbers have amazing powers of regeneration. We have studied sea urchin regeneration in the form of wound closure. Sea urchin coelomocytes are responsible for initial wound closure and subsequent healing of wounds. We have investigated the cellular and immunological pathways of wound healing and the effects of electromagnetic energy on acceleration of these pathways on a molecular level.
On my recent visit to Japan in March 2011 with 10 NWC students, we have begun a new research track in my lab. We are beginning to investigate the role of coelomocytes in regeneration of arms in the brittle star. These tiny, beautiful creatures have a defense mechanism called autotomy where they will detach an arm in the presence of danger, then regenerate the arm within a few weeks. Beginning fall 2011, we will launch a new research direction investigating autotomy and regeneration of the brittle star arm and the role of coelomocytes in this dynamic process.
Courses I teach:
Principles of Biology II -- Freshman survey course covering biodiversity- very cool course! This course encourages critical thinking of scientific methodologies regarding the biological world from microbes to mammals. Group work, independent scientific analysis and much class participation as we explore biology from a Christian worldview.
Human Anatomy -- Sophomore level course, highly encouraged for all students planning to enter health care professions. I use state of the art Human Anatomy digital resources including a virtual human cadaver dissection in lecture, and a full semester cat dissection and human histology analysis in the lab.
Immunology -- Upper level course in human immunology covering human immunodeficiency and related immunological disorders. In addition to the text, primary scientific journal articles are read and discussed.
Cell Biology -- Upper level course covering cellular physiology,organelles and motility. In addition to the text, relevant primary scientific journal articles are read and discussed. The lab includes cutting edge cell biology research techniques and a 6 week independent research project.
Animal Biology -- Upper level course in animal physiology and ecology. Very fun course!! We survey through the animal kingdom with accompanying dissections of everything from sea sponges to lobsters to snakes and ferrets! Students play an active role in selection of marine animals for the 120 gallon aquarium to study as well as participate in selecting animals for dissection from among taxonomic phyla.
What about fun?
So, with all of this research and teaching is there any time left for fun? Yes! I have two beautiful and amazing daughters, Arianna and Sophia who are my partners on life’s journey. They trek with me around the globe to all of the world oceans that I am blessed to be able to study.
I have had the great opportunity to study a wide variety of world oceans such as the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea in the south of France, Ligurian Sea in northern Italy, Aegean Sea in Greece (Crete), the North Pacific and Puget Sound, the Asian Pacific Rim in Japan. I stand in amazement of God’s creation in all its beauty and complexity and I consider myself blessed to be able to spend my life studying the amazing creature that inhabit these waters.
I also enjoy writing poetry and have published six books of poetry. I also appreciate art, music travel and theater.
From: In Praise of Creation
Six arms move slowly
peace found in simplicity
learn from the starfish
Tide pool rocks whisper
anemones are all closed
high tide will come soon.
The sea is in rage
winds blow, fury, tempest
I will go to prayer.
Selected Scientific Publications and Presentations:
D’Andrea-Winslow, L., Radke, D., Utech, T., Kaneko, T., Akasaka, K., (2011). Sea Urchin coelomocyte arylsulfatase: a modulator of the echinoderm cell clotting
Pathway. Integrative Zoology. In Press.
D’Andrea-Winslow, Lisanne. (2009). Sea Urchin Petalloid Coelomocytes Are Involved in the Clotting Pathway and Invertebrate Wound Healing. March 15, 2009. University of Tokyo, Department of Marine Sciences Graduate Seminar Series.
D’Andrea-Winslow, L., Johnson, D.J., and Novitski A. K. (2008). Bioelectromagnetic fields accelerate wound healing and activate immune cell function. Journal of Medical and Biological Sciences. Volume 2, Issue 1, pp. 1-15.
D’Andrea-Winslow, L. and Novitski, A. K. (2008). Active bleb formation is abated in Lytechinus variagatus red spherule coelomocytes upon disruption of acto-myosin contractility. Integrative Zoology. 3:106-113.
D’Andrea-Winslow, L. ( 2007). The role of red spherul coelomocytes in the wound healing process of the sea urchin Lythechinus variegatus. 2nd International Symposium of Integrative Zoology. Beijing, China. December 8, 2007.
D’Andrea-Winslow, L. (2006). Sea Urchin Immunity: Evidence for Evolution or Design? Presentation, Faculty Scholarship Symposium, Northwestern College,St. Paul, MN.
Kedrowicz, K., McKeague, J.,Anholt, H., Sturycz, A., Johnson, D., and D’Andrea-Winslow, L (2005). Effect of bioelectromagnetic fields on wound healing in the sea urchin, Lytechinus variegatus. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 16:396a.
Cahlander, J., Johnson, B., Sturycz, A. and D’Andrea-Winslow, L. (2005). A nocodazole-sensitive novel immune cell in the sea urchin, Lytechinus variegatus: increased abundance during spawning. Molecular Biol. of the Cell. 16:486a.
Schott, M., Givens., T.J., Sturycz, A. and D’Andrea-Winslow, L. (2005). Structural characterization of sea urchin colorless spherule coelomocytes: uniquely motile cells that resemble neutrophils. Molecular Biol. of the Cell. 16:758a.
D’Andrea-Winslow,L., J. Bryngelson, A. Sturycz. (2003). Lytechinus variagatus red spherule cells are motile O2 transport cells. Molecular Biol. of the Cell. 14:L128.
D’Andrea-Winslow, L., Strohmeier, G., Rossi, B., and Hofman, P. (2001). Identification of a Na/K/2Cl cotransporter (NKCC) in sea urchin coelomocytes : microfilament dependent surface expression mediated by hypotonic shock and cAMP. J. Exp Biol. 204:147-156