2022 NSF EPSCoR EOD Conference

Dr. Nathan Reyna

Dr. Nathan Reyna is a full professor at Ouachita Baptist University (2008 to present) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas (AR). Ouachita (pronounced: wash-it-tall) is a private undergraduate institution in rural Southwest Arkansas with 1,500 students. Nathan teaches Genetics, Cell Biology, and Bioinformatics (HHMI-SEA-PHAGES-2011). He was part of the Arkansas (AR)-EPSCoR funded (2015-2020) Center for Advanced Surface Engineering as a member of the Extra Cellular Matrix research team. In 2016, with AR-EPSCoR funding, he created the AR-CURE project, a collaborative faculty workshop focusing on using synthetic biology as a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE). From 2016-2020, seventy-five faculty attended the AR-CURE workshop. He recently co-authored a Synthetic Biology CURE lab manual published by Libre Texts, an NSF-funded Open Education Resource. Currently, he is the PI of the Cell Biology Education Consortium (2018-2023), an NSF-funded Research Collaborative Network for Undergraduate Education The CBEC develops pedagogy incorporating cancer cell culture-based research into the classroom. The CBEC has 190 members and has published four collaborative papers (two with undergrad authors) since its inception. Nathan is also a Co-PI and director of outreach for the Host Virus Evolutionary Dynamics Institute, a newly funded NSF Biology Integration Institute. Since his initial ($260,000) funding by AR-EPSCoR, Nathan has directly received over one million dollars in NSF/EPSCoR funding. Undergrads are the focus of his efforts and have been authors on five research publications in the last seven years. Students working in his lab use cell culture, RNA sequencing, and bioinformatics to understand how exosomes modify the cellular microenvironment. In 2021, Nathan received the inaugural Innovation in Education award from the American Society for Cell Biology.