Mary C. Vagula
Professor, Biology Department
Office: Z 209
- Courses Taught
- Professional Societies
Vagula, M.C. 2017, 'President's Award for Excellence in Technology', first place for implementing innovative technology in teaching, Gannon University.
Vagula, M.C. 2016, ‘Sam Drogo Award’ for implementing innovative technology in classroom teaching. Awarded by Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS), a national society of anatomy and physiology professors, and AD Instruments, an international company that produces data acquisition and analysis systems for the life sciences industry.
Vagula, M.C. 2015, 'Faculty Scholarship Award’ from Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS), a national society of anatomy and physiology professors.
Vagula, M.C. 2014, ‘Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award’, Gannon University, Erie, PA.
Vagula, M.C. 2013, ‘Certificate of Appreciation’, Gannon University, Erie, PA for integrating service-learning into my teaching.
Vagula, M.C. 2008-2015, Faculty Scholarship and Research Recognition Certificate, Received each year from 2008-2015, Gannon University, Erie, PA.
Vagula, M.C. 1st Rank in M.Sc., GPA 4.0/4.0, Zoology, Osmania University, AP, India.
Member or past member of the following professional societies:
• American Physiological Society (APS)
• Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS)
• Society of Toxicology (SOT)
• Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers,(SPIE) (Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response, and Environmental Monitoring)
• Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PAS)
• National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
• American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Ever since I joined my Masters program I particularly became interested in physiology and biochemical processes of the body. During that time, in the city where I grew, environmental pollution was a serious concern. After graduating my MS (with a GPA 4.0/4.0 and as the valedictorian), I joined my professor of physiology, Dr. S.L.N. Reddy, to work on toxic effects of lead on the physiological and biochemical processes of fresh water fish. I did an extensive research on the toxicity of lead and published several research papers. Later I continued my lead toxicity work on mice in the same laboratory. After coming to Gannon University, Erie, PA, I began teaching Physiology, Biochemistry and related courses. Also I wanted to resume my research in toxicology and physiology. The growing concern arising from the toxicological role of certain materials used as fire retardants like PBDEs caught my attention. I began my work in this area and mentored students in this research project. I first started the toxicological work on PBDEs by observing the influence of PBDEs on the sciatic nerve conduction velocity and intestinal absorption of glucose in rats. Later the work was extended to study the oxidative damage caused by these compounds. Oxidative damage is responsible for slow degeneration of the nervous system and body. This damage is also responsible for aging and age associated diseases. My next phase of research will focus on cell cycle regulating gene expression following PBDE exposure in human cells.