Biology faculty

Sara Sybesma Tolsma, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Ph.D., Northwestern University
B.A., Northwestern College (Iowa)

712-707-7278
stolsma@nwciowa.edu
VPH 213

Profile

Dr. Tolsma’s research efforts in cancer genetics and cell biology have been widely published in scientific journals and have received a number of awards. A Northwestern College alumna, she holds a doctorate in microbiology/immunology/virology. During a 2003-04 sabbatical, she worked on a cell and molecular genetics textbook for non-science majors, as well as an adult Sunday school curriculum on genetic technologies. She has been a part of several symposia on bioethical issues surrounding genetic technologies, such as stem cells, cloning and genetic testing. Her current laboratory research extends her interest in genetics to populations in a study of mayfly genetic variation in Northwest Iowa watersheds.


Courses


    Publications and presentations

    • Tolsma, S.S., Stem cells, Cloning, GMOs : Learning and Dialoging in the Church about Genetic Techologies, in progress.
    • Tolsma, S.S., L. Furlong, J. Locker, B. Wieking, J. Kleinhesselink, L. Levion, J. Parsons. "Assessing the Genetic Relationship Between Mayfly (Baetis) Populations," Iowa Academy of Science Meeting, April 2010.
    • Tolsma, S.S. “Stem Cells: What Are They; Where Do They Come From; And Why Are They Important?” Putting Science in its Place: Discovery and Responsibility, 22nd Annual Critical Issues Symposium, Hope College, Holland, MI, October 2003.
    • Eppinga, R. and Tolsma, S.S., "Determination of the Mechanism of Increased Capillary Density in Endurance-trained Skeletal Muscle", Iowa State Symposium on the Cell Cycle, April 1997.
    • Tolsma, S.S., Volpert, O.V., Good, D.J., Polverini, P.J., Frazier, W.F., and Bouck, N., "Peptides Derived from Two Separate Domains of the Matrix Protein Thrombospondin-1 have Anti-angiogenic Activity", J. Cell Bio., 122:497-511, 1993.

    Professional involvements and accomplishments

    • Member, Christian Action Commission, Reformed Church in America, 1999-2005.
    • Member, New Brunswick Theological Seminary Board of Directors, 2007-present.
    • Member, Sioux County Environmental Initiative Steering Committee, 2008-present.
    • Chair, Societal Issues Committee for the Iowa Academy of Science. 2009-present.

    Memberships

    • Iowa Academy of Science
    • American Scientific Affiliation

    Honors

    • Sabbatical leave, 2003-04
    • Teaching Excellence Award finalist, 2001
    • Gramm Travel Fellowship Award, Robert Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University, 1994
    • National Student Research Forum, Northwesern University student representative, 1994