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Dr. Nathan Reyna

Nathan Reyna

Associate Professor

Courses taught: Bioinformatics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Research Capstone


Phone: 870-245-5240

Degrees & experience:

Ph.D. University of Arkansas, Cell and Molecular Biology 
M.S. University of Arkansas, Plant Breeding and Genetics
B.S. College of the Ozarks, General Biology

Research Interests:

Research in my lab has two foci and utilizes multiple techniques, including cell culture, Quantitative Real Time PCR (Q-RT-PCR), RNA sequencing, and bioinformatics.  One research focus is in understanding how biologically-inspired nano-structures can serve as an extracellular matrix for neuron growth and development.   Currently, we are looking at the role exosomes play in neuron differentiation.  The second research focus of my lab is on the use of Synthetic Biology to examine bioinformatically-identified regulatory genetic sequences.   As increasing amounts of bioinformatic software are developed, each with a unique algorithm utilized for prediction, more discrepancy between putative results occurs when examining novel genomes.  By physically validating predicted results we can provide insight into effective utilization of bioinformatic methods and comparative genomics.  Additionally, this work serves to generate new Bio-Bricks that can be used in other Synthetic Biology projects.  Since research is an extension of the classroom, my research is also incorporated into each of my courses through the use of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE).  

Synergistic Activities:

Co-Director (PI) of the AR-CURE Project:   AR-EPSCoR (NSF) funded workshop for faculty development.  Our inaugural projects have centered around the AR-CURE synthetic biology project.  However, AR-CURE now includes the Genome Hack-a-Thon and Bioinformatics high school outreach projects.

Co-director (PI) of the Cell Biology Education Consortium (CBEC).  NSF-RCN- UBE (Grant ID 1827066) focusing on the incorporation of cell tissue culture based research into the undergraduate classroom. The CBEC partners with faculty at community colleges and small undergraduate institutions to develop protocols applicable for the classroom.

Current Funding:

NSF Research Collaborative Network (RCN) for Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE).  Cell Biology Education Consortium (CBEC). grant#1827066 (2018-2023)

Arkansas- (NSF) EPSCoR. Track 1. Center for Advanced Surface Engineering (CASE). Extracellular Matrix Team. grant# IIA-1457888. (2015-2020)

Arkansas- (NSF) EPSCoR. RII Track 1. STEM outreach.  AR-CURE project: Synthetic Biology Faculty Workshop. grant# IIA-1457888   (2014-2020)

Previous Funding:

AR-Space Grant Consortium (2009-2014)

AR-INBRE Faculty Mentored Summer Research Grant (2009-20011, 2013)

Selected Publications:

* indicates articles with undergraduate authors

*Kore RA, Edmondson JL, Jenkins SV, Jamshidi-Parsian A, Dings RPM, Reyna NS, Griffin RJ. (2018) Hypoxia-derived exosomes induce putative altered pathways in biosynthesis and ion regulatory channels in glioblastoma cellsBiochem Biophys Rep.  PubMed PMID: 29872742.

Wolyniak MJ, Reyna NS, Plymale R, Pope WH, Westholm DE. (2018) Mass Spectrometry as a Tool to Enhance "-omics" EducationJ Microbiol Biol Educ.  PubMed PMID: 29904565.

*J. Kelly, T. Files, B. Baley and N. Reyna (2017) DNA Barcoding of the First Recorded American Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus americanus, in Clark County, Arkansas.  Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science. V71.

*J. Bradshaw, A. Gongola and N. Reyna. (2016) Rapid Verification of Terminators Using the pGR-Blue Plasmid and Golden Gate Assembly. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 110. PubMedID: 27167700

*N.Reyna and J. Bradshaw. (2015) pGR-Blue Plasmid Addgene Submission-ID# 68374 68374.

Cresawn SG, Pope WH, N.Reyna, R. Plymale, et al. (2015) Comparative genomics of Cluster O mycobacteriophages. PLoS One.  5;10(3):e0118725. PubMed ID: 25742016

*Mycobacterium phage OBUpride, complete genome (GenBank: KT246485.1) Submitted 2015, (R. Plymale and N. Reyna with OBU student authors) 

*Mycobacterium phage RonRayGun, complete genome (GenBank: KM591905) Submitted 2014, (N. Reyna and R. Plymale with OBU student authors)  

N. Reyna and Y. Yang (2009) Molecular Characterization and Functional Analysis of a Jasmonic Acid-Inducible Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase in Rice.  Planta.

N. Reyna and Y. Yang. (2006). Molecular Analysis of the Rice MAP Kinase Gene Family in Relation to Magnaporthe grisea Infection. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (MPMI) 19:530-540. 

N. Reyna, B. Cornelious, J.G. Shannon, and C.H. Sneller. (2003). Evaluation of a Soybean QTL Conferring Tolerance to Soil Waterlogging in Southern Genetic Backgrounds and Environments. Crop Science 43:2077-2082.

N. Reyna and C.H. Sneller. (2001). Evaluation of Marker-Assisted Introgression of Yield QTL Alleles into Adapted Soybean. Crop Science 41:1317-1321.

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