Dr. LaVern Whisenton - Davidson

Professor, Insect biochemistry, endocrinology, and neuroendocrinology.

Dr. LaVern Whisenton - Davidson

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B.S., Morningside College
M.S. and Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Courses Taught:

BIOL 100 – General Biology
BIOL 154/155 – Human Anatomy and Physiology
BIOL 437 – Endocrinology
BIOL Comparative Anatomy

Areas of Specialization:

Insect Biochemistry, Endocrinology and Neuroendocrinology.

Research Interest(s):

I was interested in determining the roles of hormones in ovarian development and metamorphosis of mosquitoes. I had several students involved in various aspects of the issue. One student developed an in vitro assay to monitor the ecdysone producing activity of the autogenous mosquito, Toxorhynchites brevipalpis. Another worked on isolating the Egg Development Neurosecretory Hormone in Aedes aegypti. And a third performed an immunocytological study of neurosecretory cells in Aedes aegypti.

Selected Publication(s):

1992. Steroidogenic activity in prothoracic gland cells of retrocerebral complexes of fourth instar mosquitoes. American Society Of Zoologists 31(5):87. (with D. Sonnen)

1989. Ecdysteroid titres during pupal-adult development in Aedes aegypti: Basic for a sexual dimorphism in the rate of development. J. Insect Physiol., 35(1): 67-73.

1987. Isolation and partial purification of gonadotrophic factors in heads of pupal and adult Aedes aegypti. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 50:3-14. (with T. Kelly & W. Bollenbacher)

1987. Regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis by 20- hydroxyecdysone during the fourth larval instar of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 66:62-70. (with R. Watson, N. Granger, & W. Bollenbacher)

1986. Interendocrine regulation of the prothoracic glands and corpora allata of Manduca sexta. Insect. Biochem. 16(1):149-155. (with R. Watson, N. Granger, & W. Bollenbacher)