Scholars' Day Main

Watson Scholars' Day

Monday, April 3, 2017

Watson Scholars' Day highlights undergraduate and graduate research projects, papers, and scholastic work of all kinds.

Spring 2017 Schedule of Events

Paper Panels- 8:00am - 11:20am, Bawcom Great Hall C&D.  See program for details.

Guest Lecture- 11:15am-12:15pm.  Bawcom Great Hall A/B.  Dr. Heather Francis is this year's guest speaker.  See below for details.

Poster Session- 1:00pm-2:15pm.  Bawcom Great Hall lobby.  See program for details.

Guest Lecture - Dr. Heather Francis

"Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: An expanding epidemic"

Obesity & metabolic syndrome have become worldwide health issues and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the fastest growing epidemics in the country. Mechanisms to better understand the regulation of NAFLD is greatly lacking & our data will provide insight into the role that histamine and mast cells play during NAFLD progression.

Dr. Heather Francis served as an Assistant professor at Baylor Scott & White from 2011 – 2016 and now serves as an associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.  She also serves as an adjunct biology instructor here at UMHB.  Dr. Francis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Sul Ross State University and her Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the Texas A&M HSC College of Medicine.

Dr. Francis has worked in research since 1997, starting as a bench technician and eventually starting an independently funded lab in 2011. Her research focuses on liver diseases including cholestatic liver injury, liver cancer and fatty liver disease. The lab uses standard molecular biology techniques and animal studies to understand the mechanisms that regulate these diseases.  Dr. Francis’ work has been published in high impact factor journals, including Hepatology, as well as presented at national and international meetings.

Dr. Francis currently lives in Belton with her two daughters, one who is a UT graduate, and the younger, a BHS graduate who will attend Texas State in the fall of 2017.