Whittier College Professor Awarded Grant for Study of Deformed Frogs

Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - October 8, 1997

Contact: Judy Browning or Kristin Tranquada(562) 907-4277

Reference: 97-98:28

Whittier College Professor Awarded

Grant for Study of Deformed Frogs

Stephen R. Goldberg, the Roy E. and Marie G. Campbell Professor of Biology at Whittier College, has received a $20,000 grant through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for a two-year study of the role played by parasites in the development of deformities in Minnesota frogs.

He will work in collaboration with Charles R. Bursey of Pennsylvania State University, and Whittier College alumni and students Hay Cheam, Irene Tan and Mei Wu.

The funds are part of money appropriated by the state of Minnesota to various scientific groups throughout the United States to study aspects of the problem. Deformed frogs have been found in Minnesota for the past few years, and the topic has received national attention because of the possible impact on human health.

"One of the theories regarding why the frogs are deformed," Goldberg said, "is that parasites invade the tadpole and disrupt the development of the limbs. Thus the arms and legs do not develop, or develop in a deformed manner." Goldberg and his colleagues are trying to correlate the occurrences of the parasite Trematode Metacercariae with the deformity. They are currently examining both normal and deformed Minnesota frogs and expect to receive more to examine during the course of the study.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

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