Russell Schwarte, PhD

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Dr. Schwarte attended Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Political Science. He returned to his home state of Virginia to complete his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Old Dominion University. While at EVMS, Dr. Schwarte was privileged to be part of a team of scientists that studied the effects of microgravity on the development of the jellyfish Aurelia aurita as part of the Second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) that flew aboard the Columbia space shuttle. For his doctoral work, he studied synapse formation using the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) neuromuscular junction as a model. During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Schwarte developed a keen interest in microscopy and saw the potential of both the jellyfish and frog models for studying developmental and physiological processes using various imaging methods. He has continued to use the Aurelia and Xenopus model to study synapse formation and other aspects of neural development since returning to IWU in 2008.