Dr. Shane Sarver is the director of WestCore. He earned his PhD from Louisiana State University and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Miami and the University South Carolina. Dr. Sarver has worked at Black Hills State University since 1996. He has current research projects on bear conservation genetics and a continuing research interest in bison genetics and conservation. Dr. Sarver has a new research interest in the biodiversity of organisms from habitats in the Sanford Underground Research Facility. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors. Dr. Sarver loves music and can play a bit of blues on the guitar.
Dr. Cynthia Anderson is WestCore’s associate director. She earned her PhD in plant pathology, with an emphasis on molecular genetics of host-pathogen interactions, from Montana State University, Bozeman. She has been teaching at Black Hills State University since 2000. Most recently, she has been collaborating with medicinal chemist Dr. John Dixon who synthesizes novel compounds to test for antimicrobial activity. Dr. Anderson’s lab tests his compounds against fungi that cause diseases such as ringworm and athlete’s foot, as well as pathogenic yeasts. With a couple of successful compounds identified, her lab has been using molecular genetic techniques to understand how the fungi alter their gene expression patterns. Outside of work, Dr. Anderson spends her time hiking in the Black Hills, and she enjoys learning to fly-fish with her husband.
Oxana Gorbatenko is a Researcher II in WestCore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in both biology and chemistry back home in Ukraine, and earned a Master of Science degree in Integrative Genomics in 2018 from Black Hills State University. Oxana assists graduate and undergraduate students with technical aspects of their research projects, and provides research services and lab management to support faculty research endeavors. In her own research, her main focus is on the genetics of dermatophytic fungi. During her time away from work, Oxana enjoys travelling with her family and being outdoors. Oxana is fluent in three languages: Ukrainian, Russian and English.
WestCore Role: Research Assistant
Bethany Reman is a research assistant at WestCore. She received her bachelor’s of science in biology along with a minor in chemistry from Black Hills State University. Bethany’s research interests include invertebrates, especially the microscopic variety. Her current research has taken her a mile below the surface at Sanford Underground Research Facility to investigate environmental biofilms. Outside of the lab Bethany enjoys honing her home renovation skills, frolicking in nature, and finding ways to entertain her dog. She has recently decided to use her knowledge of biology to become a novice gardener. Fun fact: at the age of 8, she won reserve grand champion at the Oregon state fair for her 3-ingredient cookies.