Alcalá View 1990 6.5


Fungi way of life for Sr. Shaffer By Jacqueline Genovese To the average person, a fungus is a pesky, disgusting thing that grows on food that has been in the ·refrigerator too long. But fungi hold a special place in the heart ofUSD chemistry Professor Sr. Pat Shaffer. The 30-year veteran of Alcala Park believes certain fungi contain a genetic secret that could assist in the medical battle against leukemia and lymphoma. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Sr. Shaffer a $200,000 three-year research grant to help her discover that secret. The grant, which is the largest in- dividual research grant ever awarded to the College of Arts and Sciences, will allow the Los Angeles native to isolate the genes for two L-asparaginase en- zyme and define their size by subclon- ing, sequencing genes and analyzing the mRNA produced under various regulatory conditions. "The research could have broad applications," the avid cyclist says. "We all have the genes for a few fatal diseases within us, and this research will help us better understand our inherited background." It's not surprising that Sr. Shaffer will strive to help others through her re- search. She decided to study chemistry as a freshman at the San Francisco Col- lege for Women because she planned to aid the World War II effort by joining other women in chemistry labs. But fate intervened, and Sr. Shaffer, impressed by the caring attitude dis- played by her professors, joined the (Continued on page 2) Vol. 6, No. 5

. , ., ., , . Support groups sprout on campus

Three employee support groups have organized during the past year to meet the needs of specific employees.Those groups - Working Mothers Support Group, Bible Study Group and the Tuesday Lunch Bunch- have become a well-established part of the USD work scene. According to Human Resources' Calista Frank, each group grew out of a specific need on campus. "In each case, someone realized there was a need for some type of group, and they acted to see that something was done," she says. In the case of the Working Mothers group, it was Frank who spearheaded the effort on campus. "A lot of corpora- tions have this type of thing, and I think it is necessary because the reality in society today is that a large percentage of mothers work," she relates. "This February 1990

group gives moms an informal sound- ing board to voice their worries, con- cerns, joys and difficulties with other women who are in the same situation." The working mothers group meets once a month, usually every third Tues- day, for lunch at various off-campus locations. For more information call Frank at ext. 4594. Grace McElhaney, senior secretary in the athletic department, decided to form the Tuesday Lunch Bunch last year because her office was isolated from the rest of campus. "I wanted to meet more people, and I thought that the secretaries on campus could use a support group to help them meet people from various offices, and learn more about the university in a social setting," she says. (Continued on page 3) USD Employee Newsletter

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