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Susan Balfe

Balfe

Susan Balfe

Lab Manager, Research Specialist and Safety Supervisor

Phone: (217) 333-6538
Email: balfe@illinois.edu

Career Summary

Extensive experience managing safe and environmentally compliant laboratories focused in entomology, genomics, and toxicology. Provide research project leadership skills, develop and implement technical policies, procedures, and standards for laboratory operations. Ensure the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality control of the laboratory and compliance with federal, state, and university regulations and standards as they pertain to grant-funded research. Exceptional attention to detail and excellent organizational skills.

Professional Experience

2008 - Present Laboratory Manager, Research Specialist and Safety Supervisor, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Project Leadership

  • Direct and manage multiple research projects through phases to completion.
  • Coordinate with scientists, engineers and businesses, both locally and globally, to facilitate ongoing research.
  • Collaborate in the planning and design of experimental protocols and offer interpretation of experimental results.
  • Provide guidance and expertise to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Plan and schedule project meetings and conferences.
  • Assist principle investigator in the preparation of competitive grant proposals.

Experimental Development and Design

  • Develop and design novel insect bioassay systems (e.g., an ultrasonic insect detection biomonitor system).
  • Investigate and screen compounds for insecticidal activity in cowpea weevil and fruit fly species.
  • Develop and perform intricate dissecting procedures for removing midguts from various insect species.
  • Design and create figures and charts for presentations, extension outreach and peer-reviewed publications.

Safety, Coordination and Education

  • Establish and maintain a Chemical Safety Hygiene Plan.
  • Created twenty lab standard operating procedures in conjunction with the U of I Division of Research Safety.
  • Educate, supervise and train students and technicians on laboratory safety procedures and protocols.
  • Implement and manage online database for chemical and biological inventory.
  • Maintain compliance with local, state and federal laws with regard to controlled substances.

Insect Rearing/Husbandry Skills, Techniques and Regulations

  • Establish and manage a clean, organized and well-maintained insect-rearing facility.
  • Assess and acquire appropriate federal, state and local regulatory licenses/permits for the insect-rearing facility (e.g., transgenic lines, quarantined exotic insect species and genetically modified seeds).
  • Facilitate small- and large-scale Coleopteran, Dipteran and Lepidopteran insect rearing and provide healthy, fit insects for experiments.

2011-Present  Logistics Coordinator for Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO), Department of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL

  • Contribute to a team that transforms extension information into education animations that are translated and voice overlaid into different languages and disseminated freely across the globe, especially targeting low-literate learners.
  • Establish communication and coordinate with individuals, volunteers, universities, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations to develop and disseminate SAWBO animations.
  • Developed a detailed file labeling system and implement an online database for over 10,000 files related to the SAWBO program.

 

Education

1996-1999 Purdue University College of Technology, Computer Graphics Course Work, West Lafayette, IN

1985 Purdue University College of Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Arts Degree, West Lafayette, IN

Additional Education

2002 Ivy Tech Community College, Lafayette, IN
Course work in Statistics

1996 - 1999 College of Technology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 
Course work in Computer Graphics

1987 - 1988 College of Agriculture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 
Course work in Entomology and Biological Illustration

Professional Training

2016 - Chemical Management for Laboratories, General Laboratory Safety Training, Chemical Waste Requirements Training, Understanding Biosafety, Awareness Training for the Transport of Hazardous Materials, Hazard Communication Training, Electrical Safety for Labs. Division of Research Safety, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

2016 - Certificate of Completion, Preventing Discrimination and Sexual Violence         Workplace Answers, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

2015 - Certificate of Completion, Diversity Education Training, Diversity Edu20, Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 

2013 - The Complete Supervisor: Building Employee Relationships Training Program. Center for Training and Professional Development, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

2008 - Chemical Management for Laboratories Training, Waste Requirements Training, Biosafety Training, Hazard Material Transportation Training, Respiratory Protection Skills Training, Division of Research Safety, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

2008 - Professional Grant Writing Workshop, The Grant Institute, Ann Arbor Learning Center, Ann Arbor, MI

2002 - Radiation Safety Training, Biosafety Training, DOT training for shipment of hazardous materials, Radiological and Environmental Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

2002 - Right-to-Know Coordinator, Hazard Communication Program, Radiological and Environmental Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

 

 

 

 

Additional Work Experience

2005 - 2008 Laboratory Manager, Insectary Operations Manager, Research Specialist, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

2002 - 2005 Laboratory Manager, Insectary Operations Manager, Level IX, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

1994 - 2002 Insectary Operations Manager, Laboratory Technician, Level VIII, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

1991 - 1994 Laboratory Technician, Level VII to VIII, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

1988 - 1991 Laboratory and Field Crops Technician, Level VI to VII, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

1986 - 1988 Field Crops Technician, Level VDepartment of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Skill Sets

Self-Motivation, Experimental Design, Organization, Handling Details, Safety Risk Assesment, MS Office, Illustrator, Photoshop, Presentation Software, Mac and Windows OS, Scientific Illustration, Drawing and Storyboard

Committees and Affiliations

Departmental Advisory Committee, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Departmental Safety Committee, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Outstanding Service Award Committee, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Awards and Contributions

2015  10th Annual Innovation Celebration – Entrepreneurial Excellence: Social Venture Award, Champaign County, IL (Received as a member of the Scientific Animations Without Borders Team)

2012  10th Annual Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards – Organizational Award, Champaign County, IL (Received as a member of the Scientific Animations Without Borders Team)

2006  Twenty-year service award, Purdue University, Entomology Department, West Lafayette, IN

1996 - 1998  Certificates of excellence for outstanding grades, Purdue University, College of Technology, West Lafayette, IN

1998  3D Modeling project chosen for presentation at annual conference in England, Purdue University, College of Technology, West Lafayette, IN

1985  Undergraduate work selected for display in graduate-level exhibition, Design and Visual Arts, Washington University, St. Louis, IL

1983 - 1984  Awarded special recognition for undergraduate level juried student exhibitions, Department of Art and Design, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Publications

Co-Author Publications

Wang, LH, Chi, YH, Guo, FG, Li-Byarlay, H, Balfe, S, Fang, JC, Pittendrigh, BR and Zhu-Salzman, K. (2015) Transcriptomic response of cowpea bruchids to N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins. Insect Science. 22(1): 83-94.

Murdock, LL, Margam, V, Baoua, I, Balfe, S, and Shade, RE. (2012) Death by Desiccation:  Effects of Hermetic Storage on Cowpea Bruchids. Journal of Stored Products Research. 49: 166-170.

Chi, YH, Salzman, RA, Balfe, S, Ahn, JE, Sun, W, Moon, J, Yun, DJ, Lee, SY, Higgins, TJV, Pittendrigh, B, Murdock, LL and Zhu-Salzman, K. (2009) Cowpea bruchid midgut transcriptome response to a soybean cystatin - costs and benefits of counter-defence. Insect Molecular Biology. 18(1): 97-110.

Zhu-Salzman, K, Ahn, JE, Salzman, RA, Koiwa, H, Shade RE and Balfe, S. (2003) Fusion of a soybean cysteine protease inhibitor and a legume lectin enhances anti-insect activity synergistically. Agricultural and Forestry Entomology. 5: 317-323. DOI: 10.1046/j.1461-9563.2003.00194.x

Contribution and Technical Expertise Acknowledgments in Publications

McDonnell, CM, King, D, Comeron, JM, Li, HM, Sun, WL, Berenbaum, MR, Schuler, MA and Pittendrigh, BR. (2012) Evolutionary Toxicogenomics: Diversification of the Cyp12d1 and Cyp12d3 Genes in Drosophila Species. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 74(5-6): 281-296.

Li, HM, Sun, L, Mittapalli, O, Muir, WM, Xie, J, Wu, J, Schemerhorn, BJ, Jannasch, A, Chen, JY, Zhang, F, Adamec, J, Murdock, LL and Pittendrigh, BR. (2010) Bowman-Birk inhibitor affects pathways associated with energy metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster. Insect Molecular Biology. 19(3): 303-313.

Li, HM, Sun, L, Mittapalli, O, Muir, WM, Xie, J, Wu, J, Schemerhorn, BJ, Sun, W, Pittendrigh, BR and Murdock, LL. (2009) Transcriptional signatures in response to wheat germ agglutinin and starvation in Drosophila melanogaster larval midgut. Insect Molecular Biology. 18(1): 21-31.

Murdock, LL and Shade RE. (2008). Toxicity of dietary avidin and streptavidin to the cowpea bruchid, Callososbruchus maculatus (F.). Journal of Stored Products Research. 44(2): 193-197 doi:10.1016/j.jspr.2007.09.002

Li, HM, Buczkowski, G, Mittapalli, O, Xie, J, Wu, J, Westerman, R, Schemerhorn, BJ, Murdock, LL and Pittendrigh, BR. (2008) Transcriptomic profiles of Drosophila melanogaster third instar larval midgut and responses to oxidative stress. Insect Molecular Biology. 17(4): 325-339.

Li, HM, Margam, V, Muir, WM, Murdock, LL and Pittendrigh, BR. (2007) Changes in Drosophila melanogaster midgut proteins in response to dietary Bowman-Birk inhibitor. Insect Molecular Biology. 16(5): 539-549.

Tarver, MR, Shade, RE, Shukle, RH, Moar, WJ, Muir, WM, Murdock, LL and Pittendrigh, BR. (2007) Pyramiding of insecticidal compounds for control of the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus (F.). Pest Management Science. 63(5): 440-446.

Amirhusin, B, Shade, RE, Koiwa, H, Hasegawa, PM, Bressan, RA, Murdock, LL and Zhu-Salzman, K. (2007) Protease inhibitors from several classes work synergistically against Callosobruchus maculatus. Journal of Insect Physiology. 53(7): 734-740 doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2007.03.008

Sun, W, Margam, VM, Sun, L, Buczkowski, G, Bennett, GW, Schemerhorn, B, Muir, WM and Pittendrigh, BR. (2006) Genome-wide analysis of phenobarbital-inducible genes in Drosophila melanogaster. Insect Molecular Biology. 15(4): 455-464.

Tarver, MR, Shade, RE, Tarver, RD, Liang, Y, Krishnamurthi, G, Pittendrigh, BR and Murdock, LL. (2006) Use of micro-CAT scans to understand cowpea seed resistance to Callosobruchus maculatus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 118(1): 33-39. 

Liu, YL, Ahn, JE, Datta, S, Salzman, RA, Moon, J, Huyghues-Despointes, B, Pittendrigh, B, Murdock, LL, Koiwa, H and Zhu-Salzman, K. (2005) Arabidopsis vegetative storage protein is an anti-insect acid phosphatase. Plant Physiology. 139(3): 1545-1556.

Festucci-Buselli, RA, Carvalho-Dias, AS, de Oliveira-Andrade, M, Caixeta-Nunes, C, Li, HM, Stuart, JJ, Muir, W, Scharf, ME and Pittendrigh, BR. (2005) Expression of Cyp6g1 and Cyp12d1 in DDT resistant and susceptible strains of Drosophila melanogaster. Insect Molecular Biology. 14(1): 69-77.

Amirhusin, B, Shade, RE, Koiwa, H, Hasegawa, PM, Bressan, RA, Murdock, LL, Zhu-Salzman, K. (2004) Soyacystatin N inhibits proteolysis of wheat a-amylase inhibitor and potentiates toxicity against cowpea weevil. Journal of Economic Entomology. 97(6): 2095-2100.

Scientific Illustrations and Figures in Publications 

Steele, LD, Muir, WM, Seong, KM, Valero, MC, Rangesa, M, Sun, WL, Clark, JM, Coates, B. and Pittendrigh, BR. (2014) Genome-Wide Sequencing and an Open Reading Frame Analysis of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) Susceptible (91-C) and Resistant (91-R) Drosophila melanogaster Laboratory Populations. PloS One. 9(6). See figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Previte, D, Olds, BP, Yoon, K, Sun, W, Muir, W, Paige, KN, Lee, SH, Clark, J, Koehler, JE and Pittendrigh, BR. (2014) Differential gene expression in laboratory strains of human head and body lice when challenged with Bartonella quintana, a pathogenic bacterium. Insect Molecular Biology. 23(2): 244-254. See figures 3 and 4.

Bello-Bravo, J, and Pittendrigh, BR. (2014) Scientific Animations Without Borders: How the need to spread entomological solutions has given rise to a new approach for international educational strategies for low-literate learners. Bulletin de la Société d’entomologie du Canada. 46(1) : 31-36. See figure 1.

Agunbiade, TA, Sun, WL, Coates, BS, Djouaka, R, Tamo, M, Ba, MN, Binso-Dabire, C, Baoua, I, Olds, BP and Pittendrigh, BR. (2013) Development of Reference Transcriptomes for the Major Field Insect Pests of Cowpea: A Toolbox for Insect Pest Management Approaches in West Africa. PloS One. 8(11): e79929. See figure 1.

Bello, J, Seufferheld, F, Agunbiade, T, Steele, LD, Guillot, D, Ba, MN, Binso-Dabire, CL, Baoua, I, N’Diaye, M, Tamo, M, Pittendrigh, BR. (2013) Scientific Animations Without BordersTM: cell-phone videos for cowpea farmers. Innovative research along the cowpea value chain. In: Proceedings of the fifth World Cowpea Conference, 26 September – 1 October 2010 Saly, Senegal.pp. 369-380. See figures 1, 2 and 3.

Agunbiade, TA, Coates, BS, Kim, KS, Forgacs, D, Margam, VM, Murdock, LL, Ba, MN, Binso-Dabire, CL, Baoua, I, Ishiyaku, M F, Tamo, M and Pittendrigh, BR. (2012) The spatial genetic differentiation of the legume pod borer, Maruca vitrata F. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) populations in West Africa. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 102(5): 589-599. See figure 1.

Bello-Bravo, J, Seufferheld, F, Steele, LD, Agunbiade, T, Guillot, D, Cutz, G. and Pittendrigh, B. (2011) Scientific Animations Without Borders?: An International Collaborative Approach for Building Scientific Educational Materials for Use on Cell Phones and the Internet in Developing Nations. The International Journal of Science in Society. 2. See Figures 1 and 2.

Sun, LJ, Schemerhorn, B, Jannasch, A, Walters, KR, Jr, Adamec, J, Muir, WM and Pittendrigh, BR. (2011) Differential transcription of cytochrome P450s and glutathione S transferases in DDT-susceptible and -resistant Drosophila melanogaster strains in response to DDT and oxidative stress. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 100(1): 7-15. See Graphical Abstract - doi:10.1016/j.pestbp.2011.01.009

Sun, LJ, Li, HM, Seufferheld, MJ, Walters, KR, Margam, VM, Jannasch, A, Diaz, N, Riley, CP, Sun, WL, Li, YF, Muir, WM, Xie, J, Wu, J, Zhang, F, Chen, JY, Barker, EL, Adamec, J and Pittendrigh, BR. (2011) Systems-Scale Analysis Reveals Pathways Involved in Cellular Response to Methamphetamine. PloS One. 6(4). See figures 1, 2, and 3.

Bello-Bravo, J, Diaz, R, Venugopal, S, Viswanathan, M and Pittendrigh, BR. (2010) Expanding the impact of practical scientific concepts for low-literate learners through an inclusive and participatory virtual knowledge ecosystem. Journal of The World Universities Forum. 3(4): 147-164. See Figures 1A and 1B. 

Ba, NM, Margam, VM, Binso-Dabire, CL, Sanon, A, McNeil, JN, Murdock, LL and Pittendrigh, BR. (2009) Seasonal and regional distribution of the cowpea pod borer Maruca vitrata (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Burkina Faso. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science. 29(3): 109-113. See figures 1 and 2.

Scientific Illustrations in Book Chapters

Agunbiade, T, Steele, L, Coates, BS, Gassmann, A, Margam, VM, Ba, M, Dabire, C, Baoua, I, Bello-Bravo, J, Seufferheld, F, Sun, W, Tamò, M, Pittendrigh, BR. IPM-omics: from genomics to extension for integrated pest management of cowpea. In: Boukar, O., Coulibaly, O., Fatokun, C., Lopez, K., Tamò M. (eds.). 2013.  Enhancing cowpea value chains through research advances. Proceedings of the 5th World Cowpea Research Conference, 26 September – 1 October 2010 Saly, Senegal, pp. 231-248. See figures 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Curtis, MW. 1991. Mission: Entomology, A History of the Department of Entomology at Purdue University 1884-1991. Biological Illustrations, p137.


Presentations

Integrative Biology 526 International Insect Pest Management in a Digital World Course. Urbana, IL, January 27th & March 2nd, 2016, Presenters: Susan Balfe, Laura D. Steele, Victor Font and Ben Blalock, Title: Scientific Animations Without Borders

Integrative Biology 496 International Development Course. Urbana, IL, January 27th, 2015, Presenters: Susan Balfe, Laura D. Steele, Victor Font, Ben Blalock and Anna Perez, Title: Scientific Animations Without Borders

Integrative Biology 496 International Development Course. Urbana, IL, March 3rd, 2015, Presenters: Susan Balfe, Laura D. Steele, Victor Font, Ben Blalock and Anna Perez, Title: Scientific Animations Without Borders

Integrative Biology 496 International Development Course. Urbana, IL, February 11th, 2014, Presenters:  Susan Balfe and Juan Cantalapiedra, Title: Scientific Animations Without Borders: International Development in Practice

Volunteer - Professional Activities and Community Service

2016-Present  Second Wind Running Club (member), Half Marathon Training Program 

2015  Champaign County Humane Society, Volunteer Teaching Assistant for Basic Manners Dog Obedience Class

2015  Champaign County Humane Society, Urbana, IL, Volunteer for the Champaign County Giant Garage Sale, To raise awareness and money to support the Champaign County Humane Shelter

2015  CarX Crazy 5K Mud Run, Urbana, IL, To raise money for a young boy undergoing cancer treatment 

2014-Present  Champaign County Humane Society, Volunteer for Dog Socialization Program

2014  Urbana Park District, Urbana, IL, Bone Yard Creek Cleanup Day – Making Our Community Waterways Healthy, Invasive Species Eradication

2013-2014  Dog Training Club Champaign Urbana, Assistant Dog Trainer for Sub Novice Obedience Class

2003-2008  Greater Lafayette Kennel Club, Volunteer Teaching Assistant for Canine Positive Reinforcement Training