Faculty/Staff Directory

Janet Vigna



Office Address
2200E Kindschi Hall of Science

Office Phone

Areas of Expertise
Science Education, General Biology, Genetics

Courses Taught at GVSU

BIO 104 Biology for the 21st Century
BIO 205 Genetics (Integrated Science Major)
SCI 495 Integrated Science Capstone

Research Interests

1.  Curriculum development using contextual approaches to teaching biology.

2.  Environmental Effects of the Biological Pesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis on Frog Communities.  Most chemical insecticides are neurotoxins that interfere with normal nervous system function.  While neurotoxins are marketed for the control of insect populations, any organism with a nervous system may be adversely affected.  As pervasive use of these chemicals continues and issues of pesticide runoff and ground water contamination are illuminated, there is mounting concern for the effects these chemicals are having on humans and natural communities.  One alternative to traditional insecticide application is the use of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti).  Bti is a toxin-producing bacterium naturally found in soil.  Upon ingestion, Bti toxin kills specific orders of insects by causing a disruption in the ion balance in the membranes of midgut cells.  While Bti has been deemed "nontoxic" for selected fish and mammalian wildlife, studies have not been performed on sensitive amphibian populations.  In addition, Bti toxicity studies have been limited to determining the direct effects of the toxin on an isolated population.  The effects of Bti on complex, natural communities have not yet been tested.  Using frogs as a sensitive indicator species, we are studying the direct and community effects of Bti toxin on larval development, behavior and survivorship. 


Ph.D. Microbiology - The University of Iowa
B.S. Microbiology - The University of Michigan

Recent Publications

Shuster, M. and Vigna, J. (2012). Biology for a Changing World  1st edition, New York City: W.H. Freeman / Scientific American.   A new pedagogical approach to teaching non-majors  Biology.

Shuster, M. and Vigna, J. (2012). Biology for a Changing World; Core Physiology Chapters.  1st edition, New York City: W.H. Freeman / Scientific American.

Shuster, M. and Vigna, J. (2012). Biology for a Changing World with Core Physiology.  1st edition, New York City: W.H. Freeman / Scientific American.

Shuster, M. and Vigna, J. (2011). Biology for a Changing World; Preliminary Instructor’s Edition.  1st edition, New York City: W.H. Freeman / Scientific American. 

Vigna, J. (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).  Biology for the 21st Century Lab Manual.  Hayden-McNeil, Plymouth, MI.

Powers, K. and Vigna, J.  Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis  (Bti) toxin increases mass at metamorphosis of Rana sylvatica and Rana pipiens in aquatic mesocosm communities.  (Manuscript in preparation)

Harleton, M. and Vigna, J.  Effects of Bacillus thuringiensis toxin, a biological pesticide, on the Development, Survivorship and Behavior of Rana pipiens in aquatic communities.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. (In revision)

Vigna, J., Cymbola, J. S., DenUyl, J. L. (2011). In K. McMahon (Ed.), Curriculum Development as Professional Development:  A Model for Adjunct and Graduate Student Instructors Teaching Multi-section Lab courses (vol. 32, pp. 400-401). Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching:  Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. www.ableweb.org

Vigna, J. (2011). In K. McMahon (Ed.), Flatheads Pursue Diversity:  Beyond the Phases of Meiosis (vol. 32). Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching:  Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. www.ableweb.org

Biology and Society:  An Issues Approach textbook by Colleen Belk and Virginia Borden.  2003. Supplements package (Instructor’s test questions, Instructor’s Lecture Activities, Student Review Questions, Media Animations) for chapters 2 and 12  authored by J. Vigna.

Vigna, J.L.  2001. Microbial Jeopardy Review and Assessment.  MicrobeLibrary.org:  Curriculum Resources.  April, 2002.

Vigna, J.L., K.D. Smith, and C.T. Lutz.  1996.  Invariant Chain Associates Preferentially with HLA Class I/beta-2 Microglobulin Heterodimers in an Allele-Specific Manner, and Association is Influenced by Peptide Binding Groove Residues.  Journal of Immunology.  157(10):4503-4510.

Smith, K.D., B.E. Mace, A. Valenzuela, J.L. Vigna, J.A. McCutcheon, J.A. Barbosa, E. Huczko, V.H. Engelhard, and C.T. Lutz.  1996.  Probing HLA-B7 Conformational Shifts Induced by Peptide-Binding Groove Mutations and Bound Peptide with Anti-HLA Monoclonal Antibodies.  Journal of Immunology.  157(6):2470-2478.

Molitor, J., W. Pace, L. Stunz, J. Vigna, S. Louie, and R. Ashman.  1994.  Induction of Ornithine Decarboxylase Activity in Mouse B Lymphocytes.  International Immunology.  6:1777-1784.

Smith, K.D., A. Valenzuela, J.L. Vigna, K. Aalbers, and C.T. Lutz.  1993.  Unwanted Mutations in PCR Mutagenesis: Avoiding the Predictable.  PCR Methods and Applications.  2:253-257.

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