Blue Walleye as Genetic Marker

Dr. Ramaswamy of India focuses on Dr. Schaefer's research
By UW-Washington County

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 12 noon in room 305, Dr. Subramanian Ramaswamy, Professor and Dean of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) in Bangalore, India will speak to UW-Washington County students as well as interested community members. The topic is “Blue Walleye as a Genetic Marker.”   
 Dr. Schaefer and Dr. Ramaswamy

This topic is the result of years of research by Dr. Wayne Schaefer, Professor of Biological Sciences at UWWC.  Schaefer, an avid fisherman himself, first encountered blue walleye while fishing near his cabin in northwestern Ontario, Canada. Schaefer, along with Dr. Mark Schmitz of UW-Sheboygan, have studied the biology of blue walleye in Canada for over 15 years.  In 2008 they co-published, with researchers from the University of Iowa, identification of a novel blue protein in the mucus of Canadian walleye.  They named the protein, sandercyanin.  Shortly thereafter, Schaefer discovered that sandercyanin fluoresced red in ultraviolet radiation, making it, potentially, an ideal genetic marker in recombinant biotechnology. 


Dr. Ramaswamy, then at the University of Iowa, cloned the gene for sandercyanin and is currently producing it recombinantly in India.  The University of Wisconsin, in conjunction with inStem, patented the gene for sandercyanin in March of this year.  In his lecture, Dr. Ramaswamy will discuss potential uses of sandercyanin in modern medical research. According to Dr. Schaefer, Dr. Ramaswamy is one of the “most accomplished scientists we have ever had on campus.” Founded in 2009, inStem focuses on collaborative research, education and innovation, enabling scientists to work in teams to tackle challenging problems. By providing a “think-tank” environment, the institute engages interdisciplinary research to drive greater insights and applications.

The April 23 noon lecture is free and open to the public.


Dr. Wayne Schaefer, Professor of Microbiology