Department Spotlight

Veterinary Biologist Joins Whitworth Biology Department

Mike Sardinia, a 1987 Whitworth alumnus and a practicing veterinarian with expertise in equine physiology, has joined Whitworth as a professor of biology. He will also serve as the pre-professional advisor for Whitworth students planning to attend medical or veterinary school.

Sardinia double majored in biology and chemistry at Whitworth, and earned doctorates in veterinary medicine and zoophysiology at Washington State University. Recently, he has served as a professor and emergency clinician at WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, a private-practice house-call veterinarian in Winlock, Wash., and as the executive director of the Humane Society of Cowlitz County, Wash.

Whitworth professor and Biology Department Chair Craig Tsuchida says Sardinia is a welcome addition to the department who will help meet increasing teaching demands due to the growing number of biology students.

"As a Whitworth alum, Mike understands the mission of the college and the needs of the biology department," Tsuchida says. "He will add a much-needed vertebrate biologist's emphasis to our curriculum, and he will strengthen our professional program."

While at Whitworth, Sardinia plans to continue his research on draft horses, a breed of horse used to pull heavy loads.

"Many draft horses are afflicted by a muscle disease that may be treatable by increasing the percentage of fat in the diet," Sardinia says. "My research will focus on the effect of increased fat in the diet with respect to a disease called equine polysaccharide storage myopathy as well as the effect of fat upon other metabolic parameters."

Returning to his alma mater was the natural next move in his career, Sardinia says.

"I am convinced that Whitworth is a unique institution with a compelling mission to educate students' minds and hearts," he says.

Sardinia will teach cell biology, anatomy and physiology at Whitworth, with other courses, including animal physiology, yet to be scheduled.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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