My research agenda features a focus on interactivity and engagement on websites and social media. I have conducted research on engagement on branded social media sites, interactivity within online health communities, cause-related marketing, cross-cultural communication, and advertising education. My recent investigation explored opinion leadership and engagement with social norm campaigns on social media. My research directions include using social media to encourage healthy behaviors, using social media to promote social causes and non-profit organizations, various message features and consumer engagement activities on social media, and the relationship between motivational and cognitive styles and use of social media.
My works have been accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Howard Journal of Communication, International Journal of Advertising, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, the International Journal of Strategic Communication, and the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising. I also co-authored several book chapters on online communities and journalism education.
Cell Biology & Biophysics
Ion channels, membrane transporters and receptors constitute more than 50% of current drug targets. Using cutting-edge single-molecule imaging and other multidisciplinary approaches, my laboratory aims to visualize structural and functional dynamics, as well as spatial and temporal distributions of these important proteins in their native environments. Our goal is to provide molecular insights into their fundamental function and regulatory mechanism, and ultimately, to develop novel therapeutic approaches for the associated diseases. My lab has state-of-art single molecule imaging facility and a multicultural environment to foster your creativity, value your hard work, curiosity, passion, and launch your own career.
Cell Biology & Biophysics
The White lab works on understanding the interactions of medically important fungi with the antifungal drugs that are used to treat these infections. Those fungi, which commonly infect immune-compromised individuals, include Candida albicans and related yeast species, a yeast that causes vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush and blood stream fungal infections; Aspergillus fumigatus, a mold that causes lung and blood stream infections, and Cryptococcus neoformans, a yeast that causes lung and brain infections. In the past, the White lab has identified point mutations in the target enzyme, overexpression of the target enzymne, and overexpression of efflux pumps as mechanisms by which fungi becomse resistant to drugs. Current projects focus on (a) characterizing A. fumigatus efflux pumps expressed in the model yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae; (b) understanding the S. cerevisiae ergosterol biosynthetic pathway that is the target of many antifungal drugs; (c) understanding how azole antifungals enter and leave the fungal cell; and (d) understanding how different growth media can alter the susceptibility of yeast cells to antifungal drugs. Research in the White lab would start with a discussion of the expertise and interests of the student, and might include the following: (1) using microbiological techniques to determine the level of drug susceptibility in strains of fungi; (2) monitoring gene expression to determine the genes that are expressed under specific conditions; (3) using transformation to delete or overexpress genes and monitoring the effect of the altered expression on susceptibility; (4) using biochemical techniques to determine the mechanism(s) by which drugs enter and leave the cell; and (5) combining techniques to study the ergosterol biochemical pathway that is the target of the antifungal drugs.
Women's & Gender Studies
My research addresses the history of women and rhetoric in the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States, and the teaching and practice of composition-rhetoric in high schools during the same period. I teach and practice archival research, with a particular emphasis on Kansas City and regional history. As a former newspaper reporter, I also teach students how to research contemporary issues by interviewing people, conducting surveys, and using both academic and popular sources. My book, Praising Girls: The Rhetoric of Young Women, 1895-1930, was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2016, and I co-edited Writing Stories: Composition and Rhetoric in High Schools and Normal Schools, 1839-1969, released by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2015. My work also has appeared in Rhetoric Review; American Periodicals; Feminist Challenges or Feminist Rhetoric? Locations, Scholarship, Discourse (Cambridge Scholars, 2014); Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era (University of Kansas, 2018); The Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression website of the Kansas City Public Library; and Ohio Valley History.
My research centers on the public's opinion about political institutions. At this point almost all of my research concentrates on courts. It includes the public's opinion of courts and what determines an individual's opinions toward courts; how courts and court decisions affect public opinion; and the effect of judicial selection method and judicial elections on the public's opinion of courts.
I work on using molecular evolutionary genetic techniques for studying problems surrounding drug discovery, as well as primary evolutionary problems such as phylogenetics and studies of positive selection. We develop bioinformatic tools for researchers interested in these problems.