Bwarenaba Kautu

Dr. Bwarenaba Kautu

Assistant Professor of Biology

Year Started at GU: 2013
Phone: 618.348.6537
Areas of Responsibility:

Human Anatomy and Physiology 
Human Cadaver Dissection 
Molecular biology techniques
Undergraduate neuroscience research 
Comparative Anatomy
Senior Research Seminar in Biology, Chemistry and Physics 


Brief Postdoc Fellowship: Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas) 

Ph.D. in Cell Molecular Biology with Neuroscience emphasis from The University of Alabama (USA) 

B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and Liberal Arts from University of Wisconsin-River Falls (USA)

Foundation Certifacte: King George V and Elaine Bernacchi School, Kiribati 

Academic Background:

Bwarenaba Kautu was an orphan from a South Pacific nation of Kiribati who later became the very first I-Kiribati born and raised native to receive a doctorate degree (PhD) from the United States of America. Dr. Kautu is also the very first person from the Republic of Kiribati to become a college/university science professor in the United States. Bwarenaba received his PhD training in neuroscience in the lab of Distinguished Professor Guy A. Caldwell, at The University of Alabama.

Personal Background:

Bwarenaba was born and raised in Kiribati (formerly known as the Gilbert Islands), where he completed his primary and secondary educations before attending college in the United States. His father died when he was three months old, and his mother left . He was raised by his grandmother who was homeless. At age 11 Kautu was adopted by his aunt until he received a scholarship to study in the U.S. Kautu grew up fishing and climbing coconut trees for living.


Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II 
Human Cadaver Dissection
Molecular Techniques 
Comparative Anatomy
Senior Research Seminar in BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY and PHYSICS

Publications and Presentations

Recent research conferences involving GC undergraduate research students: 

Juli Phillips, Kellie Steele, & Bwarenaba Kautu (2015). Potential Role of Kava Extract in Cholinergic Transmission at the C. elegans Neuromuscular Junction. Illinois State Academy of Science Conference: Macomb, IL. 

Michael Mengarelli, Dominic Goggin, Juli Phillips, Kellie Steele, & Bwarenaba Kautu (2015). Paralysis and Epileptic-like Convulsions Induced by Kava Extract in C. elegans. Illinois State Academy of Science Conference: Macomb, IL. 

Spencer Jacquet, Brent McCollum, & Bwarenaba Kautu (2015). Effect of Kava Extract on Mechanosensory Function in C. elegans. Illinois State Academy of Science Conference: Macomb, IL.

Professional Affiliations

Genetics Society of America
American Society for Cell Biology
Australian Neuroscience Society 
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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