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Jacob and Tim Veenstra

Research in the Genes: Father and Son Appear in Same Journal

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

Dr. Tim Veenstra, associate professor of pharmaceutical science at Cedarville University, and his son Jacob Veenstra, a graduate research assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago, were both published this year in the same professional journal, “Proteomics.”

“It's a rare thing in scientific literature to see a father and son published in the same edition of a journal,” said Dr. Veenstra. “I have never bought a copy of a journal in my life because they are all online, but I personally bought two copies of this edition because I wanted to have it as a keepsake.”

“It is really an amazing feeling to be published in the same journal as my father,” said Jacob Veenstra. “This is something that any son who is following in his father’s footsteps dreams of accomplishing, so to be published in the same journal is very special.”

Jacob Veenstra contributed to “Covalent Modification of Proteins by Plant-Derived Natural Products: Proteomic Approaches and Biological Impacts.” This article highlights several natural products from plants that have a biological effect on the protein makeup of an organism.

“Natural products have a role in drug development over the years as inspiration for various approved medications, and many can be purchased and consumed as dietary supplements,” said Jacob Veenstra. “This article demonstrates the capability to rapidly detect these natural product-related interactions on a large scale.”

Dr. Veenstra authored “Omics in Systems Biology: Current Progress and Future Outlook,” which gives an overview of how far the field of systems biology has come in the past 25 years and where it could continue to grow.

“The article is akin to a State of the Union address that tells the country where we are, where we've come and encourages us to continue,” said Tim Veenstra. “That's why I thought the article was useful for a peer-review journal. Sometimes literature is so extensive it is hard to get a good summary of everything that is being published.”

Systems biology is focused on characterizing all of the biomolecules within a cell in a single study to determine how they work together to form a functional unit.  In traditional studies, researchers usually only examine a single or small number of biomolecules at a time.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Doctor of Pharmacy, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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