Professor of Cell Biology
His research and teaching interests include T-cell development and signal transduction; he has recently been examining the effect of phytochemicals on cells of the immune system. He has also begun a student research program in fermentation science.
His other interests include astronomy, general aviation, skydiving, and zymurgy.
This course will provide an overview of the science and issues surrounding substance-related addictions and the processes and mechanisms that underlie addiction. We will address both the genetic and environmental underpinnings of addiction and introduce the epidemiology and developmental course of addiction. Students will work in teams of 4-5 to investigate an area of interest in the science of addiction. The groups will use the primary scientific and medical literature in an effort to understand the use, effectiveness and limitations of the particular treatments or approaches selected. Each team member will be responsible for some aspect of the research and will report back to the whole group. The groups will present their findings to the whole class. The students' goal is to assess the effectiveness of the various approaches by examining the available data carefully, explaining the methodologies employed to look at the treatment, and critically reading the authors' conclusions. Examples of past projects include: How do benzodiazapines affect episodic memory? How does cocaine affect the progression of HIV? Is sex addiction a real addiction? What alternatives to methadone are available in the treatment of pregnant women opioid addicts? Is caffeine an addictive drug? How effective is psilocybin for treating substance use disorder? Does alcohol affect men and women differently from a brain chemistry perspective? Each student will have the opportunity to work in three groups over the semester and to complete three projects and presentations. Students will also learn to find and read scientific research articles on topics of their choosing. They will write analytical critiques of these articles and will have numerous opportunities to revise these based on the instructors' comments. These critiques will form the basis of the final papers in which students explored a particular narrow topic on some aspect of addiction. The final compilation of the three critiques will be used in putting together their final papers. All students are also introduced to elementary aspects of data analysis and statistics. We also will have presentations by local treatment counselors as well as a video presentations from a local physician specializing in addictions treatment. A final portfolio of all work will be used to evaluate each student's progress.
This fermentation science course is designed to familiarize students with the current topics and procedures in brewing science. This upper-level course requires previous course and laboratory work in chemistry and microbiology. The course will focus on the study of the fundamental and applied sciences related to the use of microorganisms as production and processing agents. Specifically, we will examine the technological and biochemical aspects of the brewing process, including raw materials, malting, mashing, fermentation and maturation. In addition to lectures and discussion on the readings, the course will include extensive laboratory work. Students will work in small groups on a focused research project. Prerequisites: cell or molecular biology, and chemistry or microbiology.
Students in this course will learn about the biological function of selected human organs and systems through the study of actual medical cases. Not all human systems will be covered, but students will gain a good understanding of how diseases affect the body and how they are diagnosed. Working in small teams, students will develop diagnoses for medical cases through reviewing descriptions of patient histories, physical exams, and laboratory findings. A human biology text, medical texts on reserve, and Internet resources will help students track down information they need to solve these medical mysteries. Students will also learn to find and read scientific research articles on topics of their choosing and will learn to write analytical reviews of these articles. These reviews will form the basis of final papers in which students choose particular diseases or treatments to investigate in detail and present their findings to the class.
This fermentation science course is designed to familiarize students with the current topics and procedures in brewing science. This upper-level course requires previous course and laboratory work in chemistry and microbiology. The course will focus on the study of the fundamental and applied sciences related to the use of microorganisms as production and processing agents. Specifically, we will examine the technological and biochemical aspects of the brewing process, including raw materials, malting, mashing, fermentation and maturation. In addition to lectures and discussion on the readings, the course will include extensive laboratory work. Students will work in small groups on a focused research project. Prerequisites: cell or molecular biology, chemistry, or microbiology
Dreaming about winning a Nobel Prize in medicine? You might need this class exploring exciting topics in contemporary biomedical research.We will focus on rapidly advancing areas such as human microbiome, immunology targeted drug delivery, circadian rhythms, and more, with each of 6 Natural Science faculty members leading discussions on a cutting edge topic. Activities will include analysis of research papers, exploration of methodologies, problem solving, and an examination of the implications of this research for the future of medicine. Finally, students will have the opportunity to conduct independent inquiry into a topic of interest to them.
This course is designed as an introduction to the immune system. Our goal is to understand the basic elements of the immune system and the mechanisms by which these elements protect us from infectious agents, growth of tumors and other pathologic conditions. The overview design of the course will not preclude us from exploring a few areas in depth and students will also have an opportunity to dig deeply into an area of their choosing when writing papers and doing group presentations. We will stress the experimental basis of each concept we discuss. This will enable us to see how scientists analyze questions, design experiments and draw conclusions. This process will show us how fluid "facts" are and how they are being continuously modified. Primarily for this reason, we stress understanding the process rather than memorizing the "fact". The rapid pace of discovery makes the study of the immune system exciting and challenging. This course will provide you with enough background to pursue further study in this area. Prerequisites: physiology, cell biology or molecular biology.
We will explore the complex microbial interactions and succession seen in the production of some ales. This will be a research project-based course focused on questions of interest to brewers. The microbiology of many of the Belgian ales and some American dry hopped beers is quite complex and largely unexplored at the molecular level. The fermentation is natural and often involves mixed cultures of yeasts and bacteria. Some microorganisms may participate in parallel, while others act in a sequential manner with a changing dominant biota during the course of fermentation. Little work has been done to characterize these organisms at the molecular level. Even less is known about the environmental influences affecting the selection and displacement of the series of organisms that grow in these ales and the contribution of minor byproducts including flavor active esters and other bioactive molecules produced during fermentation. Previous course work in chemistry and microbiology or molecular biology is required. Prerequisite: NS 296, Zymurgy.