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.
Addiction, as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works, but what is the evidence for this? Do the current medical models and treatment modalities of addiction provide effective interventions? Are there alternatives? This course provides 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 we will introduce the epidemiology and developmental course of addiction. Students in this course will 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 areas to investigate in detail and present their findings to the class.
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.
Health involves all aspects of our lives. Many people claim that the mind, body, spirit, and environment are all aspects that interact to influence a person's sense of well-being. High-quality health care must support the whole person. There are many terms used to describe approaches that are not considered conventional Western medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. While some scientific evidence exists regarding some CAM therapies, for many there are important unanswered questions; some of these will be validated through well-designed scientific studies, while others risk exposure as simply fraudulent practices. Working individually and in small groups we will identify questions to pursue by reading and critiquing the primary scientific literature. The acceptance of these therapies is influenced by politics, history, personalities, and even their effectiveness. We will carefully evaluate some of these alternative therapies by examining the successes and failures.
Beer brewing is a complex process encompassing the manipulation of four essential raw materials: barley malt, brewing water, hops and yeast. Hops contribute significant attributes to the final beer and an understanding of the impact is crucial for the brewer and brewing scientist. Hop chemistry is only about 100 years old and after a flurry of activity in the early years, the focus of many brewing scientists has largely turned to other issues. There remain many hop-related questions of interest to the brewer that have not yet been addressed. We will, working in small groups, begin reading the literature closely and developing experimental protocols to answer some of these important questions. Preference will be given to those who have taken "Zymurgy" or "Advanced Brewing Microbiology." Some background in college-level Chemistry is highly desirable.
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
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.