Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology
His current research focus is examining the intracellular trafficking of the cancer-related protein CD147 and a family of monocarboxylate transporters. Due to the excellent work of his students, a new trafficking partner of CD147 has recently been identified. His other research interests include messenger RNA stability, microRNAs, and other gene expression regulation mechanisms. He has advised students on a wide array of projects such as generating neurons in tissue culture from stem cells, making stem cells from somatic cells, cricket epigenetics, and biological animation. Outside of the laboratory, his interests lie in electronics, art, and zymurgy.
The biochemical properties of food determine how humans can prepare and benefit from food. Why does wheat flour make great bread while rice flour does not? Why are eggs so versatile? What is flavor and taste? Why do we need to eat certain foods for proper health? These are just a few of the questions that we will be addressing in this kitchen laboratory course. Each week we will be conducting experiments using food (most of which should be consumable) in order to learn how the biochemistry of food dictates its behavior in preparation. Students will design their own experiments with food and explain the underlying biochemical principles. We will also address human metabolism and how foods contribute to sustaining life. Note: we will be using meat, eggs, nuts and gluten-containing flour repeatedly, so vegetarian/vegan students as well as those with food allergies may want to consider carefully before enrolling.
Cancer is currently the second largest cause of death in the United States. One would think that science would have developed a cure for cancer by now, but it hasn't. Why is developing treatment options so difficult? This course will address the biology of malignancy and treatment including some traditional and cutting-edge strategies. We will cover some of the ethical and social justice considerations of disease research including some of the darker examples from cancer research's past. We will also work in the laboratory to study cancer first-hand. Students will learn to independently read primary literature, write papers, and perform presentations.
From the basic structures of biological compounds, to the movement of compounds within a cell, to the combined activities of tissues that contribute to the function of an organ, to the structures of complete organisms, the phenomena of life are both intellectually and aesthetically stimulating. This course will explore the complexities of life and use them as inspiration for creating art. We will learn the science in the classroom and laboratory and then move to the studio where students will utilize their comprehension of biological phenomena to create design and art projects. The characteristics of design that are apparent when observing biological forms (such as bundling, branching, repetition, variation, etc.) will be used as a starting vocabulary to develop works of art. Our goal is to use the relationship between art and science to foster a greater sensitivity to the aesthetics of natural forms, and to leave the classroom looking at our integrated and fragile relationship to the natural environment with new eyes. The course will culminate in an exhibition at the end of the semester.
This introductory course will explore the process of doing scientific research in a molecular biology lab. Students will learn numerous techniques in the lab, including DNA isolation, PCR, gel electrophoresis, restriction enzyme mapping, cloning, and basic microscopy. Additionally, we will investigate the historical and conceptual aspects of these approaches. Students will engage in semester-long research projects in which they design and carryout experiments, collect and analyze data, and report their conclusions in written and oral formats. This course is intended for students with little or no experience in a molecular biology lab, and it will prepare students for more advanced molecular lab courses and training.