Teaching


Jeanette Hoang is a current undergraduate independent study student working in the laboratory, learning transcriptomics and the basics of command line programming.

As noted on the main page, I have recently retired. As such, I am no longer accepting graduate students, teaching large survey courses in genetics, or the genetics laboratory, but I am still accepting undergraduate students in the lab (see Independent Study and Honors section below). Please look over the research section of the web site if you may be interested in doing directed readings/independent study on our current research projects.

Independent Study and Honors Progams:

I have also been fortunate to attract each semester one or two independent study students who are willing to commit several semesters of work to their projects.  Virtually all have gone on to pursue a postgraduate education, in either clinical medicine, basic science and law.  Many have presented their research at Undergraduate Research Day, and received intramural funding awards through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.  One student accompanied me on a recent trip to India, and many are authors on published papers or presentations at national and international meetings. A link to recent undergraduates on publications is given below, as are pictures of former undergrad ‘alumni’ and ‘life after Norman’ . For a summary of research projects that undergraduates are currently pursuing, please visit the research section.

Recent Undergraduate Authorship can be found here

Faith Wolfard, an undergraduate honors student who graduated recently,  received a $1000 UROP grant to examine gene pathways involved in the regulation of crustacean growth and regeneration. She is working at Crossings Community Clinic in Oklahoma City as a Medical Ministry Intern while preparing for application to Medical School.

Hoai Pham worked on developing culture techniques for potential transgenic manipulation of the cherry shrimp.

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Catie Daab, undergraduate independent study researcher, worked on establishing protocols for maintaining shrimp ovarian development and vitellogenesis.

Alexandria Smith, undergraduate independent study

Alexandria Smith, undergraduate independent study student, worked on developing a potential new crustacean genetic model, the cherry shrimp.

Noemie Ntahonkiriye, undergraduate independent study

 

Former Undergraduate Courses I have taught:

My past teaching responsibilities were in Biology/Botany 3333, the basic survey course in genetics, and Biology 3342, a genetics laboratory course.   BIO 3333 is required of all Biology majors, and is also taken as an elective by students representing a broad array of majors in the natural and physical sciences.  Consequently, this course has a large enrollment and is offered every semester.   The class size, the diversity of interests in the student body, and the wealth of subject matter, make this course challenging.  The course is directed to an understanding of what constitutes heritable information, how information is stored and retrieved in biological systems, how variation in genetic information arises, and what are the consequences of the interplay between an organism’s genetic repertoire and its environment.  Advances in genetics have been dramatic, and represent an excellent example of how to apply scientific method and empiricism to answer the fundamental questions listed above.  Many students receive instruction in the fundamentals of transmission genetics and molecular genetics in both grade school and in introductory biology courses.  I hope that as students enter this specialized course they will also begin to explore some of the broader social implications of advances in this area- how the science of genetics increasingly influences many aspects of our personal lives and our society.

I will- at least for next semester- keep available the course web site from the last time I taught the genetics lecture course (https://canvas.ou.edu/courses/41548) in case students wish to access practice problems and quizzes.  The first section contains information relevant to past course administration (syllabi, course outline, practice exams with answers.  There are also sections that contain links to tutorials and education resources (e.g. textbook web site), bibliographic search engines, techniques and organisms commonly used in genetic research, and information on clinical applications of genetics in medicine and health.  Finally, there is a “news and commentary” section with articles taken from the popular media emphasizing important new discoveries and/or controversial topics relevant to genetics.  I have also made available PowerPoint presentations and  (abbreviated) copies of former lectures.

A Genetics Action Center was held twice weekly at the Wagner Resource Center.  These two-hour sessions provided both review and enrichment. Problem sets, usually with questions that are more detailed and challenging than can be assigned in a 50 minute test period, were distributed and answered in small groups. Access to these problem sets is available on the Canvas site above.

Zoology 3342 is a stand-alone laboratory course, taken by a much smaller cross-section of the student population.   Enrollment in the lecture course is a prerequisite, and it supplements the topics discussed in lecture, providing practical exposure to the experimental designs and methodologies used by scientists in genetics research. Unlike the lecture course, which typically has an enrollment of 100-250, the laboratory can accommodate no more than 22, due to limitations on time and equipment.  This allows a much more Socratic approach.  The course is now taught by Dr.Mojgan Padash Barmchi, who will also be teaching the Genetics lecture course next semester.

Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Training:

Dr. Sharmishtha Shyamal, Postdoctoral Associate, our bioinformatics guru on transcriptome analysis and lab coordinator

Dr. Sharmishtha Shyamal, Postdoctoral Associate and bio-informatics guru on transcriptome analysis.

Over the past five years, two Ph.D. students have obtained degrees in our research program, and I have recently sponsored a Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sharmishtha Shyamal, who was associated with the lab since the end of 2014. Sharmi has recently returned to India, where she is seeking a faculty position. As I have recently retired, I can no longer make the five year commitment for graduate Ph.D. training, and I am no longer accepting graduate students.

Even Professors can suffer from test anxiety

Even Professors can suffer from test anxiety