As noted on the main page, I am now retired. As such, unfortunately I am no longer able to accept postdoctoral students, graduate students, or undergraduate independent study students in the lab. Mentorship in the biological sciences was one of the most rewarding aspects of my career, and I am extremely grateful to all my students- at all levels- for their interest and support of our research program.
Independent Study and Honors Progams:
During my tenure at OU, I have been fortunate to attract independent study students who were dedicated and inquisitive, and 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 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’ .
Undergraduate Authorship can be found here
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.
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:
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.