Lumber River Microbial Biodiversity

Conservation biology seeks to protect Earth’s biodiversity, but efforts are overwhelmingly focused on non-microbial forms of life. Most of the described forms of life are insects and other organisms that can be seen easily with the unaided eye. Bacteria and fungi have been poorly described — perhaps the majority of them have yet to be […]

ASL homeostasis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease characterized by the build-up of thick mucus. Mucus clearance is important for the prevention of airway infection and is comprised of three main components: mucus, cilia, and the airway surface liquid. The cilia, outstretched in the airway surface liquid, work like a brush to remove the pathogen-trapping mucus from […]

Traditional Medicine

The Traditional Medicine project is an investigation into the cellular mechanisms of the efficacy of medicinal plants to address two main research questions: (1) has a decline in the use of traditional medicines resulted in the removal of positive health benefits that and (2) do interactions between currently used traditional medicines and western therapies contribute to […]


The basic idea of this evolving workshop is to use storytelling to motivate interest in systems biology (Learning Objectives). We begin with the Trickster tale “Giddy Up, Wolfie” about a rabbit (chokfi) who tries to steal a wolf’s (nashoba) girlfriend. From there, we discuss rabbit-wolf (chokfi-nashoba) dynamics in the wild. Given time, students engage in a […]


The ability to read, interpret and analyze scientific literature is important to success in technical fields as well as in graduate and professional schools. Engineers, scientists, and physicians, to name a few, rely on ‘the literature’ to learn about new research and technological advancements.  In collaboration with Claire Gordy Goller and the UNCP RISE program, the […]


In collaboration with Max Boeck, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Regis University, we are working on large data processing – chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChiP) with massively parallel DNA sequencing (Seq) – and integration into existing and new mathematical models of transcription factor-DNA binding kinetics written in Python.


What began as interest in a undergraduate honor’s thesis project by former lab member Marcus Sherman*, has now grown into a productive and exciting collaboration with UNCP Biology Professor Lisa Kelly. And recently, new Assistant Professor Kaitlin Campbell has joined the project! The project includes investigating fire ant diet, colony dynamics, and much more! *Marcus […]

Curriculum connections

A primary goal of this project is to aid interdisciplinary curriculum design by identifying intersections of disciplines using informatics methodologies. I am also interested in exploring how current developments in Western interdisciplinary curriculum can be aided by incorporating values and objectives from an indigenous science education model (Greg Cajete).

Early versus delayed gene expression

In collaboration with Ben Bahr at the UNCP Biotech Facility, former UNCP undergraduate Marcus Sherman (now at the University of Michigan pursuing a PhD) explored early versus delayed gene expression in rat hippocampus post-stroke-like insult using Cytoscape to explore gene coexpression and illustrate Gene Ontology functional enrichment.