Faculty Profile

Kirsten Guss

Associate Professor of Biology, John R. & Inge Paul Stafford Chair in Bioinformatics (2001), Department Chair

Contact Information

gussk@dickinson.edu

Rector North Room 2302
717.245.1530

Bio

Prof. Guss is interested in the molecular basis of development. Her research focuses on the role of the transcription factor scalloped during development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Prof. Guss teaches the following courses in the biology program: 127: This is Your Life, 317: Genetics, 318: Animal Development, and 418: Developmental Genomics.

Education

  • B.A., Gettysburg College, 1989
  • Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 1997

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

BIOL 121 Alien Worlds w/Lab
The possibility of life elsewhere in the universe is now widely accepted, but what kind of life can we expect it to be? This course considers what we know, and don't know, about the nature of life and the way it has evolved on Earth, to make a best guess about 'alien' life. Our strategy will be to investigate how biologists use theory and data to answer questions. Challenging introductory texts, news media, and scientific journals will be our major resources for discussion and laboratory studies. On finishing this course you should approach any biological news or issue with a more analytical eye, but ideally with increased fascination as well. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.

BIOL 127 This Is Your Life w/Lab
This course provides an overview of the human life cycle. Topics of discussion include the molecular and cellular building blocks of which humans and every other living organism are constructed, human development from a single cell through birth of a multi-cellular individual, with specialized tissues and organs, and birth defects and disease. Recent molecular advances that have the potential to improve human health will also be introduced. In the laboratory portion of the course, we will perform experiments with model organisms that use the techniques and approaches that are utilized to investigate human development and health. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.

BIOL 127 This Is Your Life w/Lab
This course provides an overview of the human life cycle. Topics of discussion include the molecular and cellular building blocks of which humans and every other living organism are constructed, human development from a single cell through birth of a multi-cellular individual, with specialized tissues and organs, and birth defects and disease. Recent molecular advances that have the potential to improve human health will also be introduced. In the laboratory portion of the course, we will perform experiments with model organisms that use the techniques and approaches that are utilized to investigate human development and health. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.

BIOL 326 Microbiology w/Lab
Molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry (structure and function) of bacteria, archaea, and viruses. Includes an introduction to the immune system and mechanisms of medical control of microbes. Molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis are addressed via readings from the recent primary literature. Laboratory exercises include the isolation and characterization of unknown bacteria using traditional and molecular methods, and modern genomic approaches to characterizing host response to infection. Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: two BIOL courses numbered between 120 and 129 or ENST 131 and 132 (or 130). For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is 124 and PSYC 125. Offered every other year.