Faculty Profile

John Henson

Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology (1989)

Contact Information


James Hall - Rector Complex Room 1227


He teaches courses in cell biology, immunology, animal development, marine science, and health studies. His research program utilizes marine orgnisms as model experimental systems for studying basic aspects of cell structure and function, particularly how cells move, change shape, and divide.


  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1979
  • M.S., Florida State University, 1983
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1989

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

BIOL 126 Infection vs. Immunity w/Lab

BIOL 126 Infection vs. Immunity w/Lab
Given the variety and virulence of the hundreds of pathogens we are exposed to every day, it seems miraculous that any of us survives into adulthood. This course will consider the biology of pathogens and the immunological defense systems which help counteract them. Both a human-based and comparative approach will be employed. Lecture, discussion and lab segments will emphasize the application of knowledge, the interpretation of scientific and popular information, and the demystification of disease and immunity. Students finishing this course should have a new found appreciation of the molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying disease and defense. This course is a Health Studies elective. 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 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

Spring 2016

BIOL 313 Cell Biology w/Lab
An introduction to the structure and function of cells, with emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of cellular processes. The course will involve discussion-oriented lectures and readings from the current literature. The laboratory will stress the discovery approach in applying state of the art techniques to cell biological experiments. Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: two BIOL courses numbered between 120 and 129. For Neuroscience majors only, prerequisite is 124 and PSYC 125and NRSC 200.