Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Professor of Science
I am a biochemist at Lewis & Clark College and I teach three hundred level courses in Structural Biochemistry, Metabolic Biochemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory. In addition, I teach a 100 level perspectives course focused on Nutrition. In each of these classes, I explore the enduring ideas of the discipline and also provide the opportunity for inquiry into fresh and emerging ideas associated with each of these disciplines.
The discovery process and the circuitous route by which scientific advances sometimes occur are highlighted in my classes. My classes are structured so that students discover that these disciplines are not static but rather in a dynamic state of development. Class time is often devoted to dissecting provocative papers in the primary literature.
My research interests are focused on the biochemical events that facilitate long-term memory formation. Changes in neuronal architecture accompany long-term memory formation. Several lines of evidence suggest that the serine protease, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), serves as a modulator of learning-related synaptic plasticity. To better understand the molecular determinants of synaptic plasticity, my laboratory uses fluorescence microscopy and green fluorescent protein (GFP) technology to study the synaptic localization, distribution and secretion of tPA and other key neuromodulatory proteins at synaptic sites.
Ph.D. Oregon Health Sciences University, B.S. Allegheny College