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Biology

Greg Hermann

Professor of Biology

Biology-Psychology Hall

My goal as a teacher is to help my students become confident, creative, and critical thinkers. I believe that the way biology is taught and learned should reflect the way it is done. This means that I teach biology as a method for recognizing interesting phenomena, generating hypotheses, proposing experiments that test hypotheses, and critically evaluating data. Consequently, my courses emphasize the ideas, experiments, results, and reasoning that have led to a currently accepted model.

Undergraduate students in my research lab study organogenesis, the process by which a group of cells differentiate and associate to form an organ.  We are studying these processes during formation of the intestine in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We have chosen this system for a number of reasons. First, the intestine of C. elegans is simple, consisting of only twenty cells, however the processes that occur during its formation are representative of processes that occur during the formation of more complex organs. Second, C. elegans is a an excellent system for the study of development; its entire embryonic cell lineage is known, its genome is sequenced, it is optically clear, it develops rapidly, and it is amenable to sophisticated genetic and molecular techniques.

Hermann lab page

Teaching

Perspectives in Biology (BIO100)
Biological Investigations (BIO110)
Cell Biology (BIO361)
Developmental Biology (BIO369)
Biology Seminar (BIO395)
Biochem/Molec Biol Seminar (BCMB410)

Professional Experience

2013-present Professor of Biology Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR

2012-2014, 2016-2017 Chair of Biology Lewis & Clark College Portland, OR

2010-2012 Chair of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Program Lewis & Clark College Portland, Oregon

2007-2013 Associate Professor Department of Biology Lewis & Clark College Portland, Oregon

2001-2007 Assistant Professor Department of Biology Lewis & Clark College Portland, Oregon

1998-2001 Postdoctoral research with Dr. James Priess “Organogenesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Intestine” nDivision of Basic Sciences Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Seattle, Washington

1993-1998 Graduate research with Dr. Janet Shaw “Genetic Analysis of Mitochondrial Inheritance and Morphology in Yeast” Department of Biology University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah

1991-1992 Undergraduate research with Dr. Peter Pauw “Role of the Na+-K+ ATPase During Muscle Development” Department of Biology Gonzaga University Spokane, Washington

Grants/Awards

  • 2016-2020 National Institutes of Health
    “R15-AREA: Rab activation by ABC proteins during lysosome-related organelle biogenesis”

    2016-2020 National Science Foundation
    “RUI: Investigating the mechanisms regulating the formation of lysosome-related organelles”

    2014 HOPES Award from American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    “Implementing an active learning module using RNAi in C. elegans” in collaboration with Amy Lindahl at Grant High School

    2013-2016 co-PI National Science Foundation
    “MRI: Acquisition of a laser scanning confocal microscope to advance research and training in biology, chemistry, and physics at Lewis & Clark College”

  • 2012 Council on Undergraduate Research: Outstanding Biology Mentor Award 
  • 2011-2014 National Science Foundation “RUI: Investigating the mechanism of GLO-1 Rab function in C. elegans lysosome-related organelle biogenesis” 
  • 2009-2012 National Science Foundation “MRI: Acquisition of a fluorescence deconvolution microscope for research and training at Lewis & Clark College”
  • 2007-2011 National Science Foundation “RUI: Cellular and genetic analysis of lysosome and lysosom-related organelle biogenesis in C. elegans
  • 2005-2007 Murdock College Research Program for Life Sciences “Investigating a monoclonal antibody that recognizes late-stage apoptotic cells in C. elegans“ M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
  • 2004-2006 Murdock Partners in Science Program “Genetic analysis of lysosome assembly in C. elegans
  • 2003-2007 National Science Foundation “RUI: Genetic and molecular analysis of lysosome assembly and stability in C. elegans
  • 2002-2004 Murdock College Research Program for Life Sciences “Investigating the regulation of the Notch receptor, LIN-12, and the Delta ligand, APX-1, during left-right asymmetry in C. elegans organogenesis” M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
  • 1999-2001 Runyon-Winchell Fellowship Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation
  • 1998 Riser Dissertation Award University of Utah
  • 1995-1998 Predoctoral Genetics Training Grant National Institutes of Health
  • 1995-1996 Graduate Research Fellowship University of Utah

Research

Over the past 3 decades the field of developmental biology has undergone a striking transformation due to the application of modern cellular, biochemical, genetic, and molecular approaches, which has uncovered the mechanisms that specify cell fate. I am interested in how a group of cells that become specified to become part of a tissue or organ generates the cellular architecture that gives them their function. Studies in my lab address this question by focusing on the formation and differentiation of specialized cell-type specific compartments called lysosome related organelles (LROs). In humans, LROs carry out key functions within skin, lung, and blood cells. While much is known regarding the functions of LROs, for example pigment synthesis by melanosomes and blood clotting by platelet dense granules, the mechanisms involved in their construction remain poorly understood. Defects in these processes underlie a number of human genetic diseases. We are discovering and analyzing the function of genes controlling the formation of LROs in the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, whose homologues function similarly in humans.

Academic Credentials

PhD 1998 University of Utah, BS 1992 Gonzaga University