My primary research interests focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate various systemic processes within model organisms. Not only is this important to best understand the function of animal physiology, but it also sheds light on analogous regulatory mechanisms that can be translated to human systems. Much of this research has included work on insect model organisms to better understand digestive, cardiac, neural, immune and reproductive processes. In particular, I have identified various regulating proteins and signaling cascades that control cellular machinery and are vital to maximize overall systemic physiology. It is my passion for asking "how" and "why" things happen that I pass on to my students every day. My pedagogical approaches are framed around training students to be leaders in translating interdisciplinary scientific applications to the real world. I have collaboratively established undergraduate research-focused projects (The Stink Bug Project, BioBlend Project, Horizontal Curriculum Integration Project), applied undergraduate laboratory and research facilities (ALLURE lab, Undergraduate Cell Biology Lab, Living Systems Lab) and have engaged students in translating the science they learn beyond the walls of the classroom through the use of social media and emerging technologies including Blended Learning. All of my wet-lab and pedagogical research projects are highly collaborative with teams of students. As a Distinguished MacPherson Institute Leadership in Teaching and Learning (LTL) Fellow, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with other faculty across McMaster University and beyond on additional projects that can ultimately improve the education that students attain in our classrooms.
Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics & Molecular Biology