Introduction to Experimental Biology
See course description for BIOL 109Y.
Professor Itagaki's training has been in insect chemosensory neurobiology, especially the physiological and anatomical correlates of gustation and olfaction. More recently, in collaboration with Chris Gillen and Drew Kerkhoff in Biology and Judy Holdener and Brad Hartlaub in Math, Itagaki and his students have been involved in a wide-ranging analysis of the morphology and physiology underlying metabolic scaling in insects.
He came to Kenyon in 1990 from John Hildebrand's lab at the University of Arizona where he was a post-doc. His previous training was at Duke (Ph.D.) and at Yale (B.S.).
Neurobiology, mechanisms of perception and reaction to stimuli, physiological and anatomical bases of gustation (taste) in insects, metabolic physiology.
1984 — Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University
1979 — Bachelor of Science from Yale University
See course description for BIOL 109Y.
Energy flow is a unifying principle across a range of living systems, from cells to ecosystems. With energy flow as a major theme, this course covers macromolecules, cells, respiration and photosynthesis, physiology and homeostasis, population and community interactions, and ecosystems. Throughout the course, the diversity of life is explored. The course also introduces students to the process of scientific thinking through discussion of research methodology and approaches. Majors and nonmajors may enroll. Biology majors should take this class prior to the junior year. No prerequisite. Offered every year.
This course is designed to introduce the student to the wide variety of questions being asked by researchers in this exciting field and the approaches they are taking to answer these questions. This course complements BIOL 263 in content, concentrating on the nongenomic aspects of the cell. We will cover topics such as biological membranes and ion channels, cell organelles and their function, cell regulation, and intercellular and intracellular communication. This counts as an upper-level lecture in cellular/molecular biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 116. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 121 or 122. May be offered in alternating years.
This laboratory course is designed to complement BIOL 266. The topics covered in the laboratory will expose the student to some of the standard techniques used in modern cell biology. The laboratories also will illustrate some of the fundamental ideas of the field. Instead of covering a wide variety of techniques and preparations superficially, we will concentrate on a select few, covering them in greater depth. Some topics that will be covered are protein separation, cell permeability and cell motility. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 266. May be offered in alternating years.
The study of the nervous system is a field that has experienced explosive growth in the past few decades. This course is designed to introduce the student to modern neurobiology by covering the basic foundations as well as the latest results from current research. Subject matter will range from the biophysics of membranes and ion channels, through sensory integration and simple behaviors, to the development of the nervous system. Rather than cover a wide variety of topics superficially, we will concentrate more time on selected topics that illustrate the current thinking of neurobiologists. Experience in math and/or physics is strongly recommended. This counts as an upper-level lecture in organismal biology/physiology. Prerequisite: BIOL 116 and at least one biology lecture course at the 200-level or one 300-level NEUR lecture course. May be offered in alternating years.
This is a laboratory designed to complement the lecture course. We will concentrate either on the different intracellular and extracellular electrophysiological recording techniques commonly used in the field to illustrate both motor and sensory aspects of nervous-system function or on the molecular aspects of nervous system function molecular. We will conclude with a series of independent projects that will bring together the ideas covered earlier in the course. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 358. May be offered in alternating years.
This combined discussion and laboratory course aims to develop abilities for asking sound research questions, designing reasonable scientific approaches to answer such questions, and performing experiments to test both the design and the question. We consider how to assess difficulties and limitations in experimental strategies due to design, equipment, organism selected and so on. The course provides a detailed understanding of selected modern research equipment. Students select their own research problems in consultation with one or more biology faculty members. This course is designed both for those who plan to undertake honors research in their senior year and for those who are not doing honors but want practical research experience. A student can begin the course in either semester. If a year of credit is earned, it may be applied toward one laboratory requirement for the major in biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y and 116 and permission of instructor.
See course description for BIOL 385.
In this capstone seminar, students explore current research topics in biology. Each section will explore a different fundamental concept in biology that spans the range of biology from ecosystems to molecules. Students analyze, critique, and integrate information from research articles they connect specific studies to broader biological questions and they propose future work that refines and extends prior studies. Student communicate their insights and analyses in both oral and written formats. Assignments include short essays, student presentations, student-led classes, peer review, and writing workshops. This course counts toward the upper-level lecture course requirement for the biology major. This course is only open to senior biology and molecular biology majors.
Individual study in biology, is pursued by juniors or seniors, provides an opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest not covered, or not covered in depth, in the current curriculum. The investigation, designed in consultation with the chosen faculty mentor, may be designed to earn .25 or .5 unit of credit in a semester and may be continued in the second semester. Individual study ordinarily involves literature-oriented investigations. Laboratory-oriented independent research is conducted under BIOL 385 and 386. Students may receive credit for no more than two semesters of individual study. Individual study does not fulfill the natural science diversification requirement, nor does it count toward the requirements for the major. To enroll in individual study, a student must identify a member of the Biology department willing to mentor the project and in consultation with him or her, draft a syllabus, including readings, a schedule and assignments, which must be approved by the department chair. The chair’s approval is required prior to enrollment. The student will meet regularly with the instructor for at least one hour per week. The amount of graded work should approximate that required, on average, in 300-level biology courses, at a minimum. In the case of group individual studies, a single course syllabus may be submitted, assuming that all group members will follow the same syllabus. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh day of classes, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study well in advance, preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise a syllabus and seek departmental approval before the registrar's deadline.
This course offers an in-depth research experience. Prior to enrollment in this course, students are expected to complete at least one semester of BIOL 385-386 and participate in the Summer Science Scholars program. Two semesters of BIOL 385-386 are recommended. Emphasis is on completion of the research project. Students also are instructed in poster production and produce one or more posters of their honors work for presentation at Kenyon and possibly at outside meetings. There will be oral progress reports, and students draft the Introduction and Methods section of the honors thesis. The letter grade is determined by the instructor and project advisor in consultation with the department. Students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.33 and a GPA of 3.33 in biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 385 or 386 and permission of project advisor and department chair.
This course continues the honors research project and gives attention to scientific writing and the mechanics of producing a thesis. A thesis is required and is defended orally to an outside examiner. The letter grade is determined by the instructor and project advisor in consultation with the department. Prerequisite: BIOL 385 or 386 and 497.
This program for senior honors students culminates in the completion of a senior honors research project. The research is expected to be on a topic of particular relevance to the student's postgraduate plans. Students must select a research advisor from the faculty members in the Neuroscience Program. They are expected to have completed a thorough bibliographic search of the literature, written a short review paper and formulated some tentative hypotheses during the spring semester of their junior year. Prerequisite: The student must have a 3.33 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA in the neuroscience core courses and must have completed at least 5 units toward the major. Permission of neuroscience director.
See course description for NEUR 497Y.
Itagaki, H. (2013) The use of mock NSF-type grant proposals and blind peer review as the capstone assignment in upper-level neurobiology and cell biology courses. J. Undergrad. Neurosci. Educ. 12:A75-A84.
Sears, K.E.*, A.J. Kerkhoff, A. Messerman* and H. Itagaki (2012) Ontogenetic scaling of metabolism, growth, and assimilation: testing metabolic scaling theory with Manduca sexta larvae. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 85:159-173.
Gillen, C.M, C.R. Blair*, N.R. Heilman*, M. Somple*, M. Stulberg*, R. Thombre*, N. Watson*, K.M. Gillen and H. Itagaki (2006) The cation-chloride cotransporter, masBSC, is widely expressed in Manduca sexta tissues. J. Insect Physiol. 52:661-668.
Wasserman, S.L.* and H. Itagaki (2003) The olfactory responses of the antenna and maxillary palp of the fleshfly, Neobellieria bullata (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), and their sensitivity to blockage of nitric oxide synthase. Journal of Insect Physiology. 49:271-280. (pdf)
Mitchell, B., H. Itagaki, and M.-P. Rivet (1999) Peripheral and central structures involved in insect gustation. Microscopy Research and Technique. 47:401-415. (pdf)