Introduction to Experimental Biology
See course description for BIOL 109Y.
My 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, my students and I have been involved in a wide-ranging analysis of the morphology and physiology underlying metabolic scaling in insects. I came to Kenyon in 1990 from John Hildebrand's lab at the University of Arizona where I was a post-doc. My 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. This course will be 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 (Molecular Biology) 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. May be offered in alternating years. Prerequisite: BIOL 116. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 121.
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 will also 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. May be offered in alternating years. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 266.
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. May be offered in alternating years. Prerequisite: BIOL116 and at least one biology lecture course at the 200 or 300 level. Experience in math and/or physics is strongly recommended.
This is a laboratory designed to complement the lecture course. We will concentrate 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. We will also use molecular techniques to define the distribution of some neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. We will conclude with a series of independent projects that will bring together the ideas covered earlier in the course. May be offered in alternating years. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 358.
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 some 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.
Individual study in biology, typically pursued by juniors or seniors, provides an opportunity to pursue an independent investigation of a topic of special interest not covered, or not covered in depth, in the 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. BIOL 393 ordinarily involves literature-oriented investigations. (For laboratory-oriented independent research, see BIOL 385 and 386). Normally, students receive credit for no more than two semesters of individual study. Such study cannot be used to fulfill either the natural science diversification requirement or 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 student should meet regularly with the instructor for at least one hour per week or the equivalent. 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. Students are urged to begin discussion of their proposed work well in advance, preferably the semester before, so that they can devise a syllabus and seek departmental approval before the registrar's deadline.
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.
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)