Introduction to Experimental Biology
See course description for BIOL 109Y.
Wade Powell joined the Kenyon faculty in 2000 following a postdoctoral appointment at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His teaching responsibilities include molecular biology, environmental toxicology, gene manipulation lab and introductory biology courses.
A molecular biologist and environmental toxicologist, Powell directs a research program investigating the effects of dioxin-like pollutants on the gene expression, physiology and development of aquatic vertebrates, including amphibians, reptiles and fish.
Molecular biology, environmental toxicology.
1997 — Doctor of Philosophy from Emory University
1991 — Master of Science from East Tennessee State Univ
1987 — Bachelor of Science from Davidson College
See course description for BIOL 109Y.
How is information generated, transmitted, stored and maintained in biological systems? The endeavor to understand the flow of biological information represents a fundamental undertaking of the life sciences. This introductory course examines the mechanisms of heredity, the replication and expression of genetic information and the function of genes in the process of evolution, with an emphasis on the tools of genetics and molecular biology to address research questions in these areas. Majors and nonmajors may enroll. Biology majors should take this class prior to the junior year. Prerequisite: BIOL 115 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. This course will be offered every year.
The molecular and genomic basis of life is at the heart of modern biology. In BIOL 263, we will learn techniques and explore research questions at the forefront of molecular research, focusing on the mechanisms by which the information of the genome is expressed to form the functional molecules of living cells and organisms. The processes of DNA replication, recombination and repair, transcription, and translation are discussed in the context of current research, frequently using primary literature. The function of genes and the regulation and measurement of gene expression are treated in depth. Students analyze and publish interactive tutorials on the structure and function of macromolecules. This intermediate course presumes a strong background in the basics of protein structure/function, central dogma processes, fundamental molecular techniques for manipulating nucleic acids and proteins and general chemistry. Note: For further study of the function of proteins, membranes and cellular processes, the complementary course BIOL 266 is recommended. Prerequisite: BIOL 116 and CHEM 122 and 123 or CHEM 124 and 126. Recommended prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 231 and 232.
This course teaches advanced methods of gene isolation, manipulation and characterization. An assortment of the following techniques will be covered: the isolation of DNA and RNA from tissues and cells; recombinant DNA technique; expression of genes in heterologous systems; the polymerase chain reaction (PCR); measurement of gene expression, and bioinformatics and sequence analysis. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y and either CHEM 122 and 123 or CHEM 124 and 126. Corequisite: BIOL 263 or permission of instructor.
This course examines the mechanisms by which chemical contaminants impact molecular, organismal and ecological systems. Topics include sources and movement of contaminants in the environment, basics of toxicity testing, molecular mechanisms of contaminant effects and ecological risk assessment. The course uses readings from standard texts, the popular press and primary literature, placing particular emphasis on current experimental approaches and problem-solving methods. Rather than surveying a wide variety of topics superficially, the course will concentrate on selected issues and stories that illustrate important contemporary issues in environmental toxicology. This course emphasizes molecular biology techniques and fulfills the cellular and molecular diversity requirement for the biology major. Prerequisite: BIOL 116 and at least one 200-level biology lecture course. 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.
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.
*Shoots, J, D Fraccalvieri, DG Franks, MS Denison, ME Hahn, L Bonati, WH Powell (2015) An Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor from the Salamander Ambystoma mexicanum Exhibits Low Sensitivity to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Env. Sci. Technol. 49(11):6993-7001. PMID: 25941739; doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01299.
*Odio, C, *SA Holzman, MS Denison, D Fraccalvieri, L Bonati, DG Franks, ME Hahn, and WH Powell (2013). Specific Ligand Binding Domain Residues Confer Low Dioxin Responsiveness to AHR1β of Xenopus laevis. Biochemistry 52(10):1746-1754.
*Iwamoto, DV , *CM Kurylo , *KM Schorling , and WH Powell (2012). Induction of Cytochrome P450 Family 1 mRNAs and Activities in a Cell Line from the Frog Xenopus laevis . Aquat. Toxicol . 114-115:165-172.
*Laub LB, Jones BD, Powell WH (2010) Responsiveness of a Xenopus laevis cell line to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Chem Biol Interact. 183(1):202-1.
*Anna L. Zimmermann, *Elizabeth A. King, *Emelyne Dengler, *Shana R. Scogin, and Wade H. Powell (2008) An Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Repressor from Xenopus laevis: Function, Expression and Role in Dioxin Responsiveness during Frog Development. Toxicol. Sci. 104:124-134.
*Lavine, J.A., *A.J. Rowatt, *T. Klimova, *A.J. Whitington , *E. Dengler , *C. Beck , and W.H. Powell (2005) Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors in the frog Xenopus laevis: Two AHR1 paralogs exhibit low affinity for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) Toxicol. Sci. 88:62-70.
(*Kenyon student co-authors)