User talk:Kam D. Dahlquist

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Revision as of 11:37, 17 March 2011 by Kam D. Dahlquist (Talk | contribs)
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Hi Dr. Dahlquist, I was wondering, after reading the Stewart and Janovy reading, whether or not you have ever thought about switching the specimens you currently do research on, for a completely different animal? Nicholas A. Rohacz 20:11, 23 January 2011 (EST)

When I was an undergraduate, I worked on an single-celled algae species named Chlorella pyrenoidosa. For two of my rotation projects in graduate school, I worked on the plants Ginkgp biloba and Arabidopsis thaliana. For my thesis, I studied E. coli. During my postdoctoral research, the lab was studying mice, but I was not directly involved with working with the mice myself, although I did take the training when I first started. I've also worked with the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, for a genetics lab I taught at another school. It's only when I started my first faculty position that I decided to work on yeast. Now that you have asked and I've thought about it, if I were to switch organisms, I would probably pick another single-celled one. I'm most interested at what goes on at the cellular level and it seems simplest to me to work on that with an actual single-celled organism. They are simpler than cells from multicellular organisms. They are definitely easier to work with and the work is more straightforward because there is less complexity in these cells in general. In my Biological Databases class that I teach with Dr. Dionisio in the Fall, the students create gene databases for different microorganisms, so if I was really going to switch organisms, I might pick a bacteria that we worked on for Biological Databases. In that class we've worked on Vibrio cholerae, Plasmodium falciparum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella typhimurium, and, of course, yeast.

Kam D. Dahlquist 13:23, 24 January 2011 (EST)


Hey Dr. Dahlquist!! Why did you choose to co-teach a math class instead of merely staying in the field of biology? Sarah Carratt 16:56, 16 January 2011 (EST)

The short answer is that Dr. Fitzpatrick and I do research together and we were both interested in sharing our common interest with students in a class. As to why I am interested in biomathematics in the first place, the field that I work in has become math-intensive in order to analyze and model the data. What we are able to do by combining our efforts in biology and mathematics is much greater than what either of us would be able to achieve alone using just biology or mathematics. Research is becoming more and more interdisciplinary as the problems get larger and larger and require expertise from different areas to solve.

Kam D. Dahlquist 18:52, 17 January 2011 (EST)


Hello there Dr. Dahlquist! After reading Janovy, I was wondering if you can recall your earliest memory that might have lead you to the career path you have chosen? Carmen E. Castaneda 08:36, 16 January 2011 (EST)

I don't know how old I was (sometime early in elementary school), but my parents bought me a book called something like Charlie Brown's Big Book of Questions. In that book, I learned that all life was made of cells and that a human had trillions of cells in his or her body. The book also talked about matter being made of atoms and I wondering about the relationship between atoms and cells, like which was bigger or smaller. My parents were good about fostering my interest in science and in junior high school I participated in a summer CTY program in Biology at a local high school. Biology was one of my favorite classes in high school, so in college I continued along that track, most interested in how cells work.

Kam D. Dahlquist 19:26, 17 January 2011 (EST)


Hi Dr. Dahlquist! I was wondering why you chose to study cell biology other than any other discipline in the Biology field?Alondra Vega 11:57, 16 January 2011 (EST)

If you see my answer to Carmen's question above, I was intrigued by cells from when I was very little. I would more properly call myself a Molecular Biologist as opposed to a Cell Biologist because what I am particularly studying is gene regulation which falls more into the area of molecular biology. I am just really interested in how cells work at the molecular level. I am interested in other fields of biology as they intersect with cellular mechanisms. Now that DNA sequencing is so cheap, there are lots of opportunities for field and organismal biologists to ask cellular questions. Kam D. Dahlquist 20:33, 17 January 2011 (EST)

Hello Dr. Dahlquist. Perhaps a simple question for you: What do you think is the role of engineering in the field of bio research? James C. Clements 00:30, 17 January 2011 (EST)

Biology is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and is pulling theories and methods from the mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering in order to understand the very large datasets we are not generating in biology. For example, genomics needs to make sense of the huge amount of information generated when a genome is sequenced, as well as other high-throughput methods that are regularly being used. Other fields in biology are also generating large data sets such as studies in biodiversity. The fields of mathematical biology and bioinformatics are explicitly pulling from mathematics and computer science and are the ones with which I am most familiar, so I can be more specific about those. We are going to be learing about gene regulatory networks later in the course; scientists are thinking of them as biological circuits and are applying principles from electrical engineering to understand them and also create them in the lab. The field of synthetic biology is actively trying to engineer biological circuits. A lot of the people in this field have pages on this wiki. Conversely, I think that increasingly, engineers are getting interested in biology as a rich domain of problems to solve.

Kam D. Dahlquist 19:58, 17 January 2011 (EST)


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