• Name: Thomas Pirtle, Ph.D.
  • Institution: The College of Idaho
  • Department: Biology
  • Phone: 208-459-5193
  • Email: tpirtle@collegeofidaho.edu

Summary: My research focuses on signaling mechanisms that control locomotion, cell movement and contractility. One component of my work investigates signaling mechanisms that modify heartbeat in the myogenic heart of the freshwater crustacean, Daphnia magna. Additionally, a second component of my research investigates the signaling mechanisms involved in the development of spinal cord locomotor circuits and developing heartbeat in the chicken embryo.  Students will conduct research involving the role of nitric oxide and cyclic nucleotides in these model systems.

Minimum classes: Molecules to Cells and Organismal Biology (or other introductory biology class), Cell Biology

Projects: Students will learn microdissection techniques, developmental biology of spinal cord and heart, pharmacology, signal transduction mechanisms, and electrophysiology (extracellular recording).  Additionally, students will learn how to design experiments to test hypotheses, accurately record data in a lab notebook, and analyze quantitative data using graphical and statistical analysis.

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