B.S. Biological Science, Stanford University
B.A. Japanese Studies, Stanford University
Ph.D. Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Washington Seattle
BBIO 220 Introductory Biology 3 (Animal and Plant Physiology)
BBIO 305 Science and Ethics of Stem Cells
BBIO 310 Brain and Behavior
BBIO 495 Investigative Biology
A paramount goal of mine is to make science personally relevant to students and help them uncover every day science in their personal lives. I further this goal in the classroom, on-line, and in students’ neighborhoods, dorms, and homes. Whether it be Coke becoming “flat” and using carbonic anhydrase found in your saliva for a dose dependent experiment in front of the class, or exploring the mechanisms of action of heavy metals left from the old Tacoma smelting plant, I strive to energize and extend the book content and articulate connections between in-class science and science in our everyday lives.
A second pillar of my teaching philosophy is to help students identify themselves as scientists and engender scientific habits of mind. I didn’t consider myself to be a scientist until well into graduate school; however, I see no reason why K-16 students cannot consider themselves as scientists (or at least scientists in different stages of development). Science is not mere memorization and regurgitation of facts. Science is wonderment, curiosity, exploration, experimentation, and the propensity to search for other possible explanations even when you already have your favorite hypothesis. It is an outlook on life in which you require evidence to support claims, and you are always willing to change your views when the preponderance of evidence dictates.
Finally, I believe science should be accessible to all students that have an interest and curiosity about science. Some students may take longer to learn, but science is not so difficult that a certain percentage of students should fail. Let’s learn together!
My research endeavors examine how student-centered inquiry driven research experiences help students learn experimental design and proper use of controls as well as encourage students to identify themselves as scientists. Are student-designed inquiry research experiences necessary for students to see themselves as scientists? How do you encourage students in introductory biology to see themselves as scientists and does this increase their learning in class and in subsequent courses?
I am also interested in the learning that occurs in students and peer facilitators due to small, peer-led breakout sessions that utilize active learning strategies. For the last two years, I have taught Bio220 utilizing four learning environments: 1) Face-to-face (F2F) lectures, 2) Breakout sessions led by peer facilitators, 3) On-line, and 4) Lab. After taking my class, student attitudes shift toward expert-like views of biology and the problem solving effort required to do science. According to the literature, shifts toward expert-like ways of thinking are extremely rare, even in upper level science courses. I am studying what aspects of my class contribute the to these attitudinal changes in students. Do these changes in attitude translate into long-term learning? If you are interested in these questions regarding student learning, please contact me!
White, BD, Chien, AJ, & Dawson, DW (2012). Dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in gastrointestinal cancers. Gastroenterology, 142(2), 219-232.
Biechele TL, Camp ND, Fass DM, Kulikauskas RM, Robin NC, White BD, Taraska CM, Moore EC, Muster J, Karmacharya R, Haggarty SJ, Chien AJ, Moon, RT (2010). Chemical-genetic screen identifies riluzole as an enhancer of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in melanoma. Chemistry & Biology, 17(11), 1177-1182.
White BD, Nathe RJ, Maris DO, Nguyen NK, Goodson JM, Hicks RR, Horner PJ, Moon RT (2010). "β-catenin signaling increases in proliferating NG2+ progenitors and astrocytes during posttraumatic gliogenesis in the adult brain." Stem Cells 28.2, 297-307.
White BD, Nathe RJ, Phillips JL, Tzou CT (2008). "Changing your brain: lessons in the neuroplasticity of your brain." Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 222.7.
White BD, Moody WJ (2007). "Wikis are tricky: creating a wiki site to teach about neural stem cells in a collaborative group project." Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 28.15.
White BD, Tzou CT, Phillips J (2007). "Is seeing believing? How your brain interprets the world around you." Workshop sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience at the annual national meeting of the National Science Teachers Association.
*White BD, *Watari H, *Ting JT, Sebe JY, Wissman AM, Cherny E, McDevitt RA, Lamber TJ, Meitzen J, Chudler EH (2006). "Interactive Brain Awareness Week exhibits offer experience learning: a model for teaching concepts in neuroscience." Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 23.14. *These authors contributed equally to this work.
*Feng J, *White B, Tyurina OV, Guner B, Larson T, Lee HY, Karlstrom RO, Kohtz JD (2004). "Synergistic and antagonistic roles of the Sonic hedgehog N- and C-terminal lipids." Development. Sep:131(17):4357-70.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.