B.S. Biology, Stanford University
B.A. Japanese, Stanford University
Ph.C. Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Washington
I strive to make biology and neurobiology exciting and accessible to all people, regardless of their previous experiences with science. By connecting science to everyday experiences, I try to help my students realize that biology surrounds our daily lives and how our personal decisions interact with the biology of the environment, our bodies, and our brains.
I try to excite students to the wonders of science and foster their abilities to think for themselves, ask important questions, and critically analyze data. I engage students in inquiry-based thinking and recognize that science is not simply a list of facts to be memorized but a process of learning how to think, wonder, and ask questions of the world. My role is not to transmit knowledge but to create learning opportunities for students to work collaboratively. I believe that learning can be enhanced and strengthened when students are motivated to learn by authentic assignments that have a real world purpose. When students leave my classroom or lab, I hope that they are fascinated by biology, empowered to think scientifically, and inspired to approach life with a mixture of awe, curiosity, and critical thought. A successful class is one in which we all learn from each other and take pride in and ownership of our learning.
My research is on the response of neural stem cells to traumatic brain injury in mice. I study a specific signaling pathway called the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. This signaling pathway is one mechanism for cells to understand their environment and respond to it. This pathway is important in embryonic development and is disregulated in some types of cancer. It is also important in various types of stem cells such as skin, intestinal, and embryonic stem cells. My research has shown that the Wnt/β-catenin pathway occurs in various stem cells in the nervous system and is upregulated after traumatic brain injury in mice
In addition to my bench research, I am very interested in how people learn and how to better support students in their learning. I hope to start research projects on the impact of collaborative learning strategies and service learning experiences on my own students’ learning.
- White BD, Nathe RJ, Maris DO, Nguyen NK, Goodson JM, Hicks RR, Horner PJ, Moon RT (2009). “β-catenin signaling increases in proliferating NG2+ progenitors and astrocytes during posttraumatic gliogenesis in the adult brain.” Manuscript submitted to Stem Cells.
- 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.