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David Kirkpatrick

Associate Professor, Head of Biology Teaching & Learning


My current research interest is in assessment of educational programs.  To that end I have been conducting a Knowledge Assessment of CBS undergraduates.  This assessment tracks knowledge gains by students over the course of their undergraduate career.  The data from the assessment will be used to identify aspects of the CBS curriculum that are problematic for students, with the goal of improving graduating students’ understanding of the basic concepts underlying a wide range of biology sub-disciplines. 

My prior research group investigated DNA mutation during meiotic recombination and in non-dividing, quiescent cells. Perhaps not too surprisingly given my training and research interests, my teaching is focused on Genetics and Molecular Biology. 

I am also the Head of the Department of Biology Teaching and Learning (BTL), where I work to support the research and teachings mission of the Department - to discover and apply innovative pedagogical strategies in biology education.  CBS students have benefited enormously from the advances in teaching and research identified and instituted over the last decade by the faculty in BTL, and it’s important to share that expertise with the wider University community.

Degrees earned

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology - Carnegie Mellon University (1987)
  • Ph.D. in Biology - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1994)

Courses taught

  • BIOL1951 - Foundations of Biology I
  • BIOL3020/3025 - Molecular Biology and Society 
  • GCD3022 - Undergraduate Genetics for Non-CBS Students
  • BIOL4003 - Genetics for CBS Majors

Curriculum vitae


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