catherine kirkpatrick
Office Address

1479 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States



Teaching Associate Professor
Biology Teaching and Learning

Research statement

A large part of my teaching focuses on creating research opportunities for students in the context of a laboratory course. My research interests relate to best practices and strategies for providing these opportunities to a large number of students. I want to know what factors contribute most to an engaging research experience where students develop a variety of scientific skills in a challenging yet supportive environment. I am also interested in the impact of course-based research experiences on the students themselves and on their future endeavors.

Selected publications

Olson, A.N., Cotner, S., Kirkpatrick C., Thompson, S. and Hebert, S. (2022) “Real-time text message surveys reveal student perceptions of personnel resources throughout a course-based research experience” PLoS ONE 17(2): e0264188.

Thompson, S.K., Kirkpatrick, C., Kramer, M. and Cotner, S. (2020) “Leveraging public data to offer online inquiry opportunities” Ecol. & Evol. 10: 12555-12560. 

Kirkpatrick, C., Schuchardt, A., Baltz, D., Wright, R. and Cotner, S (2019) “Computer-based and Bench-based Undergraduate Research Experiences Produce Equivalent Attitudinal Outcomes” CBE Life Sci Educ. March 1, 2019 18:ar10 DOI:10.1187/cbe.18-07-0112.

Ren Y., C. Kirkpatrick, J.M. Rawson, M. Sun, S.B. Selleck (2009) “Cell-type specific requirements for heparan sulfate biosynthesis at the Drosophila NMJ: effects on synapse function, membrane trafficking and mitochondrial localization” J. Neurosci. 29: 8539-8550

Williams B, G. Leung, H. Maiato, A. Wong, Z. Li, E.V. Williams, C. Kirkpatrick, C.F. Aquadro, C.L. Rieder, M.L. Goldberg (2007) “Mitch, a rapidly evolving component of the Ndc80 kinetochore complex required for correct chromosome segregation in Drosophila” J. Cell Sci. 120: 3522-3533

Kirkpatrick, C.A. and S.B. Selleck (2007) “Heparan sulfate proteoglycans at a glance” J. Cell Sci.: 120: 1829-1832 (invited review)

*Kirkpatrick, C.A., *S.M. Knox, W.D. Staatz, B. Fox, D.M. Lercher and S.B. Selleck (2006) “The function of a Drosophila glypican does not depend entirely on heparan sulfate modification” Dev. Biol. 300: 570-582. (*contributed equally)

Kirkpatrick, C.A., B.D. Dimitroff, J.M. Rawson and S.B. Selleck (2004) “Spatial regulation of Wingless morphogen distribution and signaling by Dally-like protein” Dev. Cell 7: 513-23.

*Simcha, I., *C. Kirkpatrick, E. Sadot, M. Shtutman, G. Polevoy, B. Geiger, M. Peifer and A. Ben-Ze’ev (2001) “Cadherin sequences that inhibit ß-catenin signaling: a study in yeast and mammalian cells” Mol. Biol. Cell 12: 1177-1188. (*contributed equally)

Education and background

Degrees earned

  • PhD in Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994: Analysis of the Yeast Transcriptional Regulator LEU3; Paul Schimmel, advisor
  • BSc in Biochemistry, University of Toronto, 1987

Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences; Scientific Teaching; Team-based Learning

Teaching statement

In my teaching, I aim to give students experience in doing authentic scientific work. Doing that work builds their scientific skills and understanding of biology, as evidenced by a large body of educational research. Laboratory courses, in particular, offer many opportunities to develop practical skills and truly participate in the scientific process. To give an authentic research experience, lab courses must operate at the frontiers of knowledge so that students have the opportunity to discover new information through their work. I hope my students will also practice effective collaboration, recognizing the wide variety of talents they and others bring to a project, and appreciate the importance of writing as part of the scientific research process.