Michael Cummings , Ph.D.Research Professor of Biology
Office: 148C Life Sciences Building
- B.S. St. Mary's University
- Ph.D. Northwestern University
Research & Major Accomplishments
My academic interests are centered in two areas: basic research on human chromosome organization and the development of innovative methods for teaching biology.
I am interested in understanding the organization and function of repetitive DNA sequences located on the heterochromatic short arms of the human acrocentric chromosomes (13, 14, 15, 21 and 22). These genomic regions are differentially involved in chromosomal events that result in aneuploidy and its consequent burden of prenatal lethality as well as the mental retardation and physical defects seen in newborns with imbalances of these chromosomes. With colleagues at other universities, I am engaged in projects to identify the nature, number, organization, and function of these repetitive sequences. Current efforts are directed at preparing a physical map of the chromosome 21 short arm.
In biology, classroom teaching and textbooks have failed to keep pace with the revolutionary changes in the way organisms are studied and how the resulting data are organized, stored, and interpreted. I am involved in projects to create new electronic-centered curricula, textbooks, and educational technologies that reflect these changes in biological research. Present projects include the development of resources for integrating biotechnology, systems biology, biomimetics, the use of model organisms into the classroom and the formulation of new teaching methods that take into account our ever-increasing knowledge of the diverse set of learning strategies that students employ as a way of providing them with the tools to evaluate and understand biological processes and mechanisms.
- Cummings, M.R. Human Heredity: Principles and Issues 7th Ed. (Belmont CA: Wadsworth Group, Thomson Publishing, 2006).
- Ganith, R., Miller, E.H., Bozovsky, M.R., Chen, L., Cummings, M.R. and Doering, J.L. 2005. Homo sapiens chromosome Y low copy number KFC52 centromeric sequence, GenBank Accession AY964099.
- Alvi, N., Miller, E.H., Bozovsky, M.R., Cummings, M.R. and Doering, J.L. 2005. Homo sapiens Y centromere low copy number sequence KFC 43. GenBank Accession AY939877.
- Klug, W.S. and Cummings, M.R. Essentials of Genetics 5th Ed. (Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2005).
- Klug, W.S. and Cummings, M.R. Genetics: A Molecular Perspective (Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2003).