Derek A. Applewhite
Associate Professor of Biology
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
I am happy to have joined the community here at Reed College in 2014. I received my B.S. from the University of Michigan in 2002, and my Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, from Northwestern University in 2007. As a Cell Biologist I subscribe to the mantra "seeing is believing," and microscopy and cell imaging techniques have revolutionized the field, allowing us to observe phenomena at a level of detail previously unimaginable to scientists just a few decades ago. I strive to incorporate imaging and microscopy into the classes I teach as well as in my own research. The courses I currently teach include Biology 101 which is an introductory Biology course, as well as Cell Biology (Bio 372) and a primary literature-based Seminar course focused on Cytoskeletal Dynamics (Bio 431), which is my particular field of expertise. The Cytoskeleton is a network of filaments found within cells that regulate cell shape (morphology) and how cells move (cell motility). Our understanding of how the Cytoskeleton is regulated is fundamental to our knowledge of how immune cells combat pathogens, neurons make connections in our brains, or how cancer cells migrate during metastases. My lab uses the humble fruit-fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to study these basic properties of cells.