Howard Vollum Professor of Biology
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
I received my BA from Northwestern and PhD in Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley. At Berkeley I trained with Elizabeth Blackburn, and was centrally involved in the work leading to the discovery of telomerase, which replenishes chromosome ends and rescues them from the shortening that comes with cell division. After postdoctoral work in the human gene-mapping field, I returned to telomeres when I joined Reed in 1990. My current research interests lie in the regulation of telomere function in the frog, Xenopus laevis, which expresses active telomerase in all tissues. Since coming to Reed I have taught genetic and molecular biology topics at all levels, from the team-taught introductory biology sequence, through a core lecture-lab course in gene regulation, to an advanced seminar on contemporary telomere research.