Picture of A. Malcolm Campbell

A. Malcolm Campbell

Professor of Biology, Founding Director of the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT)

Davidson College

F21 Class of 1998

A. Malcolm Campbell's website

Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell teaches introductory biology, molecular biology, genomics and immunology at Davidson College in North Carolina. In 1992, he obtained his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and was a Pew Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow (92 - 94) at Washington University and Macalester College. In collaboration with his students, he conducts pedagogical and basic research in synthetic biology and DNA microarray methodology. He has conducted educational workshops at national meetings (e.g. American Society for Cell Biology, Association of Biology Laboratory Educators, Project Kaleidoscope, National Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Research Council), and has written a booklet entitled “How to Get a Teaching Job at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution”. Campbell incorporates the World Wide Web into his courses to enhance lectures, display 3D structures, and provide primary literature in the form of “virtual reprints”. In collaboration with mathematician Dr. Laurie J. Heyer, Malcolm wrote the first true genomics textbook, Discovering Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics, second edition which was published jointly by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and Benjamin Cummings. He also teaches an undergraduate laboratory course in genomic methods using DNA microarrays and real-time PCR.

In 1999, Campbell founded the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT). GCAT is dedicated to bringing genomic methods into the undergraduate curriculum through community cooperation. As Director, he obtains DNA microarrays from labs and distributes them to faculty around the country as well as Canada and Australia. By the fall of 2006, about 150 colleges (two-year and four-year) will be using GCAT resources. All microarrays are shipped overnight to Davidson College where Campbell scans the chips and posts the tiff files on an FTP server within 24 hours. In six years, approximately 5,000 undergraduates have used 3,400 microarrays to performed experiments. Heyer and her students have written free DNA microarray data analysis software (MAGIC Tool) that works on Macintosh and Windows operating systems. GCAT also organizes NSF-funded microarray workshops for faculty who want to incorporate the technology into their curricula.

From 2002 - 2005, Malcolm was co-Editor-In-Chief of Cell Biology Education (CBE) which is published by the American Society for Cell Biology. With his co-editor Dr. Sarah Elgin, they established CBE as an open-access, international journal that brings readers of education and research journals to a common ground. CBE is a peer-reviewed online journal that requires all articles to include assessment. Furthermore, CBE publishes non-traditional works such as animation, chime tutorials, etc. In addition to the goal of uniting education and research faculty, CBE helps biology faculty learn how to perform pedagogical assessment. CBE is published by a leading biomedical professional society, indexed by PubMed, included in PubMedCentral’s collection of freely available journals, and includes well known scientists on the editorial board such as Bruce Alberts, Leroy Hood, and Donald Kennedy.

Genome Consortium for Active Teaching
The purpose of GCAT: 1) bring functional genomic methods into undergraduate curriculum primarily through student research; 2) use centralized chip reader to make microarray experiments affordable; 3) create a clearing house of information for teachers to use when teaching genomics; 4) create large database of raw data and analyzed results for pedagogical use; 5) develop a global network of teachers using functional genomics in the undergraduate curriculum.
Connections between Mathematics and Biology
Working within their disciplines, biologists and mathematicians can answer many interesting questions, but collaboratively they have the potential to solve more complex problems. Rather than talking about blending math and biology, this session will model the desired outcome. Participants will work in small, interdisciplinary groups to investigate real-world biological problems that require mathematical analysis. Moreover, participants can partner with individuals from other institutions to gain new perspectives. Groups will be asked to develop useful modules or strategies to bring biology into their math courses, or math into their biology courses.
Interview: A. Malcolm Campbell
A Risk-Taking Institutional Culture
Malcolm Campbell
What works: Observations from the field
Malcolm Campbell is Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching at Davidson College.