A. Malcolm Campbell

Academic Background:

Professional Organizations:

Honors and Awards:

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Books (* denotes undergraduate coauthors)

Laboratory Modules

Articles (* denotes undergraduate or high school coauthors)

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Abstracts: ( * denotes undergraduates as co-authors)

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Workshops and Presentations

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Current Research Interests

GFP RFP I love synthetic biology

Summer 2011 students: (front) Julia, Tori, Lilly, Pooja; (middle) James, Dr. Heyer, Catherine; (back) Leland, Eric, Duke, Dr. Campbell.
Photo was taken on "Hawaiian Shirt Friday", a tradition in the town of Davidson.

2008 Davidson College iGEM Team of Math and Biology Students
Every Friday is Hawaiian shirt day in the town of Davidvson.
Back row: Max, James, Samantha.
Middle row: Kelly, Erin, Dr. Heyer, Kristi, Pallavi.
Front row: Dr. Campbell, Karlesha, Madeline.

Samantha and Will, class of 2009


  • You can read several news articles summarizing our 2008 publication in synthetic biology based on our iGEM2006 project:

  • Two seniors (2008) conducted their Honors research with me in the field of synthetic biology. Andrew Martens designed a method to bring the E. coli tryptophan anti-terminator into the BioBrick Registry of parts. This part allows transcription to be regulated by the concentration of the amino acid tryptophan.

  • Erin Zwack designed modified anti-switches for E. coli to regulate protein production at the translation step.

  • For the iGEM2007 team, 6 students worked at Davidson College (Oyinade Adefuye {NCCU student}, Will DeLoache, Jim Dickson, Andrew Martens, Amber Shoecraft {JCSU student}, and Mike Waters) worked in collaboration with students at Missouri Western State University to design and built a bacterial computer that could solve the Hamiltonian Path Problem: given a directed graph (see below), is it possible to visit every node exactly once when starting and stopping at particular nodes? You can read the news summary here.

    • Jackie Ryan '06 developed student friendly protocols for performing comparative genome hybridization experiments. This method uses labeled genomic DNA from two different strains as probes on a yeast DNA microarray. Most spots will be yellow, but aneuploidy (duplicated or deleted DNA) will appear as either red or green spots on a microarray. This work will be continued using evolved strains of yeast induced to undergo aneuploidy by selection under limited glucose.

    • Matt Gemberling '06 has designed and built antiswitches to determine if this new method for regulating eukaryotic translation can be adapted for use in E. coli. Matt's work was part of a larger project in synthetic biology composed of six students (the Synth-Aces) who competed in iGEM2005 at MIT.

    • Laurie Heyer's students continue to improve the free software for DNA microarray data processing and analysis. This software is called MAGIC Tool (MicroArray Genomic Imaging and Clustering) and works on all computer platforms.

  • For the 2004-2005 year, Megan McDonald will continue her biophysics major research in collaboration with Dr. Dan Boye of the Davidson Physics Dept. Megan is using optical tweezers to determine the physical topology of DNA printed on glass slides. I am also beginning a project to simplify the DNA microarray protocol enough for high school students to perform exercises that introduce them to the methodology.

  • In 2003-2004, Gray Lyons completed his honors research project. The lab work was performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.Danielle Choi performed two pilot studies with DNA microarrays. In collaboration with Dr. Jef Boeke at Johns Hopkins University, she produced the first yeast bar code DNA microarrays printed on glass slides and worked out hybridization conditions for the probes. She also produced microbial identification DNA microarrays in collaboration with Dr. Brad Goodner at Hiram College. I also helped produce an animation on DNA microarrays.

  • In the 2001-2002 academic year, Emily Oldham began her genomics concentration through Davidson's Center for Interdisciplinary Studies under the guidance of Laurie Heyer and me. Laurie and I also finished the genomics textbook writing project.

  • I spent my sabbatical at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Institute for Systems Biology to genomics and develop a course for undergraduates, during the 2000-2001 academic year, . This new course in genomics for undergraduates was offered for the first time during the fall of 2001. Furthermore, I have created a new non-profit educational consortium called the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT). GCAT is dedicated to bringing genomic methods into the undergraduate laboratory curriculum at a reasonable cost.

  • During the 1999-2000 academic year, one of my honors students will be conducting research in the new and very exciting field of bioinformatics. Rahul Karnik '00 is a Biology major and is also working on a concentration in computer sciences. For the summer of 1999, he worked at TIGR (The Institute for Genomic Research) in Maryland. He is currently working at a pharmaceutical company as the link between the biologists and the computer scientists.

  • I have been conducting research to improve teaching methods. I work with students and use the web to improve the quality of my lecture and lab curricula. The web provides a medium for presenting visual information that cannot be presented any other way.

  • For several years, we have been examining proteins involved in mating of the unicellular green alga called Chlamydomonas. We have generated two mutant strains (iso1 and pmh1 ) that display abnormal mating phenotypes. Several Davidson College students have helped identify the molecular cause for the pmh1 mutation and this work is being submitted for publication (see virtual posters below).

  • Another area of interest in my lab has been the purification and characterization of NADP+-dependent enzymes from Chlamydomonas (click here for a list of examples).This work has been conducted in collaboration with Dr. John Williamson, also in the Biology Dept. We have had several student conduct research in this area.

  • During the 1998-99 academic year, one of my students wanted to isolate the protein(s) that bind to a new drug being tested for use in treating Alzheimer's disease. His honors thesis research involved Dr. Brown of the Chemistry Dept., as well as Dr. Williamson and me. This new area of investigation was awarded first prize at the Collegiate Academy of the North Carolina Academy of Sciences 1999 annual meeting.

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Links to Virtual Posters:

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Current Teaching Interests:

 Bio113: Introductory Biology
(Information, Evolution, Cells)
 Bio114 : Introductory Biology
(Cells, Emergent Properties, Homeostasis)
 Bio111: Introductory Biology
(Cell and Molecular)
 Bio111 Lab: Introductory Biology
(Cell and Molecular)
 Bio304: Molecular Biology Bio304 Lab: Molecular Biology Lab
Bio309: Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology Bio343 Laboratory Methods in Genomics
Bio307: Immunology (spring 2006 my last time) Concentration in Genomics
(established fall 2004)
Seminar in Synthetic Biology
Group Investigation in Synthetic Biology

Graduate Fellowships Web Page

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Send comments, questions, and suggestions to: macampbell@davidson.edu
or (704) 894 - 2692
© Copyright 2013 Department of Biology, PO Box 7118, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035