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A Joint Program by Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College in Biotechnology

 Funded by The National Science Foundation 

nsflogoNSF # 1205013

Project Faculty

Dr. Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Principal Investigator, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences of Kingsborough Community College of City University of New York. She teaches Microbiology in Health and Disease (BIO 51)to allied health students and General Microbiology (BIO 50) to biotechnology students and other biology majors.

Dr. Brancaccio-Taras’ research has focused on antibiotic production by marine actinomycetes. In 2005, she was selected to participate in the American Society for Microbiology’s Biology Scholars Program to study the effectiveness of problem based learning in microbiology classes. Professor Brancaccio-Taras developed and implemented a hybrid microbiology course and it has been offered since Fall 2007.
Dr. Arthur Zeitlin, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Biological Sciences of Kingsborough Community College, is Co-Principal Investigator for this project. Professor Zeitlin's main areas of interest include cell biology and human anatomy and physiology. He was P.I. of the “Brooklyn Biotechnology Bridge,” “Brooklyn Gateway,” and “Crossing Boundaries” grants, all NSF funded programs. 

In addition, he was CO-P.I. of the NIH funded “Bridges to the Baccalaureate” grant with Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York.  Earlier in his career Dr. Zeitlin worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratories and the Columbia University Cancer Institute. Professor Zeitlin has taught Biology at Kingsborough Community College for over 45 years.  Professor Zeitlin has published several articles on remediation in higher education and has made numerous presentations of his grant-related, educational work at regional conferences.
Dr. Ronald Eckhardt, is Co-Principal Investigator and Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Dr. Eckhardt has been involved in the teaching of science for over 40 years; his research interests include recombinant DNA modification of commercially important fish species to provide molecular tags for conservation efforts and the development of specialized test panels for detecting the sensitivity of malignant melanoma cells to potential therapeutic agents.

He was Co-PI for the NSF-funded “Brooklyn Gateway Project,” the former Co-PI for the “Crossing Boundaries” project linking Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College to increase the pool of well-trained science teachers for the NYC Dept. of Education. Other programs with NYC schools have included “Project Beacon” and the Macy Foundation's initiative in the use of Latin and Greek in high schools. He has collaborated with several CUNY community colleges on marine biology initiatives and institutional reform of STEM undergraduate education.
Dr. Z.M.G. Sarwar Jahangir is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Kingsborough Community College. Dr. Jahangir is the director of the department’s Biotechnology program and developed two of our program’s biotechnology offerings: Bio 58 - DNA Biotechnology, and Bio 57 - Cell Culture and Cloning.

Dr. Jahangir conducts summer biotechnology workshops for high school teachers. He has worked on molecular genetics and biotechnology projects for the last 18 years developing transgenic lake sturgeons, studying the molecular phylogeny of selected euteleosts, and has supervised graduate and undergraduate students analyzing the molecular phylogeny of selected flatfishes, microsatellite DNA markers for fish population identification, and DNA barcodes for several fish species.

He is working as a consultant for CUREVAX developing an IL2 vaccine for human melanoma patients and has obtained US FDA approval for Phase I trials. He has extensive earlier training and teaching experience in biology from universities in Canada, India and Bangladesh
Dr. Craig Hinkley is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Kingsborough Community College. He teaches Computer Applications in Bioinformatics and developed instructional modules for and taught the Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) within the NSF-funded “Brooklyn Biotechnology Bridge” and “Brooklyn Gateway” programs.  He conducts workshops in the summer biotechnology institute for High School Teachers.   

Dr. Hinkley has extensive experience teaching workshops combining hands-on scientific experiments with computer based bioinformatics from his previous employment at the DNA Learning Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Hinkley will be conducting summer biotechnology workshops for high school and college faculty.

Dr. Myra Kogen was for many years the Director of the Brooklyn College Learning Center, a large-scale peer tutoring service that helps college students with coursework in subjects across the curriculum. Kogen has also taught college composition, literature and technical writing at Brooklyn College and Hofstra University and trained college writing teachers.

She has written and administered grant projects funded by NSF, NEH, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the U.S. Department of Education. Right now, she is very excited to be working on KCC's biotechnology project, a major new joint effort with Brooklyn College that promises to improve the education and training of biotechnicians in NYC.

Dr. Ivan Shun Ho is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kingsborough Community College and a staff member of the “On Campus Discoveries in Science” program. Professor Ho teaches courses and conducts workshops in the area of molecular biology within the biotechnology curriculum.

His research involves the study of genetic factors and biochemical pathways governing learning and memory with specific reference to Drosophila melanogaster and Pavlovian behavioral conditioning techniques.
Dr. Farshad Tamari teaches Genetics, Anatomy and Physiology, Human Genetics, Virtual Enterprise Biotechnology, and Introductory Biology at Kingsborough Community College. He is a molecular geneticist and received his honors Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Master’s (M.Sc.), and Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at York University in Toronto, Canada. Professor Tamari completed a three year post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Human Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He taught and conducted research at Kean University, in Union, New Jersey, for two years as a full time faculty member before coming to Kingsborough.

Professor Tamari specializes in the molecular genetics of a plant breeding system called distyly and its associated self-incompatibility. The ultimate goal of his research is identification of molecules that confer self-incompatibility and the removal of reproductive barriers. Beyond basic research, his research has implications in increasing yields for commercially valuable plants such as members of primrose which have ornamental value and the promotion of breeding in plants that will be useful in the production of biofuels. Professor Tamari conducts workshop in molecular genetics during the summer institute.



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