Sharp Lab



Sylvia Fromherz, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1994
Molecular and Cell Biology.

Office:  Life Sciences III, Room 2054
Phone:  (618) 453-1050

  • Research Interests

  • Sensorimotor development in the chick:  Molecular genetic approaches
  • Expression of thermostable cellulase in heterologous systems for biofuels production
  • Structure-function studies of muscle and cytoskeletal proteins

    Pedagogical Interests

    Skills widely considered integral to scientific research include critical thinking, deductive reasoning and experimental analysis and design.  Undergraduate students considering careers in research benefit by opportunities to practice these skills.  Furthermore, critical thinking, experimental analysis and deductive reasoning are tools regularly used by physicians; thus, premed students can benefit by experiences to improve these skills.  Indeed, a recent report issued by a committee of collaborators from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), states:

    "There is widespread agreement that it is important to:  (1) educate future physicians to be inquisitive; (2) help them build a strong scientific foundation for future medical practice; and (3) equip them with the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to integrate new scientific discovery into their medical practice throughout their professional lives and to share this knowledge with patients and other health care professionals."   Source: June, 2009 "Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians" Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee,

    I am interested in developing improved ways to teach the biological sciences through inquiry and problem-solving.  I am an advocate of teaching undergraduate science through research, whether directly at the bench or through analysis of primary scientific literature.  I use a variety of active-learning approaches in the classroom, including small group discussion and 'clickers'.




Sylvia Fromherz