THOMAS M. WALTERContinuing Lecturer
Currently teach all or parts of three undergraduate and graduate microbiology and molecular biology courses. BIOL 439 is an introductory microbiology lab for students who have a good general biology background. Labs pertain to bacterial growth, enzyme kinetics, tests used to identify specific bacteria, and bacterial physiology. In addition to the lab work, students are expected to complete a two week final project involving literature research and one or two independent experiments based on this research. This has proven to be an excellent opportunity for students to realize the type of planning involved in experimental microbiology.
BIOL 529 is a graduate level course covering recent work in bacterial physiology. With the comparative study of whole genomes now possible ("genomics"), this has become a fast-growing field, and the course relies heavily on current bacteriological journals. We examine the structure of bacterial proteins and study some biochemical mechanisms, but focus primarily on the ways in which bacteria control the production of different proteins.
In addition, I teach a five week molecular biology techniques lab, BIOL 542I, in which students become familiar with techniques needed to purify and identify a protein produced from a gene cloned in a bacterial host. BIOL 542 is an effective way to introduce undergraduates to open-ended, project-based experiments.
Ph.D., Purdue, 1995