Theodore G. Clark, PhD

Primary Institution:
Cornell University
Microbiology and Immunology
Professor of Parasitology & Immunology
Current SEPA Project

I have a long-standing interest in advancing the ciliated protozoan, Tetrahymena thermophila, as a teaching tool and as a model organism for basic and applied research. Towards that end, I have served as Director of the Tetrahymena Stock Center at Cornell University for the past 15 years and have led the SEPA ASSET program since 2009. ASSET is designed to teach fundamental concepts in biology to students in the 4th-12th grades and is built around a series of hands-on laboratory modules that address various aspects of cellular structure and function, genetics, toxicology, evolution, prey-predator interactions, etc., both in the classroom and in the field.As director of the program, I have been responsible for administering all aspects of the design, testing and dissemination of the modules to roughly 48,000 students in 27 states. My experience with ASSET to date makes me well qualified to direct the activities described in the current proposal, which are intended to expand the program’s breadth and depth and ensure its sustainability over the long-term. In addition to my activities with ASSET, I have extensive teaching experience at the undergraduate and professional school levels. At Cornell, I participate in a number of courses centered on infection biology including Microbial Pathogenesis; Advanced Immunology; Medical Parasitology; and a course that I founded entitled Vaccines: Theory and Practice. I have a long record of training students for future careers in science and have supervised numerous postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates including more than a dozen underrepresented minority students through the Howard Hughes, Cornell Traditions, and Honors Research programs. Finally, I direct the NIH (ORIP)-sponsored Tetrahymena Stock Center, which provides Tetrahymena strains used in the ASSET program.

Associated SEPA Project(s)