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James Gentile Named to
National Research Council Committee

Posted October 16, 2000

HOLLAND -- Dr. James Gentile of the Hope College biology faculty has been named by Dr. Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, to a new committee formed by the National Research Council to examine undergraduate biology education.

Gentile, who is also dean for the natural sciences at Hope, is one of only 12 members appointed to the committee, which is exploring "Undergraduate Biology Education to Prepare Research Scientists for the 21st Century." During the next two years, the committee will be considering how biology research will be conducted in the future, the skills and knowledge that undergraduates will need to learn, and how best to teach such skills and knowledge.

The resulting report will focus on preparation for biomedical research, but will also consider other life science disciplines such as plant biology, population and evolutionary biology, and behavior and cognitive sciences. The report will include case studies to provide suggestions for both universities and four-year colleges.

A member of the Hope faculty since 1976 and currently the Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Biology, Gentile has been active nationally and internationally in discussing issues related to science education. At the end of this year, he will complete a two-year term on the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education (CUSE), a standing committee of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education at the National Research Council. The National Research Council is affiliated with the National Academies in the sciences.

Gentile is also a member of the Executive Committee of "Project Kaleidoscope," a Washington, D.C.- based initiative focusing on identifying and promoting effective models for undergraduate mathematics and science education, and he is also a member of the Board of Governors for the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research.

His research in genetic toxicology has resulted in more than 60 papers during the past 15 years. A past president of the Environmental Mutagen Society, he is the editor-in-chief of the international journal "Mutation Research."

Gentile is a consultant for the National Institutes of Health Sciences, and is serving, at the appointment of Governor John Engler, on Michigan's State Hazardous Site Assessment Committee. He is a consultant with the EPA's Office on Substances/Test Rules Development Branch, and a past consultant to the EPA's Science Advisory Board. He is also a scientific program advisor to the Murdock Trust in Vancouver, Wash., and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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