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
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
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.