Dr. Dagan Loisel, PhD from Duke University, whose research interests include genetic links to disease, has joined the Saint Michael's College faculty as an assistant professor of biology, starting this fall.
"Saint Michael's has exactly the emphasis on teaching and research that appeals to me," Dr. Loisel said. "I could tell immediately that Saint Michael's values the teacher-scholar model... and I could see that my colleagues in biology have a passion for the job."
Dr. Loisel earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Colby College, magna cum laude, in 1998; and his doctorate from Duke University Department of Biology & University Program in Genetics, in 2007. He held a postdoctoral position at the University of Chicago in the Department of Human Genetics from 2007 to summer 2012.
This fall Dr. Loisel will be teaching Fundamentals of Genetics, with a lab, and in the spring, Immunology and Parasitology in Genetics. His teaching areas include general biology, genetics and evolutionary biology. He taught a course in the spring of 2012 titled "DNA, Drugs, and You: Genomes in Medicine," in the Liberal Arts Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Dr. Loisel's research began in evolutionary and population genetics, where he examined essential immune genes, and the descent of very important immune system genes. He has been studying how genes show up in diseases, specifically in asthma sufferers, and also in pregnancy disorders, in specific populations.
Dr. Loisel's publications on genetics and immune systems, especially asthma, primates, pregnancy, and other areas have appeared in a number of journals including Human Reproduction, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, European Respiratory Journal, Nature Reviews Genetics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Cancer Research, and others. He has an essay in Evolution in Health and Disease (Oxford University Press, 2007), and an invited review in Primates, Pathogens and Evolution (Springer Publishing).
He expects to shape studies he and his students can do examining the evolution of genes. Some of these studies could use the data sets he developed in the asthma studies to look at the evolution of genes, and the connection between disease and other human traits, in the specific population being studied.
Dr. Loisel resides in Burlington. He is enthusiastic about outdoor activities, biking and hiking, and exploring the nearby mountains and the lake.