Barbara Hoopes

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Barbara Hoopes

Professor of Biology

Department/Office Information

228 Olin Hall

BS, University of Maryland, 1978; PhD, Harvard University, 1986

  • Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco
  • Research associate, University of Oregon

Molecular biology, molecular genetics

The control of gene expression and complex traits in eukaryotes, with a focus on the purebred dog, Canis familiaris. My current research tries to understand how variation at the genetic level can be linked to size differences in purebred dogs and what the molecular and cellular explanation is for how these variations actually affect body size in different breeds of dogs. Students have contributed to these projects both during the summer funded by Colgate’s Division of Natural Science and Mathematics and in my research tutorial, BIOL486 (Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics).

In my classes, I try to help students appreciate the wonder of what is unknown about molecular genetics and biology.

  • BIOL212 (Molecules, Cells and Genes): I am one of several faculty in the department who teaches in this foundation course, where I have developed several four-week investigative laboratory projects that use yeast as a model organism and modern DNA sequencing and analysis methods.
  • BIOL321 (Molecular Biology): This class is an important foundation course for our Molecular Biology major taken by sophomores and juniors. In this class, we immerse ourselves in the current thinking about how things work in transcription, RNA processing, translation, and DNA replication, focusing on the recent experiments that have led us to what we know about these cellular processes. In addition to learning to feel comfortable in the current literature in the field, in the laboratory associated with this class we use a semester-long investigative project to learn the theory and practice of molecular techniques in biology. In recent years, I have developed a laboratory that is focused on trying to determine whether genetic variation associated with different sizes of purebred dogs affects the expression of genes in a particular chromosomal region.
  • BIOL375 (Genetics). In this elective course, students learn about modern genetics through a problem-based learning approach. Instead of learning genetics through standard lectures, students read before each class period about particular topics, then spend class time working through related problems with their classmates. Students also research and report on a topic of interest related to the course.
  • BIOL351 Advanced Cellular Physiology: RNA: In this elective course, small groups of students learn about regulatory RNA molecules by reading and discussing papers from the scientific literature. We used to think that most RNA in the cell was either involved in translation or served as a coding molecule. We know now that much of the RNA in the cell is non-coding but is instead involved in regulation. This class focuses on understanding what we know about how these RNAs function in cellular regulation.
  • CORE 148 (Biotechnology and the New Genetics): This course is usually taught as a First-Year Seminar and is part of the Scientific Perspectives section of the Core Curriculum. The course addresses the science, ethics, and economics behind various applications of biotechnology. We also learn about DNA sequencing and other molecular techniques and use them to look at DNA sequence variation in humans and to detect the presence of genetically modified crops in food.
  • On the Health Sciences Advisory Committee
  • Chair of the NIH Study Group Advisory Committee
  • Director of Colgate Study Groups to Wales (2002), Australia (2005) and the NIH (2007, 2009, and 2012).

* = undergraduate author

  • Articles in Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Nucleic Acids Research, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of Molecular Biology; book and symposium chapters
  • Hoopes, B.C., Rimbault, M., Liebers, D., Ostrander, E.A. and Sutter, N.B. (2012). The Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R) contributes to reduced size in dogs. Mammalian Genome, DOI 10.1007/s00335-012-9417-2.
  • Hoopes, B. C., DiVisconte, M. J. and Bowers, G. D.* (2000) The two Saccharomyces cerevisiae SUA7 (TFIIB) transcripts differ at the 3'-end and respond differently to stress. Nucleic Acids Research, 28: 4435-4443.
  • Hoopes, B. C., leBlanc, J. F. and Hawley, D. K. (1998). Contributions of the TATA box sequence to rate-limiting steps in transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II. Journal of Molecular Biology, 277: 1015-1031.
  • Starr, D. Barrry, Hoopes, B. C., and Hawley, D. K. (1995). DNA bending is an important component of site-specific recognition by the TATA binding protein. Journal of Molecular Biology, 250: 434-446.

Activation of bacteriophage lambda promoters by the cII protein

  • Sabbatical visitor in the Ostrander laboratory at the Cancer Genetics Branch of National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health 2007 and 2009-2010
  • G. Kirk Raab associate professor of Biology, 2002-2006
  • Recipient of research at undergraduate institutions grants from the National Science Foundation 1994-1997 and 1998-2001
  • Member, Biochemistry of Gene Expression research grant review panel for the National Science Foundation 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1978
  • Recipient of NIH training grant, 1978
  • Postdoctoral research fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, 1987-1990