Professor Dan Kirschner has had a continuing interest in the application of biophysical techniques to problems in biology, especially as it pertains to human disease. Hence, his double undergraduate degree in Biology and Physics and his graduate degree in Biophysics. His current research interests are focused in two areas: the structure and dynamic membrane interactions in abnormal nerve myelin, in which alterations have resulted from experimental, pathological, or genetic conditions; and the molecular organization of amyloid, which are deposits of mis-folded polypeptides involved in certain neurodegenerative diseases (including Alzheimer disease and "mad cow" disease).
Kirschner is also an avid visual artist, having received citations for photography and painting as a student. This avocational interest is reflected by his cover designs for scientific journals in which he publishes, and by contributions of his framed photographs as fund raisers for the auctions of nonprofit foundations. In addition, nights and weekends will often find Dr. Kirschner as the fiddler/violinist for a local klezmer band, for which he has composed specialty celebratory dance melodies in the klezmer tradition. In addition to performing spirited, soulful music before live audiences, Kirschner also is an enthusiastic bicyclist during fair weather and a cross-country skier during snowy weather.
Somehow, among all these scientific and avocational activities, he has managed to co-parent two fantastic daughters, both of whom have earned teaching degrees. And, with the births of two grandsons during the past nine years, a third generation is coming along.
UN55701: Life, A Tightrope (offered in Spring 2010)
Higgins Hall, Room 515