James C. Pierce, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Office: Holroyd 235
Dr. Pierce received his bachelor’s degree
from La Salle University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Temple
University School of Medicine. Following his doctoral degree, he did a three-year
National Institute of Health funded post-doctoral fellowship at E.I DuPont Inc.
working on the Human Genome Project. After his post-doctoral fellowship, Dr.
Pierce worked in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry as a senior research
scientist working on various genetic engineering projects. Previous to his
career in science, Dr. Pierce received his A.S. degree in health science from
Hahnemann University and worked as a respiratory therapist at Albert Einstein
Medical Center specializing in neonatal critical care.
Dr. Pierce’s academic career began with
a tenure-track position in the Biology Department at Richard Stockton College
of New Jersey. He then moved to Biology Department at the Philadelphia College
of Pharmacy and Science (now the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia), eventually
becoming the founding chair of the Department of Bioinformatics and Computer
Science. In 2012, Dr. Pierce returned to his alma mater, La Salle University to
assume the position of Professor and Chair of the Biology Department.
His research has focused on the study of
DNA and genome organization including the manipulation of genetic information
using the tools of genetic engineering.
Research projects have included the study of mutagenesis in viral
genomes, the engineering of high molecular weight cloning systems, the genetic
engineering of antimicrobial peptides, and the development of DNA
fingerprinting techniques for forensic applications. A major focus of recent
studies is the study of genome organization and expression in the ancient
marine arthropod Limulus polyphemus
(horseshoe crab). Dr. Pierce has over 25 publications, numerous grant awards,
and patents for two inventions in the field of genetic engineering.