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.