322 McGuire Life Sciences Building
PO Box: AC# 2237
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail info@amherst.edu if you require contact info@amherst.edu

Julia A. Emerson

Biology Lab Coordinator

Departmental affiliation: Biology


Courses in Fall 2011

Courses in Spring 2012

Courses in Fall 2012

Courses in Spring 2013

Courses in Fall 2013

Courses in Spring 2014

Courses in Fall 2014

Courses in Spring 2015

Courses in Fall 2015

Courses in Spring 2016

Professional and Biographical Information

Submitted by Julia A. Emerson


Ph.D.   Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco (1988) 

Sc.B.    Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI   (1978) 

Other Professional Training

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Molecular Biology, Princeton University   (1988-1992)

Student, Embryology Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA  (Summer,1982

Teaching Interests

I have taught a variety of courses in molecular, cellular, developmental and organismal biology at several institutions across the country. At Amherst, I teach established labs and design new labs for the Biology 181 and Biology 191 courses. In these courses, students obtain a comprehensive introduction to many key biological concepts and underlying scientific approaches and methodologies. I am also active in K-12 science outreach.

Research Interests

The central theme of my research has been the development and function of mammalian cells. Research questions that I have addressed include the identification and function of human T lymphocyte subtypes, the expression of intermediate filaments during preimplantation mouse development, the transcriptional control of liver gene expression in mice, stage-specific gene expression in postimplantation mouse embryos and the function of the Wnt signaling pathway in the maintenance of the intestinal epithelium of adult mice. 

Selected Publications

Shaffer, C. D…Emerson, J. A…Elgin, S. C. R. (84 authors) (2014)  A course-based research experience: how benefits change with increased investment in instructional time. CBE-Life Sciences Education 13: 111–130, 2014

Emerson, J. A, Silver Key, S. C, Alvarez, C. J., Bhalla, S. C., Mel, S., McNeil, G., Saville, K. J.,   Leung, W., Shaffer, C. D. and Elgin, S. C. R. (2013)  Introduction to the Genomics Education Partnership and collaborative genomics research in Drosophila. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education) 34: 135-165.

Emerson, J.A. (2012)  Identification of human polymorphisms in the phenylthio­carbamide (PTC) bitter taste receptor gene and protein. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Proc. Assoc. for Biology Laboratory Education 33: 246-250.

Emerson, J. A. & Ratner, D. I. (2006) From bench top to presentation in five days: DNA sequencing research projects for summer workshops or undergraduate teaching labs. Dev. Biol. 295: 350. 

Emerson, J. A. (2000)  Undergraduate laboratory exercises in axis specification.  Dev. Biol. 222: 234

Schroeder, A. A., Nguyen, M. M., Boustany, L. M., Gilby, I. C. & Emerson, J. A. (1995)  Using differential display PCR to identify developmentally-regulated genes in the mouse.  Dev. Biol. 170: 769.

Millonig, J. H., Emerson, J. A., Levorse, J. M. & Tilghman, S. M. (1995)  Molecular analysis of the distal enhancer of the mouse alpha-fetoprotein gene.  Mol. Cell. Biol. 15: 3848-3856.

Emerson, J. A., Vacher, J., Cirillo, L. A., Tilghman, S. M. & Tyner, A. L. (1992)  The zonal expression of a-fetoprotein transgenes in the livers of adult mice.  Dev. Dynam. 195: 55-66.   

Emerson, J. A.  (1988)  Disruption of the cytokeratin filament network in the preimplantation mouse embryo.  Development  104: 219-234.

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Director of the Summer Teachers' Workshop in Biology at Amherst College (2005-2012)

Annual Reviewer for the American Women in Science Educational Foundation, College Scholarship applications (2000-2010)

Other Interests

I like to get outdoors as much as possible and I enjoy hiking, biking, snowshoeing, kayaking and swimming with my husband and teen-age son, as well as gardening and horseback riding. I am also a fan of professional baseball, and over the years I have attended games at Fenway Park, the Oakland Coliseum, Candlestick Park, Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, The Metrodome, the (old and new) Busch Stadium, Autozone Park in Memphis and Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL.

Mt. Jackson, NH, 2006
Cape Cod Sunset 2007