Faculty Profile: Dr. Eric Calhoun
Eric Calhoun knew he wanted to be a teacher when he was an undergraduate at Truman State University in Missouri.
“I started tutoring biology and chemistry students as a sophomore, and I just couldn’t get enough of it,” the assistant professor of biology says.
During his undergraduate years he also developed an interest in cancer research, which carried through to his doctoral program at the Mayo Clinic, where he studied cancer biology.
This interest continued through a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University where he worked on identifying genetic alterations in pancreatic cancer.
While in Baltimore, he also taught for a local community college as well as the Princeton Review, preparing students for the biology section of the MCAT.
“These were some of my first experiences really teaching,” he says. “It was very useful, because I was able to refresh a lot of my biology knowledge, and much of what I taught there I teach at Alma in BIO 121.”
He soon realized he wanted to work at a place where he could teach smaller classes and continue his research with undergraduate students.
“Everyone at Alma had been really friendly, and very accommodating and flexible in regards to the classes I’m teaching,” he says.
In his future research, he plans to help students investigate the roles specific mutations play in cancer development by constructing somatic cell gene knockouts.
“These projects are intended to facilitate undergraduate research experiences while pushing my own research goals along. I hope to be able to show students a method for understanding the functionality of cancer-specific mutations and their roles in tumorigenesis,” he says.
Dr. Calhoun has been married for 11 years and has two children. He enjoys racquetball, movies, watching baseball and spending time outdoors.