J. Keith McClung

Professor of Biology

More about J. Keith McClung

B.A., B.S., 1977, Ph.D., 1983, West Virginia University

Current Research
My research has focused on the gene Prohibitin, and its relationship to breast cancer cells growth inhibition. Colleagues (including undergraduate students) have found the inhibitory activity resides in the 3′ end of the Prohibitin mRNA. This section of the mRNA does not code for protein. The RNA itself was causing the growth inhibition. Microinjection of this region of the mRNA into individual breast cancer cells inhibits their growth as measured by DNA replication. Future research will to identify the mechanism of how the Prohibitin RNA can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.

Area of Interest
My interests are cell growth regulation and how cancer avoids the normal controls of growth. To approach these problems a broad interest in cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry are needed. My research resulted in the discovery of the gene Prohibitin. Since then the research has focused on this gene and how it inhibits cancer cells in culture. Interests in education led me to Wartburg College where teaching is combined with undergraduate research activities.

Advising Expertise
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Graduate Studies

Courses Taught
BI 151 Biology I Ecosystems, Cells, and Evolution
BI 221 Cell Biology
ID 325 Issues in Biotechnology
BI 405 Immunology
BI 414 Molecular Biology
BI 455 Methods of Biological Research
BI 456 Student Research