Skip to main content

Dr. Akif Uzman

Dr. Akif Uzman

Dr. Akif Uzman

DeanNatural Sciences


Dr. Uzman is a professor of biology and biochemistry in which his primary research focus is gene regulation and early embryonic development. He joined UHD in the fall 1997 semester and has taught a range of courses including but not limited to introductory biology, biochemistry, cell biology, human genetics, and molecular biology.

From 2003 to 2011, Dr. Uzman served as chair of the Department of Natural Sciences; afterward serving as interim dean of the College of Sciences & Technology from 2011-2014. He was appointed dean of the college in June 2014. As department chair, he worked with colleagues to bring in over $12M in grants to support the faculty and student research, expand the capacity of the Scholars Academy, and deepen our teacher training program through the department's first NSF Noyce grant. As chair and dean, he assisted his colleagues in developing UHD's new B.S. in Geosciences and M.S. in Data Analytics degrees. Working with Dr. Janusz Grebowicz and other colleagues in the department, they developed a summer research collaboration and student exchange program involving UHD students and faculty working alongside students and faculty at the University of Gdansk and Technical University of Lodz in Poland.

In 2012, Dr. Uzman was selected to serve as a Vision & Change Leadership Fellow (now PULSE Fellow) to help build a national drive (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science, abbreviated PULSE) to bring modern, best practices in science education to life science departments nationally. He served in its Leadership Council from 2012 through September, 2014; he is currently active in several of its national efforts, including the development of a LEED-style certification system for life science departments and the PULSE Ambassadors leadership training program.


Dr. Uzman's Web Page

Degrees Earned

Ph.D. in Zoology, University of California at Berkeley, 1983.
M.S. in Environmental Health Science, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1976.
B.S. in Zoology, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1975.

Courses Taught

(In recent years)

BIOL 4303 Human Genetics
BIOL 4330 Molecular Biology
CHEM 4140 Biochemistry Lab

Experience Qualifications

Dr. Uzman's current interests are focused on the evolution of chromatin complexes and the origin of novel vertebrate genes using bioinformatics. He also works with Dr. Edwin Tecarro in UHD's Department of Mathematics & Statistics and Dr. Amy K. Sater in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston in modeling the interactions of the BMP-4 and FGF signaling pathways during early vertebrate development.

Serving as a PULSE Fellow and member of the PULSE Community and as an editor of Biochemical and Molecular Biology Education, he has developed an interest in the scholarship of teaching with respect to undergraduate STEM education.

More Information


(names in bold are UHD students)

Pope WH, Bowman CA, Russell DA, Jacobs-Sera D, Asai DJ, Cresawn SG, Jacobs WR, Hendrix RW, Lawrence JG, Hatfull GF; Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters, includes UHD students Rush Alexander, Pilgrim Benjamin, Linus Klingler, Kimberly Menendez, and Aziz Sidra and Drs. Griffard, Sadana, Saha, and Uzman. (2015) Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science; Phage Hunters Integrating Research and Education; Mycobacterial Genetics Course. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity. elife, 4:e06416. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06416.

Uzman, A., Johnson, J., Eichberg, J., Widger, W., K., Voet, D., Voet, J., Pratt, C.W. (2012) Student Companion to Accompany Fundamentals of Biochemistry, 4th Edition, Fundamentals of Biochemistry, 4th edition, by Voet, Voet, and Pratt. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York. (previous editions, 2008, 2006, 1999)

Yerrapragada, Shaila, Shukla, Animesh, Hallsworth-Pepin, Kymberlie, Choi, Kwangmin, Wollam, Aye, Clifton, Sandra, Qin, Xiang, Muzny, Donna, Raghuraman, Sriram, Ashki, Haleh, Uzman, Akif, Highlander, Sarah K., Fryszczyn Bartlomiej G., Fox, George E., Tirumalai, Madhan R., Liu, Yamei, Kim, Sun, Kehoe, David M., Weinstock, George M. (2015) Extreme Sensory Complexity Encoded in the 10-Megabase Draft Genome Sequence of the Chromatically Acclimating Cyanobacterium Tolypothrix sp. PCC 7601. Genome Announcements. 3(3): e00355-15

Tecarro, E., Bui, T., Lisi, M., Sater, A., and Uzman, A. (2009). A simple model of two interacting signaling pathways in embryonic Xenopus laevis. Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems Supplement 2009, 753-760.

Highlander, S.K., Hulten, K., Qin, X., Jiang, H., Yerrapragada, S., Mason, E., Shang, Y. Williams, T., Fortunov, R., Liu, Y., Igboeli, O., Petrosino, J., Tirumalai, M., Uzman, A., Fox, G., Cardenas, A.M., Muzny, D.M., Hemphill, L., ding, Y., Dugan, S., Blyth, P.R., Buhay, C.J., Dinh, H.H., Hawes, A.C., Holder, M., Kovar, C.L., Lee, S.L., Lui, W., Nazareth, L.V., Wang, Q., Zhou, J., Kaplan, S., and Weinstock, G. (2007) Subtle genetic changes enhance virulence of methicillin resistant and sensitive Staphylococcus aureus BMC Microbiol. 7(1): 99 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-7-99

Gioia, J, Yerrapragada, S, Qin, X, Jiang, H, Igboeli, OC, Muzny, D, Shannon Dugan-Rocha, S, Ding, Y, Hawes, A, Wen Liu, W, Perez, L, Kovar, C, Dinh, H, Lee, S, Nazareth, L, Blyth, P, Holder, M, Buhay, C, Madhan R. Tirumalai, MR, Liu, Y, Dasgupta, I, Bokhetache, L, Fujita, M, Karouia, F, Moorthy, PE, Siefert, J, Uzman, A, Buzumbo, P, Verma, A, Zwiya, H, McWilliams, BD, Olowu, A, Clinkenbeard, KD, Newcombe, D, Golebiewski, L, Petrosino, JF, Nicholson, WL, Fox, GE, Kasthuri Venkateswaran, K, Highlander, SK, and Weinstock, GM (2007) Paradoxical DNA Repair and Peroxide Resistance Gene Conservation in Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032. PLoS ONE 2(9): e928. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000928

Petrosino, J.F., Xiang, Q., Karpathy, S.E., Huaiyang Jiang, H., Yerrapragada, S., Liu, Y., Gioia, J., Hemphill, L., Gonzalez, A., Raghavan, T.M., Uzman, A., Fox, G.E., Highlander, S., Reichard, M., Morton, R.J., Clinkenbeard, K.D., and George M. Weinstock, G.M. (2006) Chromosome Rearrangement and Diversification of Francisella tularensis revealed by the Type B (OSU18) genome sequence. J. Bacteriology, 188(19), 6977-85.

Patil, S.S., Alexander, T.B., Uzman, J. A., Lou, C.-H., Gohil, H., and Sater, A. K. (2006) The novel gene ashwin functions in Xenopus cell survival and anteroposterior pattern. Developmental Dynamics 235, 1895-907


Vision and Change Leadership Fellow / PULSE Fellow, Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE);; founded and supported by HHMI, NIGMS, and NSF. 2012 - present