Assistant Professor of Biology

Courses Taught

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • General Biology
  • Immunology
  • Introductory Biology
  • MCAT Review
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology I
  • Molecular Biology II
  • Thesis II

Advising

  • Cellular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pre-Medicine

Research Interests

My research interests include understanding how cells communicate during developmental patterning within multicellular organisms. More specifically, investigating the molecular basis of developmental signaling and its role in controlling cell growth, differentiation, and tissue patterning in the fruit fly; Drosophila melanogaster. Studying such signaling cascades in a model organism, such as the fruit fly, allows for use of a powerful and well developed genetic toolbox, which can be used to manipulate the pathway in question. A better understanding of fruit fly developmental signaling pathways, which are often highly conserved across taxa, will shed light on human disease, including cancer.

Additionally, I am interested in functional genomic approaches to understanding gene function and protein interactions. Currently, my students and I are actively participating in the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), which is an international collaboration between a number of collegiate institutions and Washington University in Saint Louis. Students undertake projects, which include improving draft-quality genomic sequence up to finished-quality as well as the annotation of the genetic elements within these sequences. Original data generated by students is uploaded to publicly available databases for use by the scientific community. Currently this data is being used by the laboratory of Sarah Elgin at Washington University, where GEP is housed, for an investigation into the differences between heterochromatic and euchromatic domains by using a comparative genomics approach across Drosophila species.

Other undergraduate genomics-based projects include taking a metagenomics approach to understand the affects that dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.) infection has on fungal community structure. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Kristy Duran from within the Adams State Biology Program. I also have an interest in mining data from the Human Microbiome Project using web-based bioinformatics tools. In this endeavor, the Genome Solver Community has provided undergraduates working under myself with the appropriate resources and support.

Selected Publications

  • Shaffer CD, …Kleinschmit A, …Elgin SCR (83 authors) (2014). A Course-Based Research Experience: How Benefits Change with Increased Investment in Instructional Time. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(1), 111-130.
  • Dejima K, Kleinschmit A, Takemura M, Choi PY, Kinoshita-Toyoda A, Toyoda H, Nakato H (2013). The role of Drosophila heparan sulfate 6-O endosulfatase in sulfation compensation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288(7), 6574-6582.
  • Kleinschmit A, Takemura M, Dejima K, Choi PY, & Nakato H (2013). Drosophila Heparan Sulfate 6-O-Endosulfatase Sulf1 Facilitates Wingless (Wg) Protein Degradation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288(7), 5081-5089.
  • Kleinschmit A, Koyama T, Dejima K, Hayashi Y, Kamimura K, & Nakato H (2010). Drosophila heparan sulfate 6-O endosulfatase regulates Wingless morphogen gradient formation. Developmental biology, 345(2), 204-214.