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Research Profile
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  Faculty Profile  Faculty ProfileLast Modified Time: 05:43:57 PM Tue, 4 Feb 2014 
 Robert Curliss Benjamin
 Contact Information
Robert Curliss Benjamin
Associate Professor-Biology
Contact address   University of North Texas/ Department of Biological Sciences, 1155 Union Circle # 305220, Denton, Texas 76203     Office LocationBiology Building, Room No.: 411 
Email    Contact Number 9405653217    Fax No: 9405653821   
Graduate Faculty Membership Status: Full Membership -Permanent   
toggle toggle Professional Preparation
 Postdoctoral TrainingDepartment of Biochemistry, School of Hygiene and Public HealthJohns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland1980-1982
 Doctor of PhilosophyCellular and Developmental BiologyHarvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts1974-1980
 Bachelor of ArtsBiology with honorsJohns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland1970-1974
toggle toggle Courses Taught By Semester --- Organized Classes will be uploaded from THECB Data file
SemesterSubjectCourse NumberSectionCourse NameCalculated Semester Credit HoursSyllabus 
Spring 2014BIOC4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene Download Syllabus
Spring 2014BIOL1755502Introductory Biology Research Laboratory II  
Spring 2014BIOL4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene Download Syllabus
Spring 2014BIOL4590001Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory Download Syllabus
Summer 5W1 2013BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I  
Summer 5W1 2013BIOL1710201Principles of Biology I  
Fall 2013BIOL1710001Biology for Science Majors I Download Syllabus
Fall 2013BIOL1710211Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1710212Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1710213Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1710214Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1710832Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1710861Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1711002Honors Biology for Science Majors I Download Syllabus
Fall 2013BIOL1711003Honors Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1711221Honors Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1711231Honors Biology for Science Majors I  
Fall 2013BIOL1750502Introductory Biology Research Laboratory I Download Syllabus
Fall 2013BIOL3451001Genetics Download Syllabus
Fall 2013BIOL4590001Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory Download Syllabus
Spring 2013BIOC4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene  
Spring 2013BIOL1755502Introductory Biology Research Laboratory II  
Spring 2013BIOL4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene  
Spring 2013BIOL4590001Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory  
Summer 2012BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Summer 2012BIOL1710201Principles of Biology I  
Fall 2012BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2012BIOL1711002Honors Biology for Science Majors I Download Syllabus
Fall 2012BIOL1711003Honors Biology for Science Majors I Download Syllabus
Fall 2012BIOL1750502Introductory Biology Research Laboratory I  
Fall 2012BIOL3451001Genetics Download Syllabus
Spring 2012BIOC4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene  
Spring 2012BIOL1755502Introductory Biology Research Laboratory II  
Spring 2012BIOL4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene  
Spring 2012BIOL4590001Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory  
Summer 2011BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Summer 2011BIOL1710201Principles of Biology I  
Fall 2011BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2011BIOL1711002Honors Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2011BIOL1711003Honors Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2011BIOL1750502Introductory Biology Research Laboratory I  
Fall 2011BIOL3451001Genetics Download Syllabus
Spring 2011BIOC4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene Download Syllabus
Spring 2011BIOL4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene Download Syllabus
Spring 2011BIOL4590001Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory  
Spring 2011BIOL4770001Biotechnology Download Syllabus
Fall 2010BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2010BIOL1711002Honors Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2010BIOL1711003Honors Principles of Biology I Download Syllabus
Fall 2010BIOL3451001Genetics Download Syllabus
Spring 2010BIOC4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene69 
Spring 2010BIOC5340001Molecular Biology9 
Spring 2010BIOL4570001Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene84 
Spring 2010BIOL4590001Forensic Molecular Biology Laboratory27 
Spring 2010BIOL4770001Biotechnology  
Spring 2010BIOL5340001Molecular Biology39 
Spring 2010BIOL4770001Biotechnology  
Fall 2009BIOL1710001Principles of Biology I315 
Fall 2009BIOL1711002Honors Principles of Biology I63 
Fall 2009BIOL1711003Honors Principles of Biology I48 
Fall 2009BIOL3451001Genetics660 
toggle toggle Research and Expertise
DNA Profiling of Roseate Spoonbills and Caribbean Flamingos
A project involving the Fort Worth, Dallas and Sedgwick County Zoos plus Mexican Wildlife officials to develop DNA based identity and parentage testing of Roseate Spoonbills and Caribbean Flamingos is being carried out.  Roseate Spoonbills are communal breeding birds and nests may contain eggs fertilized by different males or laid by different females.  This makes DNA tests to determine parentage, as well as to estimate genetic variability within the population, essential.  This project has served as a model for developing similar tests for other captive bred avian species as well as wild ones.  The Caribbean flamingo project is part of a joint study being carried out by several U.S. zoos, UNT and Mexican federal wildlife officials.  Our portion of the study is to carry out DNA-based sexing of offspring (about 300 per year, there is no visible sexual dimorphism in flamingos and they otherwise must be sexed anatomically), isolate and characterize polymorphic STR loci, and characterize the mtDNA HV-I and HV-II regions for use in population studies.  Our laboratory has participated in the capture, banding and sample collection at the Ria Lagartos Preserve for the last 3 years.

Forensic Applications of Human Genome Analysis

I have personally become involved in the application of DNA analysis to criminal investigations and prosecution.  Due to my experience in this area I have become well known within the state of Texas and am frequently sought out for assistance by the legal community.  I have therefore noted this as one of my scholarly activities recognized and supported by the UNT administration.  I presently supervise Bill Watson who is pursuing a Ph.D. degree involving research in the area of forensic molecular biology.

Other Areas

Our laboratory has also worked in the areas of Pseudomondas catabolic plasmids, cyanide degradation and the genetic profiling of black-tailed prairie dogs.  However, presently none of these research areas are being actively pursued.

toggle toggle Appointments
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)RankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
1992-presentAssociate ProfessorDepartment of Biological Sciences University of North Texas, Denton, TX
1985-1992Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Biological Sciences University of North Texas
1982-1985Research Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Biochemistry North Texas State University/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Denton/Fort Worth, Texas
1980-1982Postdoctoral Research under Dr. P. C. Huang and in collaboration with Dr. John J. ScoccaDepartment of Biochemistry Johns Hopkins University
1974-1980Graduate Research with Dr. D. Michael GillDepartment of Biology Harvard University
1970-1974Undergraduate Research with Dr. Ru Chih C. Huang,Department of Biology Johns Hopkins University
toggle toggle Faculty Workload
Duration (YYYY - YYYY)Percentage TeachingPercentage ResearchPercentage Service
toggle toggle Publications
  Type  Publications per page   2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next>> 15>> 
  YearPublication  Type
Quantitative studies of inhibitors of ADP-ribosylation in Vitro and in Vivo.
Rankin, P., Jacobson, E.L., Benjamin, R.C. and Jacobson, M.K.
J. Biol. Chem.
Refereed(Peer reviewed) Journals
Alteration of Poly(adenosine diphosphoribose) Metabolism by Ethanol: Mechanism of Action.
Sims, J.L., and Benjamin, R.C.
Arch. Biochem. Biophys.
Refereed(Peer reviewed) Journals
Modification of an Arginine Residue Essential for the Activity of NAD-Malic Enzyme From Ascaris suum.
Rao, G.S.J., Kong, C., Benjamin, R.C., Harris, B.G., and Cook, P.F.
Arch. Biochem.
Refereed(Peer reviewed) Journals
Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for parentage assessment in captive populations of roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)
Sawyer, G. M. and Benjamin, R. C.
Molecular Ecology Notes 6, 677-679
Refereed(Peer reviewed) Journals

Gossypium hirsutum carbonic anhydrase (CAH2) gene, complete sequence (AF482951)

Wessler, H.G., Chapman, K.D. and Benjamin, R. C.
toggle toggle Presentations and Projects
  Presentations/Projects per page   1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 
Start DateEnd DatePresentation/Project
 1996 “Forensic Anthropology: Use of DNA Typing to Identify Human Remains” to the Texas District and County Attorneys Association 19th Annual Investigators School, Austin, TX.
 1996 “DNA Profiling: What the Defense Bar Needs to Know” to the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas CJA Panel Training Meeting, Dallas, TX.
 1996 “Molecular Basis for Cancer” to the Prostate Cancer Survivors Support Group, Denton, TX.
 1996 “Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cancer,” Medical City Dallas Hospital, Dallas, TX.
 1996 “DNA Profiling: Applications of Molecular Biology to Forensic Investigations and Clinical Screening”, UNT Dept Biology (Beta Beta Beta), Denton, TX
toggle toggle External Funding
 Performance Period (YYYY - YYYY or Present)TitleSponsorFundingRoleStatus
2002-2005“Biochemistry and Genetics of Bacterial Cyanide Oxidation”National Science Foundation$390,000Principal InvestigatorCompleted
1989-1992"Genomic Mapping of Pseudomonas Biodegradative Genes for Applications in Biotechnology."Texas Advanced Research Program287,674Co-PICompleted
1986-1988"Genetic Engineering of Rhizobium for Biodegradation in Texas Soils."Texas Advanced Technology Research Fund285,000Co-PICompleted
toggle toggle Consulting Activities
 Performance Period (YYYY - YYYY or Present)*Company/OrganizationRoleFundingWork Performed
1988Prosecutors and defense lawyers on more than 200 criminal and civil cases since 1988 (beginning with TX vs. Barry Kelly) involving DNA profiling/analysisOther These consultant activities have been in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico, Iowa and the District of Columbia and have involved both state and federal courts
0000Consult and collaborate with Biosynthesis Laboratories (Lewisville, Texas)Other A biotechnology firm dealing primarily in the areas of DNA sequence analysis and the synthesis of oligo- and polynucleotides for use as linkers, probes, etc.
toggle toggle Teaching
Advanced Molecular Biology (BIOC 6600)

Advanced Techniques in Molecular Biology (BIOL 5180)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Gene (BIOL/BIOC 4570-4580)

Current Research Topics in Molecular Biology (BIOL 6010.026)

Forensic Molecular Biology (BIOL 4590)

Genetics (BIOL 3451)

Honors Principles of Biology I (BIOL 1711)

Molecular Biology (BIOL 5340)

Molecular Biotechnology (BIOL 4770)

Principles of Biology I (BIOL 1710)

Principles of Biology II (BIOL 1720)

Radiation Safety (BIOL 5080)

Techniques Microbial and Molecular Biology (BIOL 5160)

Zoology (BIOL 1320)

toggle toggle Mentoring/Advising
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)Student NameClassificationTypeProject/Thesis/Dissertation
2008Meredith TurnboughMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2007Peggy CheneyBiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2007Varshana GurusamyMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2007Emily DauphinBiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2007Cindy BiggsBiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Kamran AzadMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Tristan AlvaradeBiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Amy SmutsMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Meredith TurnboughMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Heath W. WesslerMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Lynn PrestonMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2005Richa KapilMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2003Saad HassanMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2002Gregory M. SawyerMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2001Martti RantalaBiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2001Phillip C. WilliamsonMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
2000Joseph P. WarrenMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
1999Melinda WilliamsonMolecular BiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
1999Lynn CarterBiochemistryGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
1999Kamran Nikkhah-AzadBiologyGraduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Joni Whitmore(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Carolyn Van Winkle(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Douglas R. Hares(Mol. Biol. Program), Ph.D.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Phillip C. Williamson(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Andrea Local(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998William J. Watson(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Greg M. Sawyer(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998Sarah Buxkemper(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1998James H. Deford(Biology), Ph.D.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1997Parvaneh Shariat-Torbaghan(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1997Michelle Guigneaux(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1992Pyeong Soo [“P. S.”] Jeong(Molecular Biology), Ph.D.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1992Teh-Tsai [“Thomas”] Chang(Molecular Biology), Ph. D.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1992Ronald F. Baker(Molecular Biology), Ph. D.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1992Xuebin Luo(Molecular Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1992Elahe Azadpour(Molecular Biology), Ph.D.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1990Hamid S. Khedairy(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1990Mohsen Ahmadian-Tehrani(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1989John A. Voss(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
1987Abdolkarim Asghari(Biology), M.S.Graduate Mentoring/Advising 
toggle toggle Committees
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)CommitteePositionClassification
2006-presentCommittee on the Evaluation of Administrators  
2006-presentUniversity Review Committee  
2005-presentScholarly Misconduct Committee  
1987-presentUNT Biological Safety CommitteeChairman 
1986-presentUNT Radiation Safety Committee Dept. of Biol. Sciences Radiation Safety Officer
2002-2005Oversight Committee for the Core Curriculum  
2000-2005University Review Committee  
1999-2005University Academic Affairs Committee  
1999-2005University Core Curriculum Assessment Committee  
1999-2005Faculty Senate  
1990-2005Texas Woman's University Biological Safety CommitteeMember 
 Federation of North Texas Area Universities Molecular Biology Committee  
toggle toggle Memberships
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)OrganizationPositionClassification
 Phi Beta KappaMember 
toggle toggle Honors and Recognitions
YearTitleHonoring Organization
1975Phi Beta KappaJohns Hopkins University
1974Graduated with general and departmental honorsJohns Hopkins University
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