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Thomas Freeland

Professor of Biology
BS, West Liberty State College; MS West Virginia University; PhD, West Virginia University of Medicine
Dr. Thomas Freeland

Dr. Tom Freeland grew up on the Ohio River amidst the coal and steel industries near Wheeling, WV. After a failed attempt to obtain employment with the railroads that served these industries, he attended West Liberty State College in West Liberty, West Virginia, graduating with a Biology B.S. in May 1980. He also became a classical guitarist during my years at WLSC. After working with the EPA, then as a crisis counselor at a psychiatric hospital (also part-time as a gymnastics coach and as a musician), Freeland entered the West Virginia University Graduate Program in Genetics in 1984. Working with Mike Miller and Jeannine Strobl, he published in the area of DNA damage and repair, then worked on cloning and characterizing the gene regulatory sequences found in the rat Growth Hormone gene.

Freeland earned the M.S. in Genetics and Developmental Biology in August 1988. He continued working with Dr. Strobl for his Ph.D. work, and earned the Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, December 1991. During this time he married Denise Hough (WVU Journalism B.S., English B.A.).

Dr. Freeland then became a Post-doctoral Scholar in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State University. Under the inspiration of Reg Deering, one of the founders of the field of genetic toxicology, he engaged in research projects using the simple (and charming!) eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum. With Reg, he published and presented papers on DNA damage and repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, as well as in individual genes. He also successfully cloned and sequenced two DNA repair-related genes. In the Department of Anthropology at Penn State, the developmental and evolutionary geneticist Ken Weiss needed someone to map a large chromosomal region in the mouse, so he joined that lab for 4 months, and published with them a paper on the mammalian dlx genes.

At that time, Dr. Freeland accepted a position at Walsh, and has been happily engaged as a professor of Biology ever since. He is a scientist who loves to talk about science and work with undergraduates, and this is the perfect place for all three endeavors.

The Freelands now live in Minerva and have two excellent boys; Conor (born 1992) and Duncan (born 1996). They are involved in various musical activities, inidividually and as a family. He put his biological skills to practical use in the making of beer and mead, receiving generally positive comments from beer-knowledgable friends. He is still pursuing his interest in mountain biking, and have recently started the study of karate, because of his belief that exercise is the best lifestyle change that one can make to ensure good health and a long life.

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