Dr. Adam Underwood Honored as Outstanding Educator of the Year

Walsh University Professor of Biology Adam Underwood, Ph.D., has been named the Joseph Ezzie Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Class of 2021. Sponsored by the Walsh University Student Government (WUSG), this award is voted on by the Walsh students and given annually to a professor who is a prime example of a true, all-around educator.

Dr. Underwood joined Walsh University in 2006 and currently serves as a Professor of Biology, teaching courses such as Principles of Biology, Anatomy and Physiology; Microbiology; Immunology and Cellular and Molecular Biology Techniques. This is the second time Dr. Underwood has received this award, having earned the honor previously by the Class of 2014.


What Walsh Students Say:

“To say that Dr. Underwood has been an incredible mentor in my life is an understatement. I first met him as a student in his Anatomy and Physiology course as a sophomore, and I was almost immediately inspired by his enthusiasm for teaching and working with students. Not only does Dr. Underwood celebrate the successes of his students, he is an incredible mentor who works tirelessly to encourage our personal growth, and he has been a substantial positive influence during my time here at Walsh.”

In addition to classroom instruction, Dr. Underwood has been instrumental in developing advanced research opportunities for students in Walsh’s science programs working alongside world-renowned scientists through collaborations with top research facilities such as Alabama’s HudsonAlpha, the and Michigan State University, to name a few.

Dr. Underwood also helps bring the real world application of computational biology to Walsh’s Bioinformatics Research Lab. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Underwood and Dr. Freeland led a team of Walsh students in a collaboration Dr. Prokop at Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center to help analyze hundreds of genome sequences to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Aspects of this work continue and it has expanded to include student centric projects focused on viral induced alterations to host cellular genetics and the implications of sex differences on survival out comes. To date, Walsh is one of a select few colleges in Ohio to offer a Bioinformatics degree and consistently produces graduates who are in high demand in the field of exploratory molecular sciences.

Additional ongoing projects include the study of the SRY protein and the 20-member Sry Box Related (SOX) protein family as they relate to various disease states including elevated blood pressure, various cancers and cellular differentiation. This line of research includes international collaborations with Dr. Helen Del Puerto and Dr. Almir Martins of the Federal University of Minas Gerais and Dr. Iandara Silva of the Federal University of de Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil. Prior to Walsh, Dr. Underwood was an instructor with The University of Akron Wayne Campus from 2005-2006 and served as a graduate teaching assistant at The University of Akron from 2001-2007.

Dr. Underwood is a member of The Ohio Academy of Science, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the American Physiologic Society and Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society. He earned his B.S. in Biology from Walsh University in 2000, his M.S. in Biology from The University of Akron and earned his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the School of Biomedical Sciences at Kent State University in 2008.

A Stark County native, Dr. Underwood graduated from Jackson High School and is currently a Lawrence Township resident, where he and his wife of 25 years Eileen, and their three children Cora, Connor and Samuel, spend time enjoying the outdoors.