Jeffrey Sands, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Iacocca Hall, Room B-217
111 Research Drive
Bethelehem, PA 18015
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."
This quote from noted evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky dates from 1973, the year I joined the faculty of Lehigh University. Over the years since then, I've been able to work, learn, and explore with many excellent undergraduate and graduate students "at the bench" in the laboratory. Research projects in biophysical virology spanned the 70s, 80s, and 90s: we studied the replication and stability properties of lipid-containing viruses, the structural aspects of heat-stable viruses, and structural-functional properties of human papillomaviruses. Along the way, we also investigated aspects of the molecular genetics of several species of bacteria and fungi. Overall, we published over 50 journal articles on the results of these various research projects. Three of them are listed below, one on bacteriophage structure, one on bacterial genetics, and one on papillomavirus function. Other representative papers from my 15 doctoral students are listed here.
Bacteriophage structure: Lawrence, H.M., and J.A. Sands. 1992. Structure of two theromphilic bacteriophages and their DNA genomes during heat inactivation. Journal of Structural Biology 109: 177-183
Bacterial genetics: Norwood, D. A., and J. A. Sands. 1997. Physical map of the Clostridium difficile chromosome. Gene 201: 159-168.
Papillomavirus function: Joyce, J.G., J.S. Tung, C.T. Przysiecki, J.C. Cook, E.D. Lehman, J.A. Sands, K.U. Jansen, and P.M. Keller. 1999. The L1 major capsid protein of human papillomavirus type 11 recombinant virus-like particles interacts with heparin and cell-surface glycoaminoglycans on human keratinocytes. Journal of Biological Chemistry 274: 5810-5822.
My main scholarship interest now is the synergism of biophysical and evolutionary perspectives, with a particular interest in questions about viral origins and diversity. Some of this theoretical research interest is considered in my upper level course in Virology.