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Alexander EscobarAssociate Teaching Professor


  • B.S., Genetics, University of California - Davis, 1985
  • Ph.D, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California - Santa Cruz, 1992

Teaching Philosophy

After receiving my Ph.D., I completed my post-doctoral studies at Emory University in the Department of Pharmacology, with Dr. Raymond Dingledine. We worked to identify the agonist binding site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor by constructing receptor chimeras. Chimeras were characterized pharmacologically through transient expression studies in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

The focus of my teaching is student engagement. The form this takes has changed throughout the years and although I still ask my students to think about questions I ask in class, I am moving more and more into using the technological tools we educators have at our disposal. I am currently developing a course in the flipped style of teaching that has students accessing lectures online and outside of class. In class, we work through case studies and other forms of thinking exercises that ask students to use their critical thinking skills.

I am also very interested in the field of visual awareness and am developing tools that I plan to use to teach students about the neural structures that underlie our visual experience.  The hope is that students can actually be involved in some primary research while they are learning about neurobiology.