Kenneth J. Saville

Professor of Biology

[email protected]

B.S., Western Michigan University, 1985
Ph.D. Syracuse University, 1992

Appointed: 1995

Expertise Areas: Drosophila, genetics, transposable elements, DNA repair, proteasomes, cancer

Current Courses:
Biology 210: Cell and Molecular Biology

Biology 317: Genetics

Biology 362: Molecular Biology

LA101: Genes and Society

Research Interests:
Dr. Saville is a geneticist whose primary research organism is the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Recent research has focused on transposable elements in Drosophila and related insects. Transposable elements are discrete segments of DNA with the ability to “jump” into and out of chromosomes. Transposable elements are used to introduce genes into the chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster, however such elements have not been utilized in insects of agricultural or medical significance. A goal of current and future research is to develop transposable elements that allow the genetic manipulation of such species. A second area of interest is the basic genetic processes that control animal development. In this area, Dr. Saville has studied a gene essential for Drosophila development. This work revealed a role for this gene in the proteolytic degradation of cellular proteins. The relationship of this function to development remains a mystery, however similar genes are present in virtually all organisms, suggesting their fundamental significance in biology. Classical and molecular genetic approaches will be used to continue to investigate this gene’s function in Drosophila development.