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Michael Cummings is the author and coauthor of a number of widely used college textbooks, including BIOLOGY: SCIENCE AND LIFE; CONCEPTS OF GENETICS; GENETICS: A MOLECULAR PERSPECTIVE; ESSENTIALS OF GENETICS; HUMAN HEREDITY; and HUMAN GENETICS AND SOCIETY. He has also written articles on aspects of genetics for the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology and has published a newsletter on advances in human genetics for instructors and students. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Northwestern University. His doctoral work, conducted in the laboratory of Dr. R.C. King, centered on ovarian development in Drosophila melanogaster. After a year on the faculty at Northwestern, he moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where for many years he held teaching and research positions. In 2003, he joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and currently holds the title of Research Professor. His current research interests involve the organization of DNA sequences in the short-arm and centromere region of human chromosome 21. He is engaged in a collaborative effort to construct a physical map of this region of chromosome 21 for the purpose of exploring molecular mechanisms of chromosome interactions. At the undergraduate level, he has focused on teaching genetics, human genetics for non-majors, and general biology to majors and non-majors. He has received awards given by the university faculty for outstanding teaching, has twice been voted by graduating seniors as the best teacher in their years on campus, and has received several teaching awards from student organizations.
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