Department of Zoology

David G. Pennock
Professor and Acting Chair
Ph.D. University of Washington, 1986
molecular and cell biology

248 PSN

241C PSN


Office Hours:
  Monday . . . .
  Tuesday . . . . 9:30 - 10:30
  Wednesday . . 9:30 - 10:30
  Thursday. . . .
  Friday. . . . . . Others by appt.

Biographical Information:

David Pennock is a molecular cell biologist who is interested in mechanisms of ciliary motility. Cilia and flagella use multiple, different types of dyneins to drive movement of the organelle. Dr. Pennock is interested in how the different dyneins are organized along the axoneme and in the role(s) each different dynein plays in ciliary motility. To address those problems, Dr. Pennock and his students clone and analyze dynein heavy chain genes from the unicellular protozoan, Tetrahymena thermophila. They introduce mutations into different dynein heavy chain genes in Tetrahymena by targeted gene knockout. They analyze the phenotypes of the mutants in order to infer the functions of each dynein. Students in the Pennock lab have introduced mutations into both outer and inner arm dynein heavy chain genes.

Dr. Pennock and his students use molecular biological techniques to clone and manipulate the dynein heavy chain genes in vitro and biolistics to put the manipulated genes back into Tetrahymena. His students use biochemical techniques to analyze ciliary proteins, high speed video light microscopy to investigate cell behavior and electron microscopy to study the organization of dyneins in ciliary axonemes. Thus, research in Dr. Pennock's laboratory extends from the gene to the organism, which offers his students the opportunity to learn and use techniques that range from molecular biology to biochemistry to microscopy.

Courses Taught:

  1. Biological Concepts (ZOO 116)
  2. Cell Biology (ZOO 203)
  3. Genetics (ZOO 342)
  4. Molecular Biology (ZOO 444/544)
  5. Seminar in Molecular Biology (ZOO 650)
  6. Graduate Seminar (ZOO 710)

Recent Publications:

  1. Hennessey, T.M., Kim, D.Y., Oberski, D.J., Hard, R., Rankin, S.A., and Pennock, D.G. 2002. Inner arm dynein 1 is essential for Ca++-dependent ciliary reversals in Tetrahymena thermophila. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 53:281-288.

  2. Deckman, C.M., and Pennock, D.G. 2004. Dephosphorylation of inner arm 1 is associated with ciliary reversals in Tetrahymena thermophila. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 57:73-83.

  3. Liu, S., Hard, R., Rankin, S., Hennessey, T., and Pennock, D.G. 2004. Disruption of Genes Encoding Predicted Inner Arm Dynein Heavy Chains Causes Motility Phenotypes in Tetrahymena. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 59:201-214.

  4. Liu, S., Hennessey, T., Rankin, S., and Pennock, D.G. 2005. Mutations in Genes Encoding Inner Arm Dynein Heavy Chains in Tetrahymena thermophila lead to axonemal hypersensitivity to Ca++. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 62:133-140.

  5. Rajagopalan, V., A. Subramanian, D.E. Wilkes, D.G. Pennock, and D.J. Asai. 2009. Dynein-2 affects the regulation of ciliary length but is not required for ciliogenesis in Tetrahymena thermophila. Mol. Biol. Cell, 20:708-720.