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Faculty Profile

Donna L. PattisonDonna L. Pattison

Instructional Professor and Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Affairs
Department of Biology and Biochemistry

Office: Science Teaching Laboratory Building, 108C
Contact: - (713) 743-2642

Education: Ph.D., Rice University

Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Donna Pattison’s primary interest is in the development of strong curriculum and instructional methods for undergraduate programs in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Our program seeks to engage students through active-learning activities in large-enrollment freshman-level courses. Activities range from clicker questions, think-pair-share discussions, and classroom demonstrations. Additionally, curriculum for recitation sessions to complement lecture instruction has been developed. Recitations are led by undergraduate teaching assistants who facilitate the small group activities. Pattison has developed a training program covering teaching pedagogy for NSM’s undergraduate peer facilitators. A separate workshop program has been developed for departmental faculty.

Her research interest currently lies in the development of biomaterials from Drosophila ultrabithorax (Ubx) protein. The project is in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Bondos at Texas A&M Health Science Center. Undergraduate students in Pattison’s BCHS4311 Biochemistry II Laboratory course must review the literature, develop a question to test, design a protocol, carry out their experiment, and adapt and modify their protocols based on their results. Student teams present their work in a seminar format to their peers and their invited guests at a Saturday Ubx Student Showcase. Each student also prepares a journal-style manuscript to report their work. Interesting findings and results are shared with the Bondos Lab for further study by undergraduate summer research students selected from the BCHS4311 class and her graduate student team. The project is designed to provide students with a true research experience and an opportunity to contribute to the knowledge base on biomaterials.

Honors and Awards:

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Recognition of Excellence for the Comprehensive Student Success Program (awarded to the University for the work of the CSSP team). (July 24, 2014)
  • University of Houston Women’s Resource Center Spotlight (September 2013)
  • University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award for Instructional Faculty (2012)
  • Integrated Graduate Education Research Training Grant from National Science Foundation (October 2001-August 2002)
  • Keystone Symposia Travel Award (January 2002)
  • Graduate Student Travel Award for 12th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (Spring 2001)

Organizations, Outreach, Boards, Memberships:

  • Faculty Advisor: Horticulture Society at UH


  • Association for Biology Laboratory Educators (2009-present)
    • 2016 Conference Host
    • Co-Vice President, Board of Directors (2016-2017)
  • UH Faculty Senate Executive Committee (2015-2017)
    • Faculty Senate Secretary (2016-2017)
  • American Society for the Advancement of Science (April 2007-present)
  • National Science Teachers Association (April 2007-present)


  • Science and Engineering Fair of Houston
    • Coordinator for the Plant Science Division (2014-present)
    • Judge in Plant Science Division (2013)