UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Dr. Cheng-Chen Huang, assistant professor of biology, is the 2012 Distinguished Teacher.
Dr. Huang received his bachelor degree in Marine Resources from the National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan and a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Rutgers University, NJ. After concluding his doctoral studies, Dr. Huang continued his research career for nearly 10 years, first in the Genetics Department at Washington University in St. Louis and then at the National Research Institute Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
Dr. Huang joined the Biology Department of UWRF in 2008 and has been teaching courses in general biology, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, senior seminar, and undergraduate research.
While engaged in substantial teaching, Dr. Huang also maintains an active research agenda involving UWRF students and colleagues. He has been awarded multiple grants for his research using zebra fish embryos to discover new chemical compounds to combat heart failure. Dr. Huang’s project has the potential to discover new medications for heart failure in humans due to the similarity of the cardiac physiology of both zebra fish embryo and human hearts. In the past four years, more than 20 students have been involved in the project; several of them were awarded summer research grants from UWRF and other high profile research institutions. Many of his students have presented their projects at local and national undergraduate research conferences.
Dr. Huang incorporates global perspectives and practices in his teaching and research. In 2011, he led UWRF’s first ever science-based research, study and ecotourism abroad program to Taiwan. Dr. Huang accompanied three students on the four-week program to Academia Sinica in Taipei City, Chungshan Medical University and China Medicine University in Taichung City and the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pintong County. Throughout the program, students tested extracts from Chinese herbs and marine species with Dr. Huang’s zebra fish model in hopes of identifying drug solutions from natural resources. During their time spent in Taiwan, these students also learned about Chinese medicine and natural product extraction through basic organic chemistry procedures.