Terry H. Bird, PhD
Associate Professor, Biology
Terry Bird, PhD, joined the USD faculty in 2005. His primary teaching responsibilities include undergraduate lecture and laboratory courses in genetics and microbiology. His research is focused on elucidating the signal transduction systems used to regulate development in bacteria.
PhD, University of British Columbia, Microbiology
BSc, University of British Columbia, Microbiology
Scholarly and Creative Work
Bird's research is centered on examining the regulation of developmental processes and global control of gene expression in bacteria. As a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow, he studied sporulation in Bacillus subtilis and the regulation of photosynthesis gene expression in Rhodobacter capsulatus. He has also conducted cancer research within the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the National Institutes of Health. Bird’s research at USD comprises significant student involvement. Most recently, his lab employed a genetic approach to identify genes required for encystment in the purple, photosynthetic bacteria, Rhodospirillum centenum. Several of these genes code for signal transduction factors and Bird is now working to determine how they contribute to the timely initiation of cyst development. Bird has co-authored research and review articles have appeared in various journals including Molecular Microbiology, Journal of Molecular Biology and Cell.
Bird is the departmental coordinator for courses in genetics. This includes a lecture course that surveys Mendelian, molecular and population genetics that serves as a gateway to all upper division biology classes. Bird also teaches a lecture and laboratory course in microbiology that emphasizes the diversity of microbial life by examining the physiology and various forms of energy metabolism exhibited by different bacteria. In addition, Bird teaches a senior seminar course and a preceptorial biology class for freshman.