William Carr D.V.M., Ph.D.
Duke University, Durham, N. C. 1988 BS Zoology/ Russian
North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, N. C. 1992 D.V.M. Veterinary Medicine
Stanford University, Stanford, C.A. 2004 Ph.D. Immunology
One of the guiding principles of my teaching philosophy is succinctly stated as follows: “Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own." -- Nikos Kazantzakis (2012). In my opinion good teaching is a dynamic process that blurs the distinction between student and teacher. This attribute is applicable both to teaching undergraduates in a classroom setting and to mentoring undergraduate students conducting research. As a teacher, my role is to empower students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for them to solve problems that are related to the discipline of immunology or the field of biology in general. I emphasize that we all use scientific principles in our daily lives, whether or not we pursue a career in science. In mu courses, I follow principles of scientific teaching by assessing the students to find out what they know and what common misconceptions they may have to determine how I might best engage their interest in learning. Following a brief overview lecture, students are encouraged to actively participate through small group (4-8 students per group) problem-based activities when the class size is amenable. In these lectures I use Power Point presentations to convey ideas rather than to be the message itself. As an instructor my responsibilities are to provide adequate background resources and feedback for the students to develop skills in applying fundamental biological principles. Whenever possible, I try to incorporate interactive internet-based tutorials or videos and in class exercises. Since peer interactions are an essential component of this teaching process, distance learning or blended learning would not be effective. I also encourage students to meet with me during my scheduled office hours, or at a time that is suitable with their schedule, to discuss in person problems that they may be having understanding the material. I acknowledge that students learn in many different ways so I provide diverse media for learning that include videos, on-line tutorials, clinical cases, and small group activities. To determine the background and abilities of the students at the beginning of a course I administer a short survey of their prior experiences. This assessment allows me to determine the level of instruction that is needed. Throughout my courses I administer frequent tests that include multiple choice questions and short essays. These tests provide an assessment of communication skills and evaluate multiple levels of learning on the Bloom’s learning scale. To present topics incorporating fundamental immunological principles I present case reports or classical research studies. This method provides a tangible, reality-based perspective for understanding abstract concepts. This approach also provides opportunities for the students to develop skills in reading primary source papers and expressing their ideas in writing in light of our current understanding of the subject. I strongly believe that even students in an introductory biology course should have opportunities to analyze primary data in a lecture course.
My overall aim is to help students gain a deeper understanding of standard approaches and applications of immunological principles and biological principles, in general. To reinforce concepts discussed in class, I assign take-home problems that require the students to apply what they have learned in new ways. I also assess student learning in real-time through in-class polls and active learning activities. I have designed laboratories to reinforce concepts from the lectures and to introduce common techniques that are used in molecular immunology. I challenge students to develop and test hypotheses in the laboratory exercises. I also teach the students to use theoretical frameworks for problem solving, such as constructing a dichotomous key to classify cell types by morphology or function or a phylogenetic tree to analyze DNA sequences. Such tools have broad applications beyond the field of immunology or science. I have used this approach at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, in teaching the following courses: “Molecular Biotechnology (BIO 472)”, “Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory (BIOL 472), “Molecular Biology Laboratory (BIOL 461), “Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory (BIOL 463)”, “Molecular Neurobiology Lecture (BIO 463)”, General Biology Lecture (BIO 201) and Laboratory (BIOL 201), “Immunology (BIO 331)”, “Immunology Laboratory (BIOL 331)”, and “Principles of Virology (BIO 492)”.
My goals for students are that they should learn the fundamental principles, including the appropriate terminology and general approaches for addressing scientific questions. As science learners in general, I expect students to learn how to read and interpret articles in scientific journals. Also I emphasize strongly critical thinking and learning how to construct a scientific argument. These are value-added benefits from my courses that enhance the abilities of students as learners in general, within the liberal arts educational framework where biology, virology and immunology reside.
- BIO 201 General Biology
- BIOL 201 General Biology Laboratory
- BIO 331 Immunology
- BIOL 331 Immunology Laboratory
- BIO 492 Principles of Virology
- BIO 211 Biotechnology and Society
- BIOL 461 Molecular Biology Laboratory
- BIO 463 Molecular Neurobiology
- BIOL 463 Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
- BIO 472 Molecular Biotechnology
- BIOL 472 Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory
- BIO 499 Independent Study
The overall aim of my research is to develop new therapeutic interventions to treat or prevent HIV disease that exploit mechanisms of innate immunity. Using multi-parametric flow cytometry and in vitro cellular immunology assay systems, I aim to quantify natural killer (NK) cell and monocyte/ macrophage responses in blood and at extravascular sites, including the vaginal mucosa. Using molecular biology-based approaches (recombinant proteins, qRT-PCR, cytokine arrays) I also aim to determine the underlying molecular mechanisms of innate immunity that modulate disease severity in HIV-associated co-infections. Recently, we discovered the presence of NK cels in HPV-induced genital warts in HIV-1 infected women and are currently focused on better understanding the role of the innate immune system in the pathogenesis of diseases in the urogenital tract of HIV-infected women. This work build upon my prior background and training in NK cell biology and innate immunity. As a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF, I investigated the mechanisms of NK cell recognition of HIV infected cells. At the Ragon Institute (Boston, MA) as well at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, I expanded my research to include innate immune responses in AIDS defining conditions among Black African populations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As PI or co-Investigator on several previous university- and NIH-funded mentored K-grants I laid the groundwork for developing assay systems that can be used by undergraduate or graduate students to address questions in translational research using clinical samples. Through my prior faculty appointments at the Ragon Institute as well as at the University of KwaZulu-Natal I have mentored students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. As an integral part of my research at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY), I continue to mentor African-American students as well as other students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. I am now in a unique position to conduct research both with international collaborators and with local collaborators at SUNY Downstate Medical Center using state of the art technologies available at CUNY. In addition, my research interests are also focused in higher education on understanding how to improve learning outcomes in biological sciences among under-represented minority undergraduate students. In this research I focus on developing novel active learning interventions to enhance student engagement and retention.
Publications (Peer Reviewed Publications- 34)
- Garcia, D.K., M.A. Faggart, L. Rhoades, A.A. Alcivar-Warren, J.A. Wyban, W.H. Carr, J.N. Sweeney, K.M. Ebert. 1994. Genetic diversity of cultured Penaeus vannamei shrimp using three molecular genetic techniques. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 3(5):270-280.
- Carr, W.H., J.N. Sweeney, and J. Swingle. 1994. The Oceanic Institute's SPF shrimp breeding program: preparations and infrastructure. USMSFP 10th Anniversary Review 1994, GCRL Special Publication No. 1, pp. 47-54.
- Carr, W., J. Brock, and J. Swingle. 1995. Oxytetracycline as a therapy for male reproductive tract degeneration syndrome in Penaeus vannamei. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 7:331-336.
- Carr, W.H. 1996. Pathogenic organisms of penaeid shrimp in the Hawaiian Islands. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 46: 15-17.
- Carr, W.H., J.N. Sweeney, L. Nunan, D.V. Lightner, H.H. Hirsch, and J.J. Reddington. 1996. The use of an IHHNV gene probe serodiagnostic field kit for screening of candidate specific pathogen free Penaeus vannamei broodstock. Aquaculture 147: 1-8.
- Godin, D.M., W.H. Carr, G. Hagino, F. Segura, J.N. Sweeney, and L. Blankenship. 1996. Evaluation of a fluorescent elastomer internal tag in juvenile and adult shrimp Penaeus vannamei. Aquaculture 139: 243-248.
- Alcivar-Warren, A., R.M. Overstreet, A.K. Dhar, K. Astrofsky, W.H. Carr, J. Sweeney, and J.M. Lotz. 1997. Genetic Susceptibility of Cultured Shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) to Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus and Baculovirus penaei: Possible Relationship with Growth Status and Metabolic Gene Expression. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 70 (3): 190-197.
- Shum BP, Rajalingam R, Magor KE, Azumi K, Carr WH, Dixon B, Stet RJ, Adkison MA, Hedrick RP, and Parham P. 1999. A divergent non-classical class I gene conserved in salmonids. Immunogenetics 49(6): 479-90.
- Akashi K, Richie LI, Miyamoto T, Carr WH, and Weissman IL. 2000. B Lymphopoiesis in the thymus. J Immunol. 164 (10): 5221-6.
- Gardiner, C.M., Guethlein, L.A., Shilling, H.G., Pando, M., Carr, W.H., Rajalingam, R. Vilches, V. and Parham, P. 2001. Different NK cell surface phenotypes defined by the DX9 antibody are due to KIR3DL1 polymorphism. J. Immunology 166(5):2992-3001.
- Carr WH, Little A-M, Mocarski E, and Parham P. 2002. NK Cell-Mediated Lysis of Autologous HCMV-Infected Skin Fibroblasts Is Highly Variable Among NK Cell Clones and Polyclonal NK Cell Lines. Clinical Immunology 105 (2): 126-140.
- Carr WH, Pando MJ, Parham P. 2005. KIR3DL1 Polymorphisms That Affect NK Cell Inhibition by HLA-Bw4 Ligand. Journal of Immunology 175:5222-5229.
- Carr WH, Rosen DR, Arase H, Nixon DF, Michaelsson J, Lanier LL 2007. Cutting Edge: KIR3DS1, a gene implicated in resistance to progression to AIDS, encodes a DAP12-associated receptor expressed on NK cells that triggers NK cell activation. Journal of Immunology 178 647-651.
- Alter G, Martin MP, Teigen N, Carr WH, Suscovich TJ, Schneidewind A, Streeck H, Waring M, Meier A, Brander C, Lifson JD, Allen TM, Carrington M, Altfeld M. (2007) Differential natural killer cell mediated inhibition of HIV-1 replication based on distinct KIR/HLA subtypes. Journal of Experimental Medicine 204(12):3027-36.
- Ambrose Wong, Katie Williams, Sharon Reddy, Mary Van der Stok, Dudu Ndlovu, Pat Bartman, Janet Giddy, Douglas Wilson, Galit Alter, Musie Ghebremichael, Mary Carrington, Thumbi Ndung’u, Bruce Walker, Marcus Altfeld, and William Carr, (2010) Alterations in natural killer cell receptor profiles during HIV-1 disease progression among chronically infected South African adults. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 26(4):459-469.
- Naranbhai V, Bartman P, Ndlovu D, Ramkalawon P, Ndung’u T, Wilson D, Altfeld M, and Carr WH, (2011) Impact of blood processing variations on Natural Killer cell frequency, activation, chemokine receptor expression and function. Journal of Immunological Methods. 366(1-2): 28-35.
- Hong HA, Loubser AS, de Assis Rosa D, Naranbhai V, Carr W, Paximadis M, Lewis DA, Tiemessen CT and Gray CM (2011) KIR genotyping and HLA KIR-ligand identification by real-time PCR. Tissue Antigens 78: 185-194.
- Ndlovu B, Danaviah S, Moodley E, Ghebremichael M, Bland R, Viljoen J, Newell M-L, Ndung’u T, and Carr WH (2012) Use of Dried Blood Spots for the Determination of Genetic Variation of IL-10, Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor and HLA Class I Genes. Tissue Antigens 79(2): 114-22 (NIH ID: NIHMSID 339763).
- Naranbhai V, Altfeld M, Abdool Karim Q, Ndung'u T, Abdool Karim SS, Carr WH; Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) Tenofovir gel Research for AIDS Prevention Science (TRAPS) Team (2012) Natural killer cell function in women at risk for HIV acquisition: insights from a microbicide trial. AIDS. 26(14):1745-53.
- Naranbhai V, Abdool-Karim S.S., Altfeld M, Samsunder N, Durgiah R, Abdool-Karim Q, and Carr WH; Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) Tenofovir gel Research for AIDS Prevention Science (TRAPS) Team (2012) Innate Immune activation enhances HIV acquisition in women, diminishing the effectiveness of tenofovir microbicide gel. Journal of Infectious Diseases.206(7):993-1001
- Naranbhai V, Altfeld M, Abdool-Karim S, Ndung’u T, Abdool-Karim Q, and Carr WH; Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) Tenofovir gel Research for AIDS Prevention Science (TRAPS) Team (2013) Changes in Natural Killer cell activation and function during primary HIV-1 infection. PLoS One. 8(1):e53251. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053251. Epub 2013 Jan 9.
- Naranbhai V, Samsunder N, Sandler NG, Roque A, Abdool-Karim Q, Ndung’u T, Carr WH, Altfeld A, Douek DC, Abdool-Karim S; Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) (2013). Neither microbial translocation nor TLR responsiveness are likely explanations for pre-existing immune activation in women who subsequently acquired HIV in CAPRISA004. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Jul 1;63(3):294-8.
- Chang CC, Lim A, Omarjee S, Levitz SM, Gosnell BI, Spelman T, Elliott JH, Carr WH, Moosa MY, Ndung'u T, Lewin SR, French MA. (2013) Cryptococcosis-IRIS is Associated With Lower Cryptococcus-specific IFN-γ Responses Before Antiretroviral Therapy but Not Higher T-Cell Responses During Therapy. J Infect Dis. Sep;208(6):898-906.
- Chang CC, Omarjee S, Lim A, Spelman T, Gosnell BI, Carr WH, Elliott JH, Moosa MY, Ndung'u T, French MA, Lewin SR. (2013) Chemokine levels and chemokine receptor expression in blood and the CSF of HIV-infected patients with cryptococcal meningitis and C-IRIS. J Infect Dis. 2013 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]
- Bere A, Tayib S, Kriek J-M, Masson L, Jaumdallya SZ, Barnabas SL. Carr WH, Allan B, Anna-Lise Williamson AL. and Passmore JA (2014) Altered phenotype and function of NK cells infiltrating Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-associated genital warts during HIV infection. Clinical Immunology 150(2): 210-9.
- Brown GD, Meintjes G, Kolls JK, Gray C, Horsnell W; Working Group from the EMBO-AIDS Related Mycoses Workshop, Achan B, Alber G, Aloisi M, Armstrong-James D, Beale M, Bicanic T, Black J, Bohjanen P, Botes A, Boulware DR, Brown G, Bunjun R, Carr W, Casadevall A, Chang C, Chivero E, Corcoran C, Cross A, Dawood H, Day J, De Bernardis F, De Jager V, De Repentigny L, Denning D, Eschke M, Finkelman M, Govender N, Gow N, Graham L, Gryschek R, Hammond-Aryee K, Harrison T, Heard N, Hill M, Hoving JC, Janoff E, Jarvis J, Kayuni S, King K, Kolls J, Kullberg BJ, Lalloo DG, Letang E, Levitz S, Limper A, Longley N, Machiridza TR, Mahabeer Y, Martinsons N, Meiring S, Meya D, Miller R, Molloy S, Morris L, Mukaremera L, Musubire AK, Muzoora C, Nair A, Nakiwala Kimbowa J, Netea M, Nielsen K, O'hern J, Okurut S, Parker A, Patterson T, Pennap G, Perfect J, Prinsloo C, Rhein J, Rolfes MA, Samuel C, Schutz C, Scriven J, Sebolai OM, Sojane K, Sriruttan C, Stead D, Steyn A, Thawer NK, Thienemann F, Von Hohenberg M, Vreulink JM, Wessels J, Wood K, Yang YL.(2014) Trends Microbiol. Mar;22(3):107-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2013.12.008.
- Apalata T, Carr WH, Sturm W, Lonso-Mbenza B, and P Moodley (2014) Determinants of Symptomatic Vulvovaginal Candidiasis among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type I Infected Women in Rural Kwazulu-Natal , South Africa. Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynocolog 2014:387070. doi: 10.1155/2014/387070. Epub 2014 Apr 9.
- Apalata T, Longo-Mbenza B, Sturm A, Carr W, Moodley P. (2014) Factors Associated with Symptomatic Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: A Study Among Women Attending a Primary Healthcare Clinic in Kwazulu-Natal, south Africa. Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2014 May;4(3):410-6.
- Apalata T, Longo-Mbenza B, Sturm A, Carr W, Moodley P. (2014) Expression of toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and TLR4 in monocytes following stimulations by genital secretions of HIV infected and uninfected women with symptomatic vulvo-vaginal candidiasis. International Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences. 6(5): 134-139.
- Apalata T, Carr WH, Lonso-Mbenza B, Sturm W, and P Moodley (2014) Association between symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis and HIV RNA levels in plasma and genital secretions among women on HAART. South African Journal of HIV Medicine 15(2): 57-64.
- Naranbhai V, Chang CC, Durgiah R, Omarjee S, Lim AY, Moosa MY, Elliot JH, Ndung’u T, Lewin SR, French MA, and Carr WH (2014) Compartmentalisation of innate immune responses in the central nervous system during human cryptococcal meningitis/ HIV co-infection. AIDS. 28(5): 657-66.
- Naranbhai V, de Assis Rosa D, Werner L, Moodley R, Hong H, Kharsany A, Mlisana K, Sibeko S, Garrett N, Chopera D, Carr WH, Abdool Karim Q, Hill AV, Abdool Karim SS, Altfeld M, Gray CM, Ndung'u T. (2016) Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) gene profiles modify HIV disease course, not HIV acquisition in South African women. BMC Infect Dis. 16(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-1361-1.
- Carr WH (2020) Using Pillars of Immunology Research Articles to Enhance Problem Solving Skills Among Undergraduate Students. American Association of Immunologists Newsletter (in press).
- Zhua X, Aoyamab E, Birk A, Onasanyaa O, Carr WH, Mourokhe L, Minteer S, and Vittadello M. (2020), Cytochrome c Oxidase Oxygen Reduction Reaction induced by Cytochrome c on Nickel-Coordination Surfaces based on Graphene Oxide in Suspension”, BBA-Bioenergetics. (submitted).
Guidelines for BIO 331 Group Presentations
Article Selection: There are 7 scientific articles from Pillars of Immunology to choose from. Your group should rank the articles in order of first preference to last preference. I will have your group pick a number from a hat and this will determine the order that you will get to choose the article that your group will present. Similarly, the day that your group presents will be selected in reverse order, in that the first group to choose their article will be the last group to choose which day they will present.
Grading Rubric: Each Group will have 20 min. for their presentation, which includes questions from peers and the instructor. You may use any format for the presentation that you deem appropriate. The groups will be graded on the following five criteria with equal value (20 points for each category ):
- Discussion of the significance of this work. Explain which aspect of the immune system (innate or adaptive, cellular or humoral this article is most relevant). Place this work into the context of the field at the time it was done, and explain how it changed the field.
- In presenting a figure, the method or approach should be explained and the controls used should be explained (what controls were included and why were these controls included). Explain what the figure shows.
- Participation of all group members is noted. Each group member is expected to present at least one figure on their own.
- Propose how this work could have been improved to strengthen the authors’ conclusions. Weak suggestions such as increasing sample size or including different genders or ethnicities will receive fewer points than suggestions with significant impacts.
- Ability to elicit responses or questions from peers in the audience will be measured and factored into the overall score for the Group.
You will also assign a peer score (0-10) to each of your group members individually to assess their contributions to the group project and their participation. These scores will be averaged and applied as extra credit to your score.