Associate Professor of Biology
At Knox Since: 2000
Judith Thorn, who received her Ph.D. from the University of North
Carolina-Chapel Hill, came to Knox in 2000, after holding a post-doctoral
appointment at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
and working as a lecturer at Duke University. A developmental biologist,
she teaches broadly across the biology spectrum, and her scholarship focuses on cellular communication networks and their role on cell development. Since arriving at Knox, she has published three papers, established an active laboratory program, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and has been instrumental in the design and implementation of Knox's newest major, neuroscience, and in the development of the HHMI-funded Summer Science Camp for Girls. She also serves as Knox's pre-medical advisor.
What is your most memorable moment at Knox?
During my first year at Knox, I taught Anatomy and Physiology I to 25 upper class students. The course started with human reproduction and development. About day two or three in class, we were discussing how the testes are maintained at a temperature lower than core body temperature. At this point, Chris Miles '01 piped up, suggesting that we do an experiment to demonstrate that the testis do in fact move in response to environmental temperature-he volunteered Sabir Taj '01 for the demonstration-first at the hot tub at the Fieldhouse and then out at the pond at Green Oaks (it was winter at the time). The class laughed, my face shot red, I thought that I would die, but I continued. In spite of that early class, that group of students and I were able to discuss almost any topic from that point on.
If you weren't a professor, you would be a ... ?
Occupational or recreational therapist, veterinarian.
What is your favorite thing about Galesburg?
I love returning to Galesburg -- there are wonderful places in the world to explore, but Galesburg is a soft place to come back to.
What do you do when you're not teaching or researching?
I garden, read, walk my dogs, and watch Law & Order.
What did you do to celebrate receiving tenure?
Called my husband, finished senior grades, and took a nap. The next day, I went to lunch with colleagues.