Stephen W. Downing

MED - Image - Size 2 - StephenDowningAssociate Professor

Research

My early research interests involved investigation of the role of specific cytoskeletal components (microtubules and intermediate filaments) in the differentiation and function of specialized epithelial cells in the integument of primitive fishes (lampreys and hagfish).

More recently my research endeavors have been directed towards the development of alternative approaches to traditional methods of teaching in a medical school curriculum. To that end I have been involved in the development of multimedia based-, computer-assisted-, and web-based instructional programs and animations related to the teaching of histology and/or cell biology. I am also interested in evaluating the efficacy of these alternative approaches to teaching.

Education

  • 1965 B.A. College of Wooster, Wooster, OH (Biology)
  • 1969 Ph.D. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (Biology)
  • 1969-1972 Post-doctoral appointment: Assistant in Biology, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Research Associate, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Teaching

  • Course Director, Med 6510: Histopathology
  • Med 6573: Nervous System
  • Med 6762: Endocrine and Reproductive System

Publications on PubMed

Selected Publications:

Downing, S.W. and Novales, R.R. (1971a). The fine structure of lamprey epidermis.
I. Introduction and mucous cells. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 35: 282-294.

Downing, S.W. and Novales, R.R. (1971b). The fine structure of lamprey epidermis.
II. Club cells. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 35: 295-303.

Downing, S.W. and Novales, R.R. (1971c). The fine structure of lamprey epidermis.
III. Granular cells. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 35: 304-313.

Downing, S.W. and Roth, S.I. (1974c). The derivation of the cells of the epidermal strata of the boa constrictor (Constrictor constrictor). J. Invest. Dermatol. 62: 450-475.

Spitzer, R.H., Downing, S.W., Koch, E.A. and Kaplan, M.A. (1976b). Hemagglutinins in the mucus of Pacific hagfish, Eptatretus stouti. Comp. Biochem. & Physiol. 54B: 409-411.

Spitzer, R.H., Downing, S.W. and Koch, E.A. (1979a). Metabolic and morphologic events in the integument of the Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stouti). Cell Tissue Res. 197: 235-255.

Downing, S.W. and Spitzer, R.H. (1979c). Hagfish epidermal tissue: a potential model system for the study of secretory cells and secretory cell products. Anat. Rec. 193: 526-527.

Downing, S.W., Spitzer, R.H., Salo, W.L., Downing, J.S., Saidel, L.J. and Koch, E.A. (1981a). Threads in the hagfish slime gland thread cells: organization, biochemical features, and length. Science 212: 326-328.

Downing, S.W., Salo, W.L., Spitzer, R.H. and Koch, E.A. (1981b). The hagfish slime gland: a model system for studying the biology of mucus. Science 214: 1143-1145.

Prohaska, J.R., Downing, S.W. and Lukasewycz, O.A. (1983a). Chronic dietary copper deficiency alters biochemical and morphological properties of mouse lymphoid tissues. J. Nutr. 113: 1583-1590.

Salo, W.L., Downing, S.W., Lidinsky, W.A., Gallagher, W.H., Spitzer, R.H. and Koch, E.A. (1983b). Fractionation of hagfish slime gland secretions: partial characterization of the mucous vesicle fraction. Prep. Biochem. 3: 103-135.

Downing, S.W., Spitzer, R.H., Koch, E.A. and Salo, W.L. (1984a). The hagfish slime gland thread cell.
I. A unique cellular system for the study of intermediate filaments and intermediate filament-microtubule interactions. J. Cell Biol. 98: 653-669.

Spitzer, R.H., Downing, S.W., Koch, E.A., Salo, W.L. and Saidel, L.J. (1984b). Hagfish slime gland thread cells.
II. Isolation and characterization of intermediate filament components associated with the thread. J. Cell Biol. 98: 670-677.

Gadbois, D.M., Salo, W.L., Ann, D.K., Downing, S.W., and Carlson, D.M. (1988). The preparation of poly(A)+mRNA from the hagfish slime gland. Prep.Biochem. 18: 67-76.

Spitzer, R.H., Koch, E.A., and Downing, S.W. (1988). Maturation of hagfish gland thread cells: composition and characterization of intermediate filament polypeptides. Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 11: 31-45.

Koch, E.A., Spitzer, R.H., Pithawalla, R.B., and Downing, S.W. (1991). Keratin-like components of gland thread cells modulate the properties of mucus from hagfish (Eptatretus-stouti). Cell Tissue Res. 264: 79-86.

Selected Annotated Educational Products/Papers:

Downing, S. and Falconer, S. (1991). Histology via videodisc: providing instructional alternatives. Learning Resources Journal, Oct/Nov, Univ. of Minnesota Health Sciences.

Downing, S.W. (1991). Histology: A Photographic Atlas©. A videodisc containing approximately 24,000 histology images published by Image PSL, St. Paul, MN. This videodisc was successfully marketed nationally and internationally.

Downing, S.W. (1991). Histology: A Photographic Atlas©. A 244-page barcode book that interfaces with the histology videodisc; published by Image PSL, St. Paul,MN.

Downing, S.W. (1992). Histology VideoIndex. A computer program that interfaced with the histology videodisc and served as a data-base, index, and instructional tool for users of the histology videodisc. Published by Keyboard Publishing, Blue Bell, PA.

Downing, S.W. (1994). Histology Text Stack. This CD-ROM computer program married an electronic version of a very popular histology textbook (Junqueira, et al., Histology, 1993, 7th edition, Appleton Lange), with the histology videodisc and permitted cross-referencing of the text book with specific images on the videodisc. Keyboard Publishing, Blue Bell, PA.

Downing, S.W. (1994). Histology Quiz Bank. This computer program allows the users to quiz themselves on histology principles and uses the histology textbook by Junqueira et al., Histology, 7th edition, 1993 (Appleton Lange), as the information source for the quiz questions. Keyboard Publishing, Blue Bell, PA.

Downing, S.W. (1995). Histology Time™. This computer program, written in SuperCard, was an educational program that drove the laser disk player and retrieved images stored on the videodisk for viewing. University of Minnesota.

Downing, S.W. (2001). Histology Time on CD©, version 1.0. University of Minnesota. This product is a self-contained CD-ROM that is interactive and includes ~5,000 histology images. It was marketed on a national and international scale beginning summer, 2001. This CD-ROM brought the histology laboratory into the students’ home environment and could be used on any laptop computer.

Downing, S.W. (2002). Histology Time on CD©, version 1.1. University of Minnesota. This product represents a slight modification of version 1.0. It was first marketed nationally and internationally beginning summer, 2002.

Downing, S.W. (2007). Histology Time on the Web©, version 1.0. University of Minnesota. This product represents a browser-based version of Histology Time on CD© and is in the final stages of beta-testing. Site license access to this web-based version of Histology Time should be available in the fall of 2007.

 

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