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Dr. Tony Jelsma
Professor of Biology
Phone: (712) 722-6278
I joined the department in 2000. I obtained my Ph.D. in cancer research from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. After this I did cancer research in England and worked on nerve regeneration in Montreal. In 1996 I moved into teaching and I taught at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick before coming to Dordt in 2000. I am chair of the department and presently serve as program advisor for the pre-chiropractic and medical laboratory science programs. My academic and research interests are in molecular biology and developmental biology. I have also followed the creation-evolution debate for many years and teach a class in this area.
More recently, I have become interested in two quite different topics. I recently became aware of a genetic mutation in the phospholamban (PLN) gene, which is found in people of Frisian descent. This mutation causes heart arrhythmias and possible cardiac death. Other Dordt colleagues and I are looking to raise awareness of this mutation. For more information on this condition, go here.
I am also involved in studying the biology of gender. The transgender phenomenon has dramatically increased in prominence recently and has presented a challenge for the church to respond. I have been studying how gender develops and how it might be altered in gender dysphoria.
To keep in shape, I play hockey and get my bike on the road when my schedule and the weather permit.
Some articles I have written for In All Things:
- Models of the Interaction of Science and Religion
- A Reformed Approach to the Interactions of Science and Religion
- A Reformed Approach to the Interactions of Science and Religion (cont’d)
- A Christian Look at the Biology of Gender Dysphoria
- The Limbic System and Christian Sanctification
In collaboration with other science professors I have supervised many student summer research internships in cellular and molecular biology. Some of this work was recently published.
I teach the following courses at Dordt:
- Bio 251 Perspectives on Origins
- Bio 301 Developmental Biology
- Bio 304 Histology
- Bio 325 Human Anatomy
- Bio 326 Human Physiology
- Bio 327 Cadaver Dissection
- Bio 357 Medical Terminology
- Bio 358 Introduction to Biological Research
- Bio 380 Directed Senior Research
Teaching a wide range of courses keeps me stimulated and helps me think of life in a variety of ways.