About Me

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Dr. Tony Jelsma

Dr. Tony Jelsma
Professor of Biology

Phone: (712) 722-6278
Email: Tony.Jelsma@dordt.edu

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:

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.