Dr. Timothy Carter, Professor of Biological Sciences, has taught
at St. John’s for thirty-five years, and particularly enjoys
teaching Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology to
freshmen in the Honors Program. He has been doing so for the last
five years. Dr. Carter believes that one of the best ways to
foster engagement in biological science is to give students at the
start of their college years a chance to attend major national
research conferences for working scientists. Indeed, one of his
many contributions to the Program has been bringing his
undergraduates to these cancer and molecular biology meetings every
Dr. Carter was founding Director of the National Institutes of
Health (NIH)-funded St. John’s Initiative for Minority Student
Development and the Minority Biomedical Research (MBRS) training
programs, and has served as Chair of the Department of Biological
Sciences at the University. He has also chaired the Review
Committee on Personnel for the American Cancer Society, and was a
member of the MBRS national review committee at the
From 1992-2002 he was a Senior Scientist at the Feinstein
Institute for Medical Research while continuing to teach at St.
John’s. He is currently a member of the Biochemistry Program
Accreditation Review Committee for the ASBMB. Before joining
the faculty at St. John’s, Dr. Carter was an Assistant Professor at
Penn State University School of Medicine. He attended Phillips
Andover, received an A.B. in Biology from Harvard and a Ph.D. in
Biochemistry from Princeton.
Dr. Carter’s forty-year research career has focused on gene
regulation, virus replication, cancer cell biology, cell stress
response, and most recently on ways to exploit the nutritionally
stressed state of cancer cells to improve cancer therapy. His
research group – always including undergraduates – has published
over sixty original research papers and book chapters and received
nearly $4 million in competitive research funding. One
of the signature achievements of Dr. Carter's lab at St.
John’s has been the discovery and molecular characterization of a
new kind of enzyme involved in the repair of DNA damage and also in
the generation of antibody diversity, the DNA-dependent protein
kinase DNA-PKcs. Many of his students have gone on to careers
in medicine and academia, and two of his former postdoctoral
research fellows are now on the faculty of St. John’s.
A lifelong believer in the value of a liberal arts education,
Dr. Carter has enthusiastically taken up the opportunity to teach a
course on evolution to non-science majors as part of the University
Core Curriculum. He has also enjoyed contributing to the
cultural life at St. John’s as a cellist, organizing and performing
in an annual chamber music concert sponsored by the Honors Program.
It is hardly surprising that the University Honors Program
considers him one of its most valued faculty members.