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About Dr. Luke Daniels


Personal Statement

Luke Daniels has been at The College of Idaho since 2009, regularly teaching Introductory Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Bioinformatics and a study abroad course in Ecuador.

The goal of Professor Daniels’ current research is to understand cellular signaling in brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme. Professor Daniels regularly works with students in collaborative research projects, and has received funding to support this work from the National Institutes of Health, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and the Mountain State Tumor Institute. Students in the Daniels lab use a number of techniques in their research, including cell culture, molecular biology, fluorescence microscopy, live cell calcium imaging, and computer analyses of biological data (bioinformatics).

Professor Daniels believes that hands-on experiences are an important aspect of science education. He has led projects that have competitively awarded College of Idaho membership into two national teaching consortiums, the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute Science Education Alliance and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory RNA-Seq for the Next Generation project. These projects allow students to participate in authentic research experiences in the classroom, and have resulted in students identifying new microorganisms and receiving co-authorship credit in peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Professor Daniels enjoys the close-knit, collaborative atmosphere among faculty and students at the College of Idaho. He lives with his wife and two young sons, and in his free time enjoys mountain biking and skiing.

Professional Experience

Professor Daniels completed a B.S. in Biology at Seattle Pacific University (2001) and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Southern California (2009). An assortment of other experiences have contributed to his personal and professional development, including selection as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and moving with his family to Indonesia during 2016-2017, working in the biotechnology industry, travelling in Central and South America, and summer jobs in construction while in high school and college.


  • Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of Southern California, 2009
  • B.S. Biology, Seattle Pacific University, 2001


Heggland, S.J., Hovde, C.J., Minnich, S.A., Liou, L.E., and R.L. Daniels. Building a biomedical pipeline: The impact of the Idaho IDeA INBRE summer research experience at a primarily undergraduate institution. Advances in Physiology Education. September 16, 2021. DOI: 10.1152/advan.00232.2020. 
Tavener, A.M., Phelps, M.C., and R.L. Daniels. Anthracycline-induced cytotoxicity in the GL261 glioma model system. Molecular Biology Reports, January 2, 2021. DOI: 10.1007/s11033-020-06109-8.
Strong, A.D., Indart, M.C., Hill, N., and R.L. Daniels. GL261 glioma tumor cells respond to ATP with an intracellular calcium rise and glutamate release. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, January 9, 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s11010-018-3272-5.
Strong, A.D. and R.L. Daniels. Live-cell calcium imaging of adherent and non-adherent GL261 cells reveals phenotype-dependent differences in drug responses. BMC Cancer, August 2, 2017. DOI: 10.1186/s12885-017-3507-y.
Hanauer DI, Graham MJ; SEA-PHAGES, Betancur L, Bobrownicki A, Cresawn SG, Garlena RA, Jacobs-Sera D, Kaufmann N, Pope WH, Russell DA, Jacobs WR Jr, Sivanathan V, Asai DJ, Hatfull GF. An inclusive Research Education Community (iREC): Impact of the SEA-PHAGES program on research outcomes and student learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 5, 2017. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1718188115 *This paper, a collaborative effort among various member institutions of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance, lists the following College of Idaho faculty as co-authors: Koga, AK and Daniels, R.L.
*Cresawn, Steven G., Welkin Pope, Deborah Jacobs-Sera, Charles Bowman, Daniel Russell, Rebekah M. Dedrick, Tamarah Adair, Kirk R. Anders, Sarah Ball, Dave Bollivar, Caroline Breitenberger, Sandra H. Burnett, Kristen Butela, Deanna Byrnes, Kathleen A. Cornely, Richard L. Daniels, David Dunbar, Ann M. Findley, Chris R. Gissendanner, Urszula P. Golebiewska, Grant A. Hartzog, J. J. Robert Hatherill, Lee E. Hughes, Chernoh S. Jalloh, Sphindile L Khambule, Rodney King, Christina King Smith, Karen Klyczek, Greg P. Krukonis, Christian Laing, Jonathan S Lapin, A. Javier Lopez, Sipho M. Mkhwanazi, Sally Molloy, Vanisha Munsamy, Eddie Pacey, Kimenthrie Pillay, Ruth Plymale, Marianne Poxleitner, Nathan Reyna, Joel Schildbach, Joseph Stukey, Sarah B. Taylor, Vassie C. Ware, Amanda L Wellmann, Daniel Westholm, Thabiso S. Zikalala, Roger W. Hendrix, Graham F. Hatfull. Comparative Genomics of Cluster O mycobacteriophages. PLOS ONE, March 5, 2015. 10(3): e0118725.
*Pope, W.H., Bowman, C.A., Russell, D.A, Jacobs-Sera, D., Asai, D.J., Cresawn, S.G., Jacobs Jr., W.R., Hendrix, R.W., Lawrence, J.G., Hatfull, G.F., Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science*, Phage Hunters Integrating Research and Education, Mycobacterial Genetics Course. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity. e Life, April 28, 2015. 107554/eLife.06416.   (This paper, as a collaborative effort among various member institutions of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance, lists College of Idaho students and faculty as co-authors: Cervantes, J.C., Chase, A.M., Goodwin, M.L., Hampton, M.K., Kinder, M.N., Lambright, J.R., Mendez, E., Montgomery, G.D., Schultz, K.N., Wilson, T.L., Auces, A.M., Dockstader, P.A., Hoang, H.L., Kolich, L.R., Stevens, M.M., Tachick, S.J., Koga, A.P., and Daniels, R.L.)
*Knowlton, W.M.*, Daniels, R.L.*, Palkar, R.*, McCoy DD, and D.D. McKemy, Pharmacological Blockade of TRPM8 Ion Channels Alters Cold and Cold Pain Responses in Mice. PLOS ONE, September 30, 2011. 6(9): e25894.   (These authors contributed equally to this work.)
*Daniels, R.L. and D.D. McKemy, Design and Construction of a Two-temperature Preference Assay for Undergraduate Neuroscience Laboratories. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE), Fall 2010. 9(1):A51-A56.
*Daniels, R.L., Takashima, Y., and D.D. McKemy, The activity of the neuronal cold sensor TRPM8 is regulated by phospholipase C via the phospholipid phosphoinositol-4,5-bisphosphate. Journal of Biological Chemistry, November 18, 2008.  284(3):1570-1582.
*Daniels, R.L. and D.D. McKemy, Mice left out in the cold: commentary on the phenotype of TRPM8-nulls. Review. Molecular Pain, 2007. 3(23).
*Takashima, Y., Daniels, R.L., Knowlton, W., Teng, J., Liman, E.R., and D.D. McKemy, Diversity in the Neural Circuitry of Cold Sensing Revealed by Genetic Axonal Labeling of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 Neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, December 19, 2007. 27(51):14147-14157.