Claude Gagna is an Associate Professor in the Department of Life Sciences (i.e., biology), holding a central position (i.e., Course Director) as a senior educator in lecture and laboratory learning in the anatomical sciences. He is a researcher who produces patents, refereed conference proceedings/abstracts, book chapters, and original peer-reviewed publications. His continuing goal is to increase the knowledge of DNA and RNA structure and function in normal and diseased tissues, creating novel histotechnological techniques, and new nucleic acid-based nanotech devices (e.g., next generation intact, unaltered DNA microarrays).
Dr. Gagna is a senior biologist who involves undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents in research projects, scientific meetings and publications. He has produced tailor-made laboratory manuals for Histology, Human Physiology, Embryology, and Biomedical Research I, II and III courses. Additionally, he is collaborating in research projects with medical school faculty at Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), and working in partnership with other university faculty (i.e., undergraduate / graduate) performing biological research. Dr. Gagna holds adjunct positions at the Rutgers-NJMS in the Departments of Medicine, and Pathology. He also focuses on diseased-based research, i.e., cancer (e.g., human melanoma), cataracts, and xeroderma pigmentosum.
Dr. Gagna received his B.S. in Biology from St. Peter’s University, his M.S. in Human Anatomy from Fairleigh Dickinson University - Dental School, and his Ph.D. from New York University - Basic Medical Sciences. He was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU-Basic Medical Sciences, and UMDNJ-Medical School.
- Developing and commercializing the next generation of DNA microarrays for enhancement of R&D in drug discovery and development. Starting a biotechnology company based on a STTR grant.
- Characterizing the structure and function of alternative (e.g., Z-DNA) and multi- stranded DNAs (e.g., triplex and quadruplex nucleic acids) in normal and diseased tissues. Examining cell death [i.e., apoptosis and terminal differentiation (denucleation)], and DNA repair mechanisms influenced by alternative and multi-stranded DNA structures.
- Studying the evolution of DNA in the Blepharisma S., a single cell eukaryotic organism.
- Interdisciplinary research projects, e.g., fusion of art (tissue-based paintings), histotechnology and molecular biology.
- Rankin J, Gagna CE, Lambert MW, Lambert WC. (2013) Dendritic Melanocytic Pseudomelanomas. Skinmed. 11(4): 237-238.
- Gagna CE, Chan NJ , Farnsworth PN, Kuo H-R, Kanthala TR, Patel AH, Patel N, Law A, Patel PP, Richards SA, Yam T, Nici A, Lambert WC. (2009) Localization and quantification of intact, undamaged right-handed double-stranded B-DNA, and denatured single-stranded DNA in normal human epidermis and its effects on apoptosis and terminal differentiation (denucleation). Archives of Dermatological Research. 301:659-672.
- Gagna CE, Lambert WC. (2009) Novel Multistranded, Alternative, Plasmid and Helical Transitional DNA and RNA Microarrays: Implications for Therapeutics. Pharmacogenomics. 10: 895-914.
- Gagna CE, Kuo HR, Mitacek EJ, et al., (2007) Novel DNA Staining Method and Processing Technique for the Quantification of Undamaged Double-Stranded DNA in Epidermal Tissue Sections by PicoGreen Probe Staining and Microspectrophotometry. Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. 55: 999-1014.
- Gagna CE, Kuo HR, Agostino N, Rizzo D, Isquith I, Mathew J, Mohammed J, Hoo S, Lambert WC. (2001) Novel Use of Bovine Zeta-Crystallin as a Conformational DNA Probe to Characterize a Phase Transition Zone and Terminally Differentiating Fiber Cells in the Adult Canine Ocular Lens. Archives of Histology and Cytology. 64: 379-391.
Honors + Awards
- 2011: Gold Medal – Department of the USA Army, For Supporting the Veterans at NYIT.
- 2011: Winner of the 15th Annual Spirit Award for Outstanding Support, Dedication & Commitment to the Science Research Program. White Plains High School, NY.
- 2008: Winner of the Fourth NANO 50 Awards – Technology Category (NASA).
- 2007: Nanotechnology Finalist – Researcher of the Year (Best of Small Technology Awards).
- 2006: New Jersey Inventor of the Year, New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame – Research & Development Council of New Jersey.
Courses I Teach at NYIT
- Human Gross Anatomy
- Comparative Anatomy
- Biomedical Research I, II III and IV