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David Pfeiffer

David C. Pfeiffer

Professor; Director, Office of Undergraduate Research


Life Sciences South 140



Mailing Address

Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter MS 3051
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3051

Research: Cellular & Molecular Biology

My general research interests focus on structure/function relationships, whether they be at the cellular level, tissue level, or organ system level. At the cellular level, I am particularly interested in the organization and dynamics of the cytoskeleton, including its interaction with adhesion junctions. I am also interested in the evolution of intercellular adhesion mechanisms.

I earned my BA in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, then completed my M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of British Columbia. I conducted postdoctoral work in Cell/Developmental Biology at the University of Utah. From 2000 – 2013, I was on the faculty of the University of Alaska Anchorage where I was a member of the Department of Biological Sciences. While there I taught first year medical students in the AK WWAMI Program and also served as the Director for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. I joined the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho in Jan. 2014.

  • Osman, A-H.K., T. Caceci, S. Sato, and D.C. Pfeiffer. 2010. Apoptosis in the myocardium of the adult dromedary camel: Ultrastructural characterization. Anat. Histol. Embryol., 39:34-41.
  • Clark, L.S. D.F. Cowan, D.C. Pfeiffer. 2008. A morphological and histological analysis of the pan-tropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) and spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) adrenal gland. Anat. Histol. Embryol., 37:153-159.
  • Clark, L.S., D.F. Cowan, D.C. Pfeiffer. 2006. Morphological changes in the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) adrenal gland associated with chronic stress. J. Comp. Pathol., 135:208-216.
  • Pfeiffer, C.J., A.H.K. Osman, and D.C. Pfeiffer. 2006. Ultrastructural analysis of the integument of a desert-adapted mammal, the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius). Anat. Histol. Embryol., 35:97-103.
  • Clark, L.S., D.C. Pfeiffer, and D.F. Cowan. 2005. Morphology and histology of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) adrenal gland with emphasis on the medulla. Anat. Histol. Embryol., 34:132-140.
  • Pfeiffer, D.C. and A.W. Vogl. 2002. Actin-related intercellular adhesion junctions in the germinal epithelium of the testis in the hagfish (Eptatretus stouti) and lamprey (Lampetra tridentatus). Tissue & Cell, 34:450-459.
  • Pfeiffer, D.C., A. Wang, J. Nicolas, and C.J. Pfeiffer. 2001. Lingual ultrastructure of the long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas). Anat. Histol. Embryol. 30:359-365.
  • Vogl, A.W., D.C. Pfeiffer, D. Mulholland, G. Kimel, and J. Guttman. 2000. Unique and multifunctional adhesion junctions in the testis: Ectoplasmic specializations. Arch. Histol. Cytol. 63:1-15.
  • Pfeiffer, D.C. and D.L. Gard. 1999. Microtubules in Xenopus oocytes are oriented with their minus-ends towards the cortex. Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 44:34-43.
  • Saperas, N., M. Chiva, D.C. Pfeiffer, H.E. Kasinsky, and J. Ausio. 1997. Sperm nuclear basic proteins (SNBPs) of agnathans and chondrichthyans: Variability and evolution of sperm proteins in fish. J. Mol. Evol. 44:422-431.
  • Vogl, A.W., M. Weis, and D.C. Pfeiffer. 1995. The perinuclear centriole-containing centrosome is not the major microtubule organizing center in Sertoli cells. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 66:165-179.
  • Pfeiffer, D.C. and A.W. Vogl. 1994. Actin-related intercellular junctions in the germinal compartment of the testis in Poecilia reticulata (Teleostei, Poeciliidae). Zoomorphology 114:177-184.
  • Hong, L., D.C. Pfeiffer, A.W. Vogl, J. Pan, and D.J. Randall.  1994. Immunolocalization of H+-ATPase in the gill epithelia of rainbow trout. J. Exp. Biol. 195:169-183.
  • Pfeiffer, D.C., and A.W. Vogl. 1993. Ectoplasmic ("junctional") specializations in Sertoli cells of the turtle and rooster: Evolutionary implications. Anat. Rec., 235:33-50.
  • Pan, J., D.C. Pfeiffer, C.L. Reimer, B.J. Crawford, A.W. Vogl, and N. Auersperg. 1993. Lack of inter-species reactivity between antigens and antibodies is overcome by protease treatment of Western blots. Electrophoresis 14:892-898.

  • Research mentor for K-12 science teachers through the Murdock Charitable Trust Partners in Science Program. University of Alaska Anchorage, 2006-08.
  • Served on the coordinating team for the “Science for Alaska” public lecture series, annual six part lecture series (600-900 people per lecture). University of Alaska, 2001 – 2006.

  • 2013: Faculty Exemplar Award, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • 2003: Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • 1995: Laura Jasch Memorial Award, University of British Columbia


Department of Biological Sciences

Physical Address:
Life Sciences South 252

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

Phone: 208-885-6280

Fax: 208-885-7905


Web: Department of Biological Sciences