2019 Faculty Initiative Grant Spotlight: Dr. Bruce Maki

bruce-makiName and Credentials:

Bruce Maki, Assistant Professor – Biology


Course Grant is Being Developed in:

Anatomy and Physiology 2 (BIO131)


Other Courses Taught:

Human Biology

Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy and Physiology 1 w/ Lab

Anatomy and Physiology 2 w/ Lab

Pharmacology and Pathophysiology




Faculty Initiative Grant project:

This project is designed to enhance topical continuity within the anatomy and physiology sequence. Specifically, I am looking improve application of fundamental biological concepts learned in AP1 to the organ system physiology covered in AP2. To do so, a series of in-class and at-home activities will be presented to the students in which they will develop more precise and sophisticated methods for explaining the biological processes covered.


How will this project benefit Student Success?

The overall goal of this project is to guarantee that students not only retain fundamental knowledge from their foundational courses into their career, but can then apply such knowledge. This latter point often poses a challenge for students who have otherwise been successful in science courses. Through the activities generated in this grant, students will solidify the content that they have previously learned, understand its relevance to the human body and also be prepared to use such knowledge in clinical practice.



Ph.D., Neuroscience, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo

BS, Neuroscience
BA, Mathematics, University of Rochester


Time at Trocaire:

3 years


Teaching Philosophy:

Successful teaching, especially at an institution like Trocaire, requires a dynamic and reciprocal relationship between instructor and student. While instructors at an institution such as Trocaire are somewhat lucky in that the vast majority of students have academic interests within the same field, we also face challenges in ensuring that the essence within individual academic disciplines – which may not be directly related to a student’s intended career path – offers an equal amount of applicability and value to each student. Because of this, it is important that we use our expertise to teach the necessary content to each student, but to also be cognizant that each individual classroom experience transcends globally.


Research/Academic Interests:

My primary research interests deal with understanding the nervous system at the molecular level. Specifically, I aim to understand how activity of individual synapses controls the structure and function of the brain and spinal cord in both normal and pathologic states. Also, I have a strong interest as to how these molecular events connect to psychological phenomena and subsequent mental abnormalities unique to humans.



Trocaire College Innovative Faculty of the Year 2017-2018


Hobbies/Interests outside of work:

The Food Network

Working out