Born in Iran, raised in Iowa, and trained as a geneticist and cell biologist, Katayoun has been conducting research to better understand why some students share her love for biology, while others recoil from the subject. Part of her work suggests that biology courses must be contextualized and made relevant, especially for those students who don’t initially see biology as important to their everyday experiences. To promote this education reform, she has developed seminars, workshops and educational materials that reflect an interactive and case-based method of teaching and learning with a strong emphasis on infographic thinking. She firmly believes that biology is accessible and relevant to everyone, and that a basic understanding of biology it important for a democratic society. She has developed and taught courses for the Graduate Program in International Affairs and the Interdisciplinary Science Major/Minor for undergradutes studying liberal arts and/or design. More recently, she has developed lab-based interdisciplinary modules for Parsons and Lang first-year courses and developed a semester-length course titled Biology Art, and Social Justice for incoming Lang freshman and a short course version for the Higher Education Opportunity Summer Bridge Program. In Spring 2016, she launched Stem Cells Across the Curriculum, an open access collection of educational modules developed in collaboration with seven faculty members and nine students spanning biology, humanities, gender studies, bioethics, health policy, health psychology, disability studies, and critical race studies. The curriculum uses a social justice framework and infographic thinking to integrate the biological, ethical, social, and legal dimensions of stem cell research and has been selected as a SENCER Model Course and adapted by educators working at diverse institutions. She received the Distinguished University Teaching Award in 2000 and the Excellence in Faculty Advising from Eugene Lang College in 2010. In 2008, Katayoun was elected to serve as a Leadership Fellow for the National Center for Science & Civic Engagement (SENCER) and received their William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science in 2017. Katayoun is a guest contributor to the Biopolitical Times blog hosted by the Center for Genetics and Society. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1996.
Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology UC Berkeley 1996
B.A. Biology University of Iowa 1989
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The New York Academy of Sciences
The American Society for Cell Biology
The International Society for Stem Cell Research
Project Kaleidoscope, (PKAL) Faculty for the 21st Century
Leadership Fellow for Science Education for New Civic Engagements & Responsibilities
Editorial Board Member of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Editorial Board Member of the journal CBE-Life Sciences Education
Member of the Steering Committee of Symbioses
Member of the Narrative, Health and Social Justice Seminar at Columbia University
Curriculum Development Projects
Chamany, K. et al. March 2016. Stem Cells Across the Curriculum. An open access modular curriculum using case based teaching and learning, infographic thinking, and a social justice framework. Link
Chamany, K. 2006. Cell Biology for Life. Garland Publishing. An open access modular curriculum designed to provide social context for traditional cell biology courses. Garland Publishing. Link
Chamany K. 2006. MDR Tuberculosis: A Case Study for Non-Science Majors Focused on Social Justice. National Center For Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection. Peer Reviewed. Link
Chamany, K. 2001. Ninos Desaparcidos Case: A Case Study About Genetics and Human Rights Case and Teaching Notes. National Center For Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection. Peer Reviewed. Link
Chamany, K. 2016. “Critical Pedagogy: Stem Cell Research as it Relates to Bodies, Labor and Care.” Studies in Social Justice. Forthcoming.
Chamany, K. et al. 2012. “Stem Cells and Social Justice: A SENCER Model Course.” Link
Chamany, K. 2011. “Introduction II: Buying and Selling The Body.” In The Body and The State: How the State Controls and Protects the Body. Part II. Social Research. 78 (3):823-827. Link
Chamany, K., Rubin, L. Paunova, E. and Pantuso C. 2010. “PGD for BRCA 1 and 2 Carriers Infographic and Information Pamphlet.” Link
Chamany K., et al. 2008. “Making Biology Learning Relevant to Students: Integrating People, History, and Context into (College) Biology Teaching.” Life Sciences Education. (7):267-278. Link
Chamany K. October 2006. “Science and Social Justice: Making the Cases for Case Studies.” Journal of College Science Teaching: 54-59. Link
Chamany, K. October 2006. “Introduction III. Health.” In Politics and Science: How their interplay results in public policy. Social Research. 73(3): 781-784. Link
Chamany K. 2001. “Ninos Desaparecidos: A Case Study About Genetics and Human Rights.” Journal of College Science Teaching. 3 (1):61-65.
Invited Workshops, Presentations, and Papers
Chamany, K. January 2018. From STEM to STREAMD: Responsibility, Arts, and Design for Inclusive Learning. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. San Francisco, CA. John A. Moore Lecture.
Chamany, K. August 2017. SENCER and Your Academic Career: A Twenty-year Case Study. SENCER Summer Institute. SUNY Stony Brook University. Stony Brook, NY. Invited Plenary Speaker.
Chamany, K. April 2016. "Biology & Social Justice Case Studies: Scaffolding Learning for Authentic Assessment." 34th Conference of the Empire State Association of Two Year College Biologists (ESATYCB). SUNY Orange, Middletown, NY.
Chamany, K. Pokrywka, N. and Russo-Tait, T. Nov 2015. “Stem Cells Across the Curriculum (SCAC) An Open Access Social Justice Educational Resource.” Faculty Resource Network: Advancing Social Justice. Washington, DC. Link Conference Paper.
Chamany, K., Schwartz-Orbach, L. and Riggs, R. October, 2015. “Critical Pedagogy: Bodies, Labor, and Care. Consuming Intimacies Symposium.” Social Justice Institute, Brock University. Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Link to Presentation. & Link to Conference Paper.
Chamany, K. May 2015. “Scaffolding Role-play: For Interdisciplinary Evidence Based Dialogues.” Annual Summer Workshop National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. SUNY, Buffalo. Buffalo, NY.
Chamany, K. June 2014. “Enhancing STEM Education: Interdisciplinarity and Information Design." UC Irvine, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, Irvine, CA. Link Seminar Presentation.
Chamany, K. September 2013. “Biology and Social Justice Case Studies: An Innovative Approach for Reaching Diverse Populations.” National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, Buffalo, NY. Workshop.
Conference Posters (* Designates Student Research Assistant)
Chamany, K., Riggs, A., and Schwartz-Orbach, L., and Wargaski, J. June 2016 “Stem Cells Across the Curriculum: Educational Modules That Integrate Ethical Reasoning and Biology Learning Using Infographic Thinking and Case-Based Thinking.” International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). San Francisco, CA. Chamany, K., Riggs, A., and Schwartz-Orbach, L., and Wargaski, J. May 2016. “Stem Cells Across the Curriculum: Modules That Integrate Biology and Social Justice Learning Using Visual Narratives and Case Based Teaching.” NYSTEM Annual Conference/ Empire State Stem Cell Board. New York, NY.
Chamany, K. et al. December 2015. “Stem Cells Across the Curriculum (SCAC): An educational resource that integrates the biological and social dimensions of stem cell research using infographic thinking.” The American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting. Washington. San Diego, CA.
Chamany, K., Riggs, A.*, and Schwartz-Orbach, L*., and Wargaski, J. October 2015. “Sources of Stem Cells Radial Infographic, Adult Stem Cells Blood ZoomGraphic, and Embryo PGD Zoomgraphic In Stem Cells Across the Curriculum. Creative Intervention.” Consuming Intimacies Symposium, Social Justice Institute Brock University, Saint, Catharines. Ontario, Canada.
Chamany, K., Wargaski, J., Riggs, A.,* and Schwartz-Orbach, L.* May 2013. “Using Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis to Teach the Biological, Ethical, and Social Dimensions of Stem Cell Research in an Undergraduate Curriculum-Biology, Bodies, and Beliefs.”12th International Conference on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. Istanbul, Turkey. (ResearchGate)
Performances and Appearances
Chamany, K. January 2018. Synthetic Embryos. POP A.R.T. Blog. Center for Genetics and Society. Blogger. Chamany, K. November 3, 2017. The Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018: International Biennial Prize Conference, "Seeds as Storyteller/Witness" panel. The New School, New York. Panelist. Chamany, K. January 25, 2017. Research Congress. Science, Innovation, and Society Panel. Technologic de Monterrey. Monterrey, Mexico. Panelist. Irvine, A. and Chamany, K. March 22, 2016. Whose Body, Whose Property, and What Choice? Biopolitical Times Blog. Center for Genetics and Society. Blogger, Organizer, Moderator, and Presenter Link Chamany, K. November 19, 2015. New Rules Proposed to Address Privacy and Trust in the Precision Medicine Initiative. Biopolitical Times Blog. Center for Genetics and Society. Blogger. Link Chamany, K. September 18, 2013. The Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2013-2015: International Biennial Prize Conference, "Ecologies of Organizing” panel. The New School, New York. Panelist. Chamany, K. and S. Lindee. 2005. Genetics and Human History. Odyssey Radio Program, Chicago Public Radio WBEZ 91.5 FM (NPR Affiliate). July 29.
Curriculum development and student learning outcomes assessment; the role of motivation and interest in student learning of biology; infographic thinking; case based teaching and learning; social justice/ critical pedagogy; stem cell research; the ethics of oocyte provision; public perception and understanding of new biotechnologies and reproductive technologies (ART, PGD, Genetic testing); standard of care and informed consent; HPV and its associated diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines; indigenous knowledge and resources as they related to benefit sharing; health as a human right.
Awards And Honors
2018 Henry A. Moore Lecture at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (Link)
2017 William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science (SENCER)
2011 Stem Cells & Social Justice, selected as a Model Course for the Science Education for New Civic Engagaments and Social Responsibilities
2010 NYSTEM Grant $212,000 The Development, Implementation, and Assessment of an Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Curriculum for Non-majors
2010 Excellence in Faculty Advising from Eugene Lang College
2008 SENCER Leadership Fellow for Science for New Civic Engagements and Social Responsibilities
2000 University Distinguished Teaching Award from The New School
1998 Project Kaleidoscope, Faculty for the 21st Century (1998-Present)