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John F. Ash

John F. Ash, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Emeritus - Neurobiology

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Education, Medical
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction

I joined the Department in 1980 and focused on investigating the multiple roles that membrane transport plays in the biology of cells. My lab employed somatic cell genetic approaches to generate cell lines with alterations in membrane transporters and then analyzed the effects of perturbing transport on cellular physiology and metabolism.

In 2008 I stopped bench research and joined a group of faculty responsible for the design and implementation of a new medical curriculum, which was launched the next year. I continued to work on instructional design through 2011 and have co-directed three of the first-year units since 2009. I’m responsible for much of the large classroom microanatomy instruction and teach the histology laboratory along with Drs. Sheryl Scott, David Morton, and Kathryn Moore.

For many years I’ve explored ways to incorporate digital technology in medical education. An important part of my initial work for the new curriculum was to develop a secure means for students to take weekly exams on their own laptops in a classroom. I organized a project that created a digital form for clinical faculty to assess medical students giving a well baby exam using an iPad rather than a paper checklist, which facilitates grading and will allow performance data to be collected and analyzed longitudinally. I am currently updating histology laboratory self-instruction programs I began creating more than 15 years ago so that they can be presented on tablets. In addition, Dr. Scott and I are restructuring the histology lab by incorporating large-scale use of virtual microscopy, which will allow us to correlate physiology and pathology with the important structural identifications of a traditional course.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship University of California
Postdoctoral Fellow
Stanford University
Undergraduate University of Illinois
Undergraduate Duke University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Igo RP Jr, Ash JF (1998). The Na+-dependent glutamate and aspartate transporter supports glutathione maintenance and survival of CHO-K1 cells. Somat Cell Mol Genet, 24(6), 341-52.


  1. Ash, JF, Morton, D A and Scott, S A (2013). Big Picture Histology (1st). New York City, NY: McGraw Hill.


  1. Rick Ash, Sara M Lamb, Adam T Stevenson, Paul E Burrows (2011). Scoring Clinical Skills Exams with the Apple iPad [Abstract]. J Int. Assoc. Med. Sci. Educ, 21(3S), 309.
  2. Sara M Lamb, MD, Rick Ash, PhD, Michele Haight, PhD, Janet Lindsley, PhD (July 12, 2010). Integrated Case Development and Interdisciplinary Faculty Collaboration [Abstract]. J Int. Assoc. Med. Sci. Educ, 20(2s), 192.
  3. Rick Ash and Janet Lindsley (July 12, 2010). A 3-Pronged Approach to Weekly Formative Assessments: Individual and Gropu Quizzes, Plus Feedback [Abstract]. J Int. Assoc. Med. Sci. Educ, 20(2s), 182.