Brad Goodner, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology & Biomedical Humanities

Brad Goodner



  • Ph.D., Biology, Purdue University, 1991
  • B.S., Biochemistry, Texas A&M University, 1983

I was born and raised in north-central Texas (apologies in advance for the accent), but I don’t wear boots, a ten-gallon hat, or a belt with a big buckle. My academic history has included stints as an Aggie, a Boilermaker, a Tar Heel, a Spider, and now a Terrier (extra points if you can name all the schools). As a biologist, I have worked on a variety of topics over the years, but curiously all connected to the letter “b” – bacteria, birds, botany, bumblebees, and butterflies. At Hiram, I teach a variety of courses with most of them focused on very small things – single cells, biochemical pathways, proteins, and genes.

Brad Goodner routinely incorporates his research into his courses and independent projects at Hiram College and into outreach research projects with area high schools. His research focuses on bacterial genomes which are the entire collection of genes and other DNA sequences in particular organisms. He is also the founder of the Hiram Genomics Store, a Web-based entrepreneurial venture aimed at providing reagents for research projects in high school and college classrooms.

Outside of class, he mentors students in research projects, advises students in terms of the courses they take, the experiences they seek out, and the career opportunities open to them. Additionally, Dr. Goodner works with other faculty in biology and in biomedical humanities on major programming and assessment, mentors faculty colleagues, serves on several college communities, talks with perspective students and their families, supports Hiram College athletic teams, and represents Hiram proudly in the surrounding community and beyond.


Publications (* = Hiram undergraduate, ** = other Hiram faculty)

  • Melendrez, M.C., S. Shaw, C.T. Brown, B.W. Goodner & C. Vaal, 2021. Editorial: Curriculum Applications in Microbiology: Bioinformatics in the Classroom. Frontiers in Microbiology 12:705233.
  • Methe, B.A., D. Hiltbrand, J. Roach, W. Xu, S.G. Gordon, B.W. Goodner, & A.E. Stapleton, 2020. Functional gene categories differentiate maize leaf drought-related microbial epiphytic communities. PLoS One 15:e0237493.
  • Pastor, J.M., N. Borges, J.P. Pagán, S. Castaño-Cerezo, L.N. Csonka, B.W. Goodner, K.A. Reynolds**, L.G. Gonçalves, M. Argandoña, J.J. Nieto, C. Vargas; V. Bernal, & M. Cánovas, 2019. Fructose metabolism in Chromohalobacter salexigens: interplay between the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas and Entner-Doudoroff pathways. Microbial Cell Factories 18:134.
  • Benzle, K.A., K.R. Finer, D-M. Marty, L.K. McHale, B.W. Goodner, C.G. Taylor, & J.J. Finer, 2015. Isolation and characterization of novel Agrobacterium strains for soybean and sunflower transformation. Plant Cell, Tissue & Organ Culture 121:71-81.
  • Slater. S., J.C. Setubal, B. Goodner, K. Houmiel, J. Sun, R. Kaul, B.S. Goldman, S.K. Farrand, N. Almeida Jr, T. Burr, E. Nester, D.M. Rhoads, R. Kadoi*, T. Ostheimer*, N. Pride*, A. Sabo*, E. Henry*, E. Telepak*, L. Cromes*, A. Harkleroad*, L. Oliphant**, P. Pratt-Szegila, R. Welch, & D. Wood, 2013. Reconciliation of sequence data and updated annotation of the genome of Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58, and distribution of a linear chromosome in the genus Agrobacterium. Applied & Environmental Microbiology 79:1414-7.
  • Chaston, J.M., G. Suen, S.L. Tucker, A.W. Andersen, A. Bhasin, E. Bode, H.B. Bode, A.O. Brachmann, C.E. Cowles, K.N. Cowles, C. Darby, L. de Le´on, K. Drace, Z. Du, A. Givaudan, E.E.H. Tran, K.A. Jewell, J.J. Knack, K.C. Krasomil-Osterfeld, R. Kukor, A. Lanois, P. Latreille, N.K. Leimgruber, C.M. Lipke, R. Liu, X. Lu, E.C. Martens, P.R. Marri, C. Me´digue, M.L. Menard, N.M. Miller, N. Morales-Soto, S. Norton, J-C. Ogier, S.S. Orchard, D. Park, Y. Park, B.A. Qurollo, D. Renneckar Sugar, G.R. Richards, Z. Rouy, B. Slominski, K. Slominski, H. Snyder, B.C. Tjaden, R. van der Hoeven, R. D. Welch, C. Wheeler**, B. Xiang, B. Barbazuk, S. Gaudriault, B. Goodner, S.C. Slater, S. Forst, B.S. Goldman, & H. Goodrich-Blair, 2011. The Entomopathogenic Bacterial Endosymbionts Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus: Convergent Lifestyles from Divergent Genomes. PLoS One 6:e27909.
  • Ditty, J.L., C.A. Kvaal, B. Goodner, S.K. Freyermuth, C. Bailey, R.A. Britton, S.G. Gordon, S. Heinhorst, K. Reed, Z. Xu, E.R. Sanders-Lorenz, S. Axen, E. Kim, M. Johns, K. Scott, & C.A. Kerfeld, 2010. Incorporating genomics and bioinformatics across the life sciences curriculum. PLoS Biology 8:e1000448.
  • Rodrigues, D., B.W. Goodner, & M.R. Weiss, 2010. Reversal learning and risk-adverse foraging behavior in the Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Ethology 116:270-80.
  • Setubal J.C., P. Dos Santos, B.S. Goldman, H. Ertesvåg, G. Espin, L.M. Rubio, S. Valla, N.F. Almeida, D. Balasubramanian*, L. Cromes*, L. Curatti, Z. Du, E. Godsy, B. Goodner, K. Hellner-Burris*, J.A. Hernandez, K. Houmiel, J. Imperial, C. Kennedy, T.J. Larson, P. Latreille, L.S. Ligon, J. Lu, M. Mærk, N.M. Miller, S. Norton, I.P. O’Carroll, I. Paulsen, E.C. Raulfs, R. Roemer*, J. Rosser, D. Segura, S. Slater, S.L. Stricklin, D.J. Studholme, J. Sun, C.J. Viana, E. Wallin*, B. Wang, C. Wheeler**, H. Zhu, D.R. Dean, R. Dixon, & D. Wood, 2009. The genome sequence of Azotobacter vinelandii, an obligate aerobe specialized to support diverse anaerobic metabolic processes. Journal of Bacteriology 191:4534-45.
  • Slater S.C., B.S. Goldman, B. Goodner, J.C. Setubal, S.K. Farrand, E.W. Nester, T.J. Burr, L. Banta, A.W. Dickerman, I. Paulsen, L. Otten, G. Suen, R. Welch, N.F. Almeida, F. Arnold*, O.T. Burton, Z. Du, A. Ewing, E. Godsy, S. Heisel, K.L. Houmiel, J. Jhaveri, J. Lu, N.M. Miller , S. Norton, Q. Chen, W. Phoolcharoen, V. Ohlin*, D. Ondrusek*, N. Pride*, S.L. Stricklin, J. Sun, C. Wheeler**, L. Wilson*, H. Zhu, & D.W. Wood, 2009. Genome sequences of three Agrobacterium biovars help elucidate the evolution of multichromosome genomes in bacteria. Journal of Bacteriology 191:2501-11.
  • Slater, S., B. Goodner, J. Setubal, B. Goldman, D. Wood, & E. Nester, 2008. The Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 genome. Chapter 4 in Agrobacterium: From Biology to Biotechnology. Tzfira, T. and Citovsky, V., editors. Springer, New York. pp. 149-181.
  • Latreille, P., S. Norton, B. Goldman, J. Henkaus, N. Miller, B. Barbazuk, H. Bode, C. Darby, Z. Du, S. Forst, S. Gaudriault, B. Goodner, H. Goodrich-Blair, & S. Slater, 2007. Optical mapping as a routine tool in bacterial genome sequencing. BMC Genomics 8:321.
  • Forst, S., & B. Goodner, 2006. Comparative bacterial genomics and its use in undergraduate education. Biological Control 38:47-53.
  • Goodner, B., & C. Wheeler**, 2006. Functional genomics: using reverse genetics to test bioinformatics predictions. ASM Microbe Library (peer-reviewed Web site for microbiology teaching resources; awarded 2007 Editor’s Choice for curriculum resources).
  • Goodner, B., 2006. So you want to include bioinformatics in your course – go for it! Focus on Microbiology Education 12(3):4-5.
  • Csonka, L.N., K. O’Connor, F. Larimer, P. Richardson, A. Lapidus, A.D. Ewing*, B.W. Goodner, & A. Oren, 2005. What we can deduce about metabolism in the moderate halophile Chromohalobacter salexigens from its genomic sequence. Chapter 18 in Adaptation To Life At High Salt Concentrations In Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Gunde-Cimerman, N., A. Oren, & A. Plemenita, eds. Springer-Dordrecht.
  • Goodner, B., & D. Wood, 2004. “Going after the whole genome from two different angles”, pp. 292-309 in Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotechnology. Nester, E., M.P. Gordon, & A. Kerr, eds. St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Goodner, B., & C. Wheeler**, 2004. Genetic and physical mapping of a bacterial genome. ASM Microbe Library (peer-reviewed Web site for microbiology teaching resources).
  • Fowler, J.E., Z. Vejlupkova, B.W. Goodner, G. Lu, & R.S. Quatrano, 2004. Localization to the rhizoid tip implicates a Fucus distichus Rho family GTPase in a conserved cell polarity pathway. Planta 219:856-66.
  • Goodner, B., 2004. Genomics and undergraduate education do mix. K-BRIN Newsletter 2:6-8.
  • Goodner, B.W., C.A. Wheeler**, P.J. Hall**, & S.C. Slater, 2003. Massively parallel undergraduates for bacterial genome finishing. ASM News 69:584-585.
  • Goodner, B., G. Hinkle, S. Gattung, N. Miller, M. Blanchard, B. Qurollo, B.S. Goldman, Y. Cao, M. Askenazi, C. Halling, L. Mullin, K. Houmiel, J. Gordon, M. Vaudin, O. Iartchouk, A. Epp, F. Liu, C. Wollam, M. Allinger, D. Doughty*, C. Scott*, C. Lappas*, B. Markelz*, C. Flanagan*, C. Crowell*, J. Gurson*, C. Lomo*, C. Sear*, G. Strub*, C. Cielo*, & S. Slater, 2001. Genome sequence of the plant pathogen and biotechnology agent Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58. Science 294:2323-2328.

  • Introductory Biology I
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Human Genetics
  • Plant Physiology
  • Microbiology Genetics

Favorite Course TO TEACH

“I enjoy all of the courses I teach, but if I had to choose one as a favorite then it would be Genetics. All aspects of biology touch on genetics – relationships between organisms, how genes work, how cells work, etc. Genetics is also a toolbox that is used not only in basic biology research, but also in applications across agriculture, anthropology, biotechnology, conservation, forensics, and medicine. Genetics is about problem solving and creativity in experimental design, and those skills take practice. We practice a lot in class through discussion and problem-solving groups. We practice in lab by using genetic tools and approaches to answer real biology questions.”


As you probably know, most genes are segments of DNA that tells the cell “make a particular protein at a particular time and place.” Over most of the last 50 years, scientists have studied genes and the proteins they encode one at a time. While this approach has been highly successful, there are questions that are best addressed by looking at many or all of the genes of an organism at the same time. All the genes of an organism are known collectively as its genome, and the study of genomes is called genomics. Genomics not only can answer questions about known genes, but the determination of the entire DNA sequence of an organism also exposes hundreds to thousands of “new” genes and just as many new questions for future research.

My students and I use a variety of genetic and genomic tools to understand how “simple” bacteria do their thing. Specifically, we are interested in how bacteria organize their genes into a genome, and how they interact with their environment and with other organisms. We do this through incorporation of research into courses at Hiram College, independent research projects, and outreach to high schools both near and far away. Over the last several years, I have worked with others on some emerging national science education efforts. While I love to share what has worked and what has not worked for me, I freely admit that I am constantly on the lookout for great questions, ideas, and strategies that will move us to another level.

Summer 2022: Rafah Hussain  (Biology Major) and Madison Buckles (Biomedical Humanities Major)
Summer 2022: Rafah Hussain (Biology Major) and Madison Buckles (Biomedical Humanities Major)

Fun Facts

“Outside of academia, my life revolves around the 3 women who make keep me going – my wife Asha and daughters Ramsey and Rayana. We love to read, cook, garden, travel, and explore together.

Looking for research opportunities with me?