Professor Hirsch attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, where he majored in both Biology and Political Science. Having had enough of Chicago winters, he did his doctoral work in developmental neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied eye development in frogs. He did postdoctoral work at the University of Virginia, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he expanded his research to study the development of the brain and eye in both fish and frogs. Prior to coming to Hiram, Prof. Hirsch was a member of the Biology Department at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut.
- B.A., University of Chicago
- Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
Professor Hirsch has always been fascinated by the ways in which a single cell, the fertilized egg, will grow to make a complex organism with trillions of cells having thousands of different functions. The brain is the most complex organ in the body, and so its development is among the most interesting. What genes are turned on (and off) to make the cerebellum different from the cerebral cortex? Do animals as different as frogs and humans form their brain in similar ways?
- Xenopus mutant reveals necessity of rax for specifying the eye field which otherwise forms tissue with telencephalic and diencephalic character Margaret B. Fish, Takuya Nakayama, Marilyn Fisher, Nicolas Hirsch, Amanda Cox, Rollin Reeder, Samantha Carruthers, Amanda Hall, Derek L. Stemple, Robert M. Grainger Dev Biol. 2014 November 15; 395(2): 317–330.
- A screen for hoxb1-regulated genes identifies ppp1r14al as a regulator of the rhombomere 4 Fgf-signaling center Seong-Kyu Choe, Xiaolan Zhang, Nicolas Hirsch, Juerg Straubhaar, Charles G Sagerström Dev Biol. 2011 October 15; 358(2): 356–367.
- Maternal and Zygotic aldh1a2 Activity Is Required for Pancreas Development in Zebrafish Kristen Alexa, Seong-Kyu Choe, Nicolas Hirsch, Letitiah Etheridge, Elizabeth Laver, Charles G. Sagerström PLoS One. 2009; 4(12): e8261. Published online 2009 December 11.
- Choe SK, Hirsch N, Zhang X, Sagerström CG. hnf1b genes in zebrafish hindbrain development. Zebrafish. 2008 Sep;5(3):179-87.
- Hirsch, N., Zimmerman, L.B. and Grainger, R.M. (2002). Xenopus, the next generation: X. tropicalis genetics and genomics. Developmental Dynamics 225(4): 422-33.
- Professor Hirsch teaches a course called “The Science and Ethics of Human Cloning”, where students ponder what the world would be like if they could make exact duplicates of themselves. He is also the coach of the Hiram College Speech and Debate Team.