Alistair Dias

Title(s): 
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Email: 
Phone Number: 
+1 (416) 946-5393
Office Location: 
Wetmore Hall Room 132
Biography: 

Since 2009 Dr. Dias  has been the instructor for the lab courses in our various specialization areas, including Neuroscience, Human Biology, Health & Disease and Genes, Genetics and Biotechnology. Dr. Dias has helped shape these lab courses not only by introducing students to foundational and cutting edge experiments in their respective fields, but has also provided students with an opportunity to develop and excel in their scientific writing skills, with the ultimate goal of inspiring students to pursue the many research opportunities at the U of T.

Dr. Dias is also the instructor for two 4th year lecture series courses discussing topics in Complementary and Integrative Medicine and Global Hidden Hunger (micronutrient deficiencies). He has used these courses as a platform to pursue and expand upon his pedagogical interests including investigating the use and benefits of incorporating Service Learning (community outreach) in the classroom and exposing both the general public and the U of T community to integrative medicine and the biological mechanisms behind complementary health practices.

Research:

Dr. Dias’s past research focused largely on the roles of of metals in biological organisms. Recently, his projects primarily focus on teaching, and particularly on new and innovative ways of conveying information to students. Current projects include:

  • Producing online pre-lab video modules with imbedded animations and evaluating their effectiveness on student learning and lab performance
  • Investigating the benefit of incorporating fitness modules and training programs into a laboratory course on student understanding of experimental design and human physiology
  • Investigating the use of and benefits of incorporating Service Learning (community outreach) in the classroom
  • Exploring the use of an Idea Sharing App and online project called OurOwnIdeas.org (created by Christopher Grasset, J.D.) to teach students that solving Global Health based problems in the developing world is an integrated process that involves the input of all stakeholders including the individuals who actually work and live in a community
  • In the process of developing a new course focusing on transition metals and their use and importance in the human body. This course will feature hybrid based learning components including complementary lecture based online animated videos and an online interactive problem set

Select publications:

  • 2014 A.V. Dias.  “The Complete Student Workout! – Boosting Physical and Mental Fitness in A Human Biology Laboratory Course”  Tested Studies For Laboratory Teaching –Proceedings of the 36th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), Manuscript Submitted.
  • 2008 A. V. Dias, C. M. Mulvihill, M. R. Leach et. at.  “Structural and Biological Analysis of the Metal Sites from the Escherichia coli Hydrogenase Accessory Protein HypB”  Biochemistry, 47, 11981-11991.
  • 2005 A. V. Dias, D. B. Zamble.  “Protease digestion analysis of E. coli NikR:  Evidence for conformational stabilization with Ni(II)” J. Biol. Inorg. Chem., 10, 605-612.