Skip to main content

Dr. Zahra Tehrani

Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of the Research Mentorship Development Program and the Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Zahra Tehrani



Current Courses

HONR 59901 Mentoring Future Researchers

HONR 499 Protein Design with Foldit

HONR 19901 Genes

HONR 19902 Eugenics

Recent Publications

Tehrani, Z. (2021). Pivoting from Laboratory to Remote Research using the Online Game Foldit. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, 4(4).

Watkins, A., & Tehrani, Z. (2020). Brave new worlds: transcending the humanities/STEM divide through creative writing. Honors in Practice, 16.

Ear, J., Huang, H., Wilson, T., Tehrani, Z., Lindgren, A., Sung, V., ... & Lin, S. (2015). RAP-011 improves erythropoiesis in zebrafish model of Diamond-Blackfan anemia through antagonizing lefty1. Blood, The Journal of the American Society of Hematology, 126(7), 880-890.

Ear, J., Huang, H., Tehrani, Z., Sung, V., Daniel, T., Chopra, R., & Lin, S. (2013). RAP-011 efficiently rescues erythropoiesis in zebrafish models of diamond blackfan anemia. Blood The Journal of the American Society of Hematology, 122 (21), 3702.

Tehrani, Z. and Lin, S. (2011) Antagonistic interactions of hedgehog, Bmp and retinoic acid signals control zebrafish endocrine pancreas development. Development, 138(4), 631-640.

Tehrani, Z. and Lin, S. (2011) Endocrine pancreas development in zebrafish. Cell Cycle, 10(20), 3466-72.


I received my B.S. and Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After completing a postdoctoral teaching fellowship at UCLA, I was a lecturer at various community colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area. In 2015, I joined the faculty of the Purdue Honors College where I teach interdisciplinary project-based courses in biology and genetics. Inside my classroom, students explore the science and ethics of biotechnology. Courses I teach include:

HONR199: The Evolution of Ideas - Genes
HONR199: The Evolution of Ideas - Eugenics
HONR399: Stem Cells
HONR399: Immortality
HONR499: Protein Design with Foldit
HONR599: Research Mentorship Development (for graduate students)


Outside of the classroom, I am passionate about enriching the undergraduate research experience for students. As the Director of both the Research Mentorship Development Program and the Undergraduate Research Fellowship in the Honors College, I provide: 1) Training to graduate students from across the university in the effective mentoring of undergraduate researchers; 2) Connect Honors College students to on-campus research opportunities; 3) Organize professional development workshops and community of practice meetings to support undergraduates across different stages of their research journey.

I am currently working on three research projects:

  • Evaluating the online game Foldit as a course-based research experience for undergraduate students
  • Assessing and improving mentorship for undergraduate researchers
  • Assessing and improving student competence in using interdisciplinary methodologies/approaches to examine the science and ethics of biotechnology

Contact Info

HCRS 1085

Research Office Hours:
Fridays 2-3:30 PM
WebEx office:
For any research-related questions.

10th Anniversary Image