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Dr. Zahra Tehrani

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


Zahra Tehrani

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


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

Tehrani, Z., & Lin, S. (2011). Endocrine pancreas development in zebrafish. Cell Cycle, 10(20), 3466-3472.

Ear, J., Huang, H., Tehrani, Z., Sung, V., Daniel, T., & Chopra, R. (2013). RAP-011 Efficiently Rescues Erythropoiesis In Zebrafish Models Of Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Blood, 122(21), 3702-3702.

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, 126(7), 880-890.

Contact Info

HCRS 1085

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