• Syme, C.

    Colin A. Syme, Ph.D.

    Science Curriculum Leader

    LabRATS/Anatomy & Physiology Teacher
    Biology Club Sponsor 


    I have an undergraduate B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Immunology & Pharmacology from Strathclyde University, Glasgow (Scotland) and a Ph.D. in Physiology from Aberdeen University (Scotland). In addition, I completed my teacher certification studies (Secondary Education) at Duquesne University.  Prior to entering the teaching profession, I was involved in scientific research in several areas including osteoporosis, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis at the University of Pittsburgh.  I also taught college-level science classes at the University at Pittsburgh (Freshman Biology Labs) and La Roche College (Anatomy & Physiology Lecture/Labs).

    I began full-time teaching at Upper St. Clair High School in 2009, and was appointed as High School Science Curriculum Leader in 2023. I currently teach Honors Anatomy & Physiology, and a hands-on, lab-based research class (LabRATS).  I have also previously taught Conceptual, Academic, and Honors Level Biology.

    Feel free to contact me at:

    Phone: 412-833-1600 x 2602
    Email: csyme@uscsd.k12.pa.us     
    Twitter logo @docsyme 

    Courses Taught:
    Laboratory Research And Techniques in Science (LabRATS):   Students engage in the practice of science; enabling them to become logical problem solvers and people who understand scientific judgment and how science works.  This is accomplished by providing authentic, sustained inquiry experiences with continual reflection, critique and evaluation.  Students are expected to provide explanations, develop models, plan and conduct investigations.  This two-semester hands-on laboratory elective provides an opportunity to be exposed to the skills and techniques required in scientific research.  Content is driven via an experiential approach to guide learning.  The spectrum of learning encompasses skills associated with scientific research including basic lab techniques, data analysis, and scientific writing.  Students apply the knowledge and skills to pursue an advanced independent lab-based research project while potentially collaborating with research scientists through academic partnerships with local universities.
    Honors Anatomy & Physiology: This course provides an intense, comprehensive study of human anatomy and the processes that underlie the mechanisms of physiological mechanisms. As well as providing insight into these biological processes, the body systems and their functions will be examined in reference to disease states, in terms of the events that occur during pathophysiological conditions.
    Click the image below to access Canvas: 
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    Biology Club Sponsor:  I am the sponsor of Biology Club.  The purpose of the club is to provide students with exposure to authentic, real-life science.  It gives students the opportunity to develop research projects in biology of interest.  Students will often troubleshoot, as well as develop new ideas and concepts for experimentation. 

    Honors and Awards:

    Society for Science & the Public High School Research Teachers Conference STEM Equipment Kit Awardee (2020): I was selected to receive $1,000 in take-home STEM research equipment for my students.
    Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh High School Equipment Grant Recipient (2017):  I was awarded a High School Equipment Grant in order to provide spectroscopy equipment to enhance the high school curriculum by exposing students to this important component of Biochemistry.
    Society for Science & the Public-Science Research Teachers Conference (2016):  I was invited to attend the Science Research Teachers Conference from September 30th-October 2nd, 2016 in Washington D.C.  The conference was attended by 200 science teachers nationwide engaged in implementing hands-on, research-based science in the classroom.
    ING Unsung Heroes Award Recipient (2012):  One of 100 teachers recognized nationally for innovative methods and approaches to teaching.  My winning project is based on utilizing Zebra Fish as a tool for project-based learning.


    Jones, H.M., Bailey, M.A., Baty, C.J., Macgregor, G.G., Syme, C.A., Hamilton, K.L., & Devor, D.C. (2007). An NH2-terminal multi-basic RKR motif is required for the ATP-dependent regulation of hIK1. Channels (Austin, Tex.), 1(2), 80-91. https://doi.org/10.4161/chan.3999

    Syme, C. A., Zhang, L., & Bisello, A. (2006). Caveolin-1 regulates cellular trafficking and function of the glucagon-like Peptide 1 receptor. Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.)20(12), 3400–3411. https://doi.org/10.1210/me.2006-0178

    Syme, C. A., Friedman, P. A., & Bisello, A. (2005). Parathyroid hormone receptor trafficking contributes to the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases but is not required for regulation of cAMP signaling. The Journal of biological chemistry280(12), 11281–11288. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M413393200

    Sneddon, W. B., Magyar, C. E., Willick, G. E., Syme, C. A., Galbiati, F., Bisello, A., & Friedman, P. A. (2004). Ligand-selective dissociation of activation and internalization of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor: conditional efficacy of PTH peptide fragments. Endocrinology145(6), 2815–2823. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2003-1185

    Jones, H. M., Hamilton, K. L., Papworth, G. D., Syme, C. A., Watkins, S. C., Bradbury, N. A., & Devor, D. C. (2004). Role of the NH2 terminus in the assembly and trafficking of the intermediate conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel hIK1. The Journal of biological chemistry279(15), 15531–15540. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M400069200

    Sneddon, W. B., Syme, C. A., Bisello, A., Magyar, C. E., Rochdi, M. D., Parent, J. L., Weinman, E. J., Abou-Samra, A. B., & Friedman, P. A. (2003). Activation-independent parathyroid hormone receptor internalization is regulated by NHERF1 (EBP50). The Journal of biological chemistry278(44), 43787–43796. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M306019200

    Hamilton, K. L., Syme, C. A., & Devor, D. C. (2003). Molecular localization of the inhibitory arachidonic acid binding site to the pore of hIK1. The Journal of biological chemistry278(19), 16690–16697. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M212959200

    Syme, C. A., Hamilton, K. L., Jones, H. M., Gerlach, A. C., Giltinan, L., Papworth, G. D., Watkins, S. C., Bradbury, N. A., & Devor, D. C. (2003). Trafficking of the Ca2+-activated K+ channel, hIK1, is dependent upon a C-terminal leucine zipper. The Journal of biological chemistry278(10), 8476–8486. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M210072200

    Gerlach, A. C., Syme, C. A., Giltinan, L., Adelman, J. P., & Devor, D. C. (2001). ATP-dependent activation of the intermediate conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ channel, hIK1, is conferred by a C-terminal domain. The Journal of biological chemistry276(24), 10963–10970.

    Singh, S., Syme, C. A., Singh, A. K., Devor, D. C., & Bridges, R. J. (2001). Benzimidazolone activators of chloride secretion: potential therapeutics for cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics296(2), 600–611.

    Syme, C. A., Gerlach, A. C., Singh, A. K., & Devor, D. C. (2000). Pharmacological activation of cloned intermediate- and small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology278(3), C570–C581. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.2000.278.3.C570