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David Gapp


David Gapp
David Gapp

Silas D. Childs Professor of Biology Emeritus and Senior Lecturer in Biology

Dave Gapp earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of William and Mary and his doctorate from Boston University. He joined the faculty in 1979 and studies the comparative endocrinology of reptiles, with a focus on the action and evolution of gastrointestinal and pancreatic hormones. Dozens of students have assisted Professor Gapp in his research to identify “diabetes” in a local population of snapping turtles, which has provided a model to study this serious metabolic disease affecting a significant portion of the American population. He has written manuscripts for such publications as The Journal of Comparative Endocrinology and Physiological Zoology and has received grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. 

Recent Courses Taught

General Biology
Fundamentals and Frontiers
Cell Biology and Chemistry
Vertebrate Physiology
Integrative Animal Biology
Food for Thought

Research Interests

  • Evolution of regulatory peptides
  • Mouse models of endocrinopathies
  • Comparative endocrinology of the gastro-entero-pancreatic endocrine system in reptiles and amphibians
  • Regulation of smooth muscle contraction in reptilian and amphibian gastrointestinal and urogenital systems
  • Leech parasitism in freshwater turtles

Selected Publications

  • Fitzsimmons K., D.A. Gapp, and A. B. Smythe. "Patterns of Leech Parasitism on Freshwater Turtles in Three Upstate New York Counties." Comparative Parasitology.
  • Gapp, D.A., and Pearl R.T. Gapp. "Diabetes in the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina." Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.
  • Gapp, D.A. 2004. "Tetrodotoxin." Chem. Heritage 22: 35.
  • Gapp, D.A., K. Lee, S. McNeil, A. Pagano and H. Stahle. 2004 "Chelydra Serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle). Reproduction. (A natural history note on Chelydra serpentina nest-site destruction by another Chelydra.)" Herpetological Review 35:264.
  • Gapp, D.A., and R.E. Carraway. 1990. "Neurotensin is localized to paracrine cells in the urinary bladder of the turtle, Chrysemys picta." Gen. Comp. Endocrinol., 79: 185-192.
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  • Gapp, D.A., R.N. Taranto, E.F. Walsh, P.J. Favorito and Y. Zhang. 1990. "Insulin cells are found in the main and accessory urinary bladders of the painted turtle, Chrysemys picta." J. Exptl. Zool., 254: 332-337.
  • Gapp, D.A., and J.M. Polak. 1990. "Localization of insulin to gastro-entero-pancreatic cells in the turtle intestine." Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 78: 48-55.
  • Laffan, E.W., C.A. Lisciotto, D.A. Gapp and D.A. Weldon. 1989 "Development of rotorod performance in normal and congenitally hypothyroid mutant mice." Behavioral and Neural Biology, 52: 411-416.
  • Gapp, D.A., M.P. Kenny and J.M. Polak. 1985. "The gastro-entero-pancreatic system of the turtle, Chrysemys picta." Peptides 6 (suppl. 3): 347-352.
  • Ali-Rachedi, A., I.M. Varndell, T.E. Adrian, D.A. Gapp, S. Van Noorden, S.R. Bloom and J.M. Polak. 1984. Peptide YY (PYY) immunoreactivity is co-stored with glucagon-related immunoreactants in endocrine cells of the gut and pancreas. Histochemistry 80: 487-491.
  • Gapp, D.A., E.H. Leiter, D.L. Coleman, and R.W. Schwizer. 1983. "Temporal changes in pancreatic islet composition in C57BL/6J-db/db ("diabetes") mice." Diabetologia 25: 439-443.
  • Callard, I.P., S.-M. Ho, D.A. Gapp, S. Taylor, D. Danko, and G. Wulczyn. 1980. Estrogens and estrogenic actions in fish, amphibians and reptiles. In: Estrogens in the Environment, a symposium sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, John A. McLachlan, ed.: Developments in Toxicology and Environmental Science, vol. 5, Elsevier/North Holland. pp. 213-237.
  • Leiter, E.H., D.A. Gapp, J.J. Eppig, and D.L. Coleman. 1979. "Ultrastructural and morphometric studies of delta cells in pancreatic islets from C57BL/Ks diabetes mice." Diabetologia 17: 297-310.
  • Gapp, D.A., S.-M. Ho, and I.P. Callard. 1979. "Plasma levels of vitellogenin in Chrysemys picta during the annual gonad cycle: Measurement by radioimmunoassay." Endocrinology 104: 784-790.
  • Gapp, D.A. and I.A. Macchi. 1978. "Comparison of endocrine secretion by monolayer cultures derived by different procedures from neonatal hamster and rat pancreas." Horm. Metabol. Res. 10: 489-495.

College Service

  • Chair of Biology Department, 1990-95
  • Outreach activities involving bringing elementary, middle and high school students to campus for experiences in the sciences

Appointed to the Faculty: 1979

Educational Background

Ph.D., Boston University
M.A., College of William and Mary
B.S., College of William and Mary

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