Amy Sprowles Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Cellular/Molecular Biology

Photo of Amy Sprowles, 2023
(707) 826-4180
SciB 324A

Amy grew up in a small college town in Maine. She received a B.A. in Biology from Clark University and a PhD in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the UC Davis Cancer Center and in the Animal Genomics Laboratory. She has taught and mentored students at Humboldt since 2006. In addition, she has served as the Co-Director of the Humboldt CIRM Bridges ProgramProgram Director of the Humboldt Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence ’17 Program, Co-Director of the Humboldt HSI STEM grantCo-PI NSF INCLUDES Transcending Barriers Planning Grantthe Program Lead for the Humboldt Transcending Barriers to Student Success Pilot Project, and as the Humboldt CSU STEM NET Faculty Advisor. In 2020, she was honored to be a recipient of the CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award.


B.A. (1995) Clark University,Biology / Minor: Piano Performance
Ph.D. (2003) Vanderbilt University, Biochemistry

Courses Taught

BIOL544/544L - Stem Cell Biology
BIOL340 - Genetics
BIOL440 - Genetics Laboratory
SCI100: Becoming a STEM Professional in the 21st Century


I am interested in the signal transduction mechanisms that regulate early embryonic development, particularly those that promote the onset of cancer when mutated. I am also a discipline-based educational researcher interested in improving learning for all students.

Graduate Students

Current: Sheng Yang, Madison Gutierrez, Alyssa Paynton, Jon Tierney




      • Sprowles, A.E., Martell, S., Malloy, K.J., Hillman, L.T., Hillman, L.C., Rich, A., Smith, J., Shaughnessy, F., Hurst, M.P., Manor, S., Mazzag, B., Oliver, D., Siering, P., Cashman, E., O’Dowd, A.P., Goley, P.D., Black, G., Goldenberg, K., and Johnson, M.D. “First year STEM curriculum co-created with Indigenous scientists improves intellectual growth, psychosocial factors associated with retention, and academic achievement of students from racially minoritized groups historically underrepresented in STEM,” Discovering Education (in review).
      • Sprowles, A., and Johnson, M. (2021). “A Faculty-Led Effort to Build Campus Community Around Inclusive Excellence in Stem,” in Shared Leadership in Higher Education (pp. 81–92), Routledge.
      • Johnson, M. D., Sprowles, A. E., Goldenberg, K. R., Margell, S. T., & Castellino, L. (2020). Effect of a place-based learning community on belonging, persistence, and equity gaps for first-year STEM students. Innovative Higher Education45(6), 509-531. Available at
      • Harper, M., Bernard, T., Sprowles, A., and A. Jacobson. 2020. Energy Requirements of the Screening Sites in a COVID-19 Hub and Spoke Testing Approach. Covid-19 Resources. Washington D.C. Lightening Global.
        Available at:
      • Sprowles, A.E., Goldenberg, K. , Goley, P. D. , Ladwig, S. , Shaughnessy, F. J. , Malloy, K. J. , Baldy, C. R. , Mola, M. M. , Smith, J. R. et al. (2019). Place-Based Learning Communities on a Rural Campus: Turning Challenges into Assets. Learning Communities Research and Practice, 7(1), Article 6.
        Available at:
      • Johnson, M.D., Sprowles, A.E., Overeem, K.M., Rich, A. (2017). “A Place-based Learning Community: Klamath Connection at Humboldt State University”. Learning Communities Research and Practice Vol. 5:2, Article 4.
      • Eschenbach, E., Cashman E., Johnson, M., Sprowles, A. (2017). Connecting Environmental Engineers to the Klamath River via a Place Based Learning Community. Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Indianapolis, IN. DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2017.8190541, IEEE.
      • Sprowles, A and Malloy, K.J. 2017. Klamath Connection and Critical Histories/Activist Futures: The Role of Interdisciplinary Discourse in Addressing Racism and Inequity in STEM Education. Somatosphere. (accessed October 24, 2017)