Biology Department photograph montage

Barry Rothman

Faculty in Emeriti Faculty
Professor root
Professor Emeritus
Haverford College (BS, 1969) and California Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1976)
At SFSU Since: 
Spring, 1986
Hensill Hall, Room 221
Office Phone: 
(415) 338-2418 (no voicemail)
Professor of Biology Chair, Health Professions Advising Committee Director, Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program Director, SFSU - University of Pacific Dental Post-Bac Program Director, Summer Science Institute

I have been a member of the Biology Faculty at SFSU since spring, 1986, and SFSU's Health Professions Advisor since 1995. During my first 8 years at SFSU I ran a research lab that investigated peptide neurotransmitters in the marine snail, Aplysia. During the next 12 years I taught at all levels (GE, lower-division, upper-division, graduate) within the Biology curriculum, specializing in Cellular Neuroscience (Bio 640). Since summer, 2006, I have shifted my focus to running three different programs that help SFSU students gain entry to health profession schools.

Presently, I direct the SFSU Pre-Health Professions Certificate Program, a 2-year, high-fee Formal Post-Pac program that admits about 60 "career-changers" and about 60 "academic enhancers" each year. I also direct the SFSU-University of Pacific Dental Post-Bac Program, which serves about 16 socioeconomically disadvantaged academic enhancers each year. Lastly, I direct the Summer Science Institute, a 1-2 year program that provides academic support and exposure to health profession careers to as many as 24 SFSU socioeconomically disadvantaged undergraduates. All three programs are funded in part by a Health Career Opportunity Program (see below).

The synergistic interactions among the above programs create an enriched environment for students preparing to enter the health professions. As part of these programs, each fall and spring semester I teach Introduction to Health Professions (Sci 239), a class that introduces undergraduates to the spectrum of health professions and helps them study in a more efficient manner, and Health Professions Colloquium (Sci 695), a course that helps SFSU students prepare for the health profession school application process, with emphasis on writing personal statements and practicing interviews. Lastly, the Summer Science Institute (SSI) runs Science Preparatory I, II and III (Sci 231, summer; Sci 232, fall; Sci 233, spring) in its efforts to support its constituency.

I have recently secured federal funding for three years (2010-2013) to run a Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) in partnership with the Stanford University School of Medicine and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. At SFSU, this program will provide scholarship funds and additional resources to a small number of "HCOP Scholars" chosen from each of the three abovementioned programs.

I multiply my efforts through leadership of SFSU’s Health Professions Advising Committee (HPAC), a coalition of about 12 paid and volunteer post-bac and advanced undergraduate pre-health students. HPAC promotes and monitors most of the health professions activities on campus. HPAC’s major thrusts are: 1) Developing and offering the Introduction to Health Professions (Sci 239) and Health Professions Colloquium (Sci 695) courses, 2) Developing and offering SFSU’s undergraduate Summer Science Institute, 3) Supporting student pre-health organizations, 4) Coordinating a large number of extramural clinical opportunities for SFSU students, 5) Creating a well trained advising staff to augment my advising hours, and 6) Creating a Health Professions Speakers Series.