Charles H. Keith, Ph.D
Professor of Biology and Chair, Department of Natural Science
103 Science and Technology Building
Bluffton, SC 29909
Hilton Head Gateway Campus
218 Center for Fine Arts
Beaufort, SC 29902
Historic Beaufort Campus
Charles H. Keith, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Natural Science at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. He joined the faculty in 2007 after devoting 23 years to the University of Georgia in Athens. While there, he collaborated with a renowned developmental neurobiologist and an equally renowned mathematician on the imaging of actual physiological neural activity in living fish. The scholars have continued their collaboration, focusing now on imaging neural activity in zebra fish that have been exposed to chemicals that cause epileptic-like seizures.
Keith earned a B.S. degree in biochemistry at Princeton University in 1973, then received a Ph.D. in biophysics and theoretical biology at the University of Chicago in 1979.
From 1982 to 1984, he served as an assistant research scientist at the NYU Medical Center in Manhattan. NYU Medical Center is widely regarded as a premier center of excellence in medical care, biomedical research and medical education.
In 1984, he joined the faculty at the University of Georgia as an Associate Professor and dedicated the next 27 years of his academic career to scholarship and teaching. Concurrently, from 1992 to 1994, Dr. Keith was a visiting scientist with the National Science Foundation. From 2005 to 2007, he served as a co-director of the Microcopy Center at UGA before assuming his present position at USCB in August of 2007.
Dr. Keith is collaborating with Dr. James D. Lauderdale, an associate professor in the Department of Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia, on the initial study as well as a second research project on the imaging of epileptogenic activity in both adult and larval zebra fish. In addition, Dr. Keith will be collaborating with Dr. Lauderdale and Dr. Eric Montie, assistant professor of biology at USCB, to investigate imaging neural activity in fish hearing. The multidisciplinary project, to be pursued in earnest over the summer of 2013, complements Dr. Montie’s studies on the role of hearing and sound production in fish in the natural environment.
In brief, Dr. Keith is developing methods to look at both natural and induced neural signaling in fish. The techniques his team employs involve the use of microscopy to investigate natural signaling at the level of individual neural cells. Scientists hope to answer such questions as which fish initiates signaling and how does signaling affect the target? This focus of research is a priority of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a distinct institute within the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Keith is widely published in peer-reviewed publications.
He teaches General Physiology, Biochemistry and associated labs, as well as non-majors science courses.