Elena Keeling (Biological Sciences Admissions Contact)

Office: 33-271
Phone Number: 805-756-2175
Email: ekeeling(place an 'at' sign here)calpoly.edu


Elena Keeling has been at Cal Poly since 1996. She primarily teaches genetics, cell biology, introductory molecular/cell biology and stem cell biology. She is enthusiastic about doing research with undergraduates and collaborating with colleagues in other disciplines. Her primary research focuses on development and regeneration in the colonial ascidian Botrylloides violaceus. Colonial ascidians have the capacity to undergo complete regeneration from a poorly characterized population of circulating stem cells. As invertebrate chordates, they are more closely related to vertebrates than other animals with strong regenerative abilities. Her goal is to learn more about molecular and cellular aspects of ascidian stem cells and regeneration.


B.S. Yale University, 1989
Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco, 1996

Research Interests

Biology Education
Development and regeneration in colonial ascidians
Interdisciplinary investigation of algae for biofuel applications


CIRM program responsibilities

  • Teaching BIO 534 Principles of Stem Cell Biology
  • Mentoring
  • Coordinating Biological Sciences admission
  • Helping facilitate outreach and patient interaction events
Picture of Elena Keeling (Biological Sciences Admissions Contact)