Craig Laufer

Craig Laufer
  • Undergraduate Faculty
  • Graduate Faculty

Co-Chair, Department of Biology

Professor of Biology

Hodson Science and Technology Center, Room 160


My doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on bacterial genetics, specifically related to DNA topoisomerases and genetic recombination. As a graduate student, I just happened to be sitting in the right meeting at the right time and fell into an opportunity to teach a class. This bit of serendipity was a turning point in my life as I realized how rewarding teaching was for me. In addition to my research, I made sure to continue teaching as a postdoctoral fellow and from there I came to Hood.

At Hood, I have taught many courses but most recently I have been teaching undergraduate microbiology courses, graduate courses in protein biochemistry, and an honors seminar titled Plagues and Peoples. I am looking forward to teaching some of the electives related to alternative energy that are part of our new major in Sustainability Studies.

 My research interests have evolved over time and I am currently working with a collection of molecular genetic methods to engineer proteins. My students and I are engineering enzymes with properties suitable to convert lignocellulosic biomass into valuable products such as biofuels. Most recently we have been working to modify cellulose-digesting enzymes so that they can readily be recycled for multiple uses in converting biomass into glucose. This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is in collaboration with a small, local bioenergy firm, Atlantic Biomass LLC. The photo below is a selfie of students who were working with me on these projects in a recent semester.


Outside of work I enjoy gardening (I no longer find deer in the neighborhood cute) and am a devoted and long-time Baltimore Orioles fan. The photo is of me and my wife at Camden Yards with my all-time favorite Oriole, the great Boog Powell. We live with our new puppy, Demelza, shown in the photo helping me with grading papers. 



  • Ph.D., Kent State University, 1984, Biochemistry
  • B.S., University of Maryland, 1979, Biochemistry and Zoology