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Nighat P. Kokan

Faculty - Biology


Science and Math


(414) 410-4138


RB Roger Bacon 218


Box 371


Dr. Nighat Kokan is a natural sciences/biology associate professor in the College of Undergraduate Studies. She teaches courses in biology, microbiology, genetics and forensics, an interdisciplinary core course incorporating DNA and psychology in the courtroom. She is mentor to biology majors on research track carrying out independent research projects in molecular biology, genomics and microbiology. Her other teaching interests include molecular genetics, plant biology, nutritional science and food safety. Her bioinformatics course is part of the Stritch Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP) that Stritch offers for local area high school students to earn college credits.  

An early adaptor to tools of online and distance learning, she has extensive experience teaching online, hybrid and face to face courses. She is an active participant of Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), a nationwide collaboration of 100+ institutions that integrates active learning into the undergraduate curriculum through Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) centered in bioinformatics and genomics. Over the 10 years of implementation of this program, more than 120 Cardinal Stritch University undergraduate students have participated in GEP research projects with a substantial number of students being co-authors on publications arising from their work. Read more about the GEP and about GEP at Stritch.

The recent configurations of GEP outreach allows for a flexible modular curriculum for implementation at community colleges and high schools.Those interested in learning manual gene annotations using bioinformatics tools and genomic databases can contact Dr. Kokan for more information.



  • B.S., Ahmadu Bello University
  • M.S., Ahmadu Bello University
  • Ph.D., Univ Of Wisconsin-Madison


Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics.
Curriculum design, online teaching, digital tools, and distance learning.

Publications & Presentations

David Lopatto,…Nighat P Kokan…and Sarah C.R. Elgin. 2020.  Facilitating Growth through Frustration: Using Genomics Research in a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience. J Microbiol Biol Educ. Feb 28;21(1).

Wilson Leung… Nighat P Kokan, Latia Britt, Alycia Zoellner… and Sarah C. R. Elgin. 2017. Retrotransposons Are the Major Contributors to the Expansion of the Drosophila ananassae Muller F Element G3: Genes Genomes Genetics 7(8):2439-2460. This paper has 276 co-authors; 239 of whom participated as undergraduate students. 

Sarah C.R. Elgin, Charles Hauser, Teresa M Holzen, Christopher Jones, Adam Kleinschmit, Judith Leatherman, The Genomic Education Partnership. 2017. The GEP: Crowd-Sourcing Big Data Analysis with Undergraduates. Trends in Genetics 33:81-85. (DOI: 10.1016/j.tig.2016.11.004).

Wilson Leung, ….Nighat P. Kokan, Kwabea Agbley, Sampson K. Boham, Daniel Broomfield, Kayla Chapman, Ali Dobbe, Ian Dobbe, William Harrington, Marwan Ibrahem, Andre Kennedy, Chad A. Koplinsky, Cassandra Kubricky, Danielle Ladzekpo, Claire Pattison, Roman E. Ramirez, Lucia Wande, Sarah Woehlke,… and Sarah C.R. Elgin. 2015. Drosophila Muller F Elements Maintain a Distinct Set of Genomic Properties Over 40 Million Years of Evolution (2015). G3: Genes Genomes Genetics 5(5): 5 719-740. This paper by GEP has 1014 collaborators of whom 940 contributed while undergraduates.

David Lopatto …Nighat P. Kokan…and Sarah C.R. Elgin. 2014. A Central Support System Can Facilitate Implementation and Sustainability of a Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in Genomics. CBE Life Science Education 13(4): 711-723. This paper by GEP has 73 collaborators.

Christopher D. Shaffer… Nighat P. Kokan…and Sarah C. R. Elgin. 2014. A Course-Based Research Experience: How Benefits Change with Increased Investment in Instructional Time. CBE Life Science Education 13(1) 111-130. This paper by GEP has 84 collaborators.

Christopher D. Shaffer… Nighat P. Kokan…and Sarah C. R. Elgin. 2010. The Genomics Education Partnership:  Successful Integration of Research into Laboratory Classes at a Diverse Group of Undergraduate Institutions. CBE Life sci Edu 9(1):55-69.

Kokan-Moore, N.P., D.L. Bolender and J. Lough. 1991. Secretion of activin betaA by endoderm cultured from early embryonic chicken. Developmental Biology 146:242-245.

Parlow, M. H., Bolender D.L., Kokan-Moore, N.P., and J. Lough. 1991. Localization of bFGF-like proteins as punctate inclusions in the preseptation myocardium of the chicken embryo. Developmental Biology 146:139-147.

Kokan-Moore, N. P. and M. S. Bergdoll. 1989. Effect of chemical modification of histidine and tyrosine residues in TSST-1 on its serologic and mitogenic activities. Infection and Immunity 57:1901-1905.

Kokan-Moore, N. P. and M. S. Bergdoll. 1989. Determination of biologically active region in TSST-1. Reviews of Infectious Diseases volume 2 Supplement I S125-S130.

Singh, B. R., Kokan-Moore, N. P. and M. S. Bergdoll. 1988. Molecular topography of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 as revealed by spectroscopic studies. Biochemistry 27:8730-8735.

Kokan, N. P. and M. S. Bergdoll. 1987. Detection of low-enterotoxin producing Staphylococcus aureus strains. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 53:2675-2676.

Why Stritch?

"The Franciscan values that shape the Stritch experience are universal. They cross cultures and time and are examples of how we can all live together and work for each other's benefit. Over the years I have taught at Stritch, I found that every member of the community tries to put these values to work every day. Our smaller classes allow me to know each of my students personally and tailor my instruction to build on each individual's strengths. The Stritch community is committed to every student's success, not only in the workforce but also for lifelong learning and a love of knowledge. We are focused on our students' growth as individuals, active participants in social commitments and global citizens."

- Nighat P. Kokan