Kevin Ahern

Kevin G. Ahern received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Biophysics from Oregon State University. Upon joining the faculty at Oregon State’s Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1995, he began a career focused on novel methods to improve student learning and engagement. His work in biochemistry instruction and advising has been recognized internationally.  Dr. Ahern is a lecturer for Lecturio, a German online educational company producing instructional videos for medical students.  

A pioneer in electronic delivery of course content, Ahern’s 600+ video lectures on YouTube educational have garnered over 4,000,000 views.  His popular “Metabolic Melodies” are a collection of over 200 songs he has written and sings regularly in the classroom as aids to learning biochemistry.  Ahern has over 45,000 students on the iTunes U MOOC who use the free course as a means to begin learning the subject.  He has also created two popular open educational resource textbooks.  “Biochemistry Free and Easy," co-authored with Indira Rajagopal, was released in 2012.  Together with Dr. Rajagopal and a former student, Dr. Taralyn Tan, Ahern produced and released a second book, “Biochemistry Free For All,” in 2016.  Together these two free books have over 200,000 downloads and are used by students and professors all over the world.

Dr. Ahern has also been active in engaging students in experiential learning.  Serving as the Director of OSU’s HHMI Summer Undergraduate Research Program for 14 years and as OSU’s Director for Undergraduate Research for 3 years, Ahern helped hundreds of undergraduate students engage in the research enterprise in all disciplines across the university. He is the PI of a current, five-year, $1,500,000 NSF-funded IUSE grant, "The OSU STEM Leaders Program,” which aims to improve the success, retention, and persistence to graduation of under-represented minority students in STEM disciplines.

Dr. Ahern also served a scientific writer and editor for 27 years with stints as a Contributing Editor to Science, Genetic Engineering News, and BioTechniques.  For the past 5+ years, he has produced a popular “Limerick a Day” for his vast Facebook audience and has five books in this series.