- B.S. in Biology, Calvin College, 1994
- M.S. in Zoology, Michigan State University, 1997
- Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 2003
Dr. DeJong’s research focuses on the biology of invertebrates, especially parasites and their hosts, from ecological, evolutionary, and genetic perspectives. He has long-standing interests in molluscs (snails, mussels, etc.) and in schistosomes, a group of parasites that includes species that cause human disease in many developing countries, and also includes species that are found in birds and mammals all over the world. His current interests include bacteriophages and bacterial communities of invertebrates, and the application of molecular biology techniques to environmental problems, such as microbial source tracking.
Dr. DeJong enjoys reading, attending concerts, working in the yard, hiking, and camping. He and his wife, Jennifer Knox DeJong, have been involved in ministry to college students since 2001, and are parents of two children.
Before coming to Calvin, Dr. DeJong was a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health near Washington D.C. There he investigated, at the genetic level, the relationship between malaria parasites and the mosquitoes that transmit them. During his Ph.D. studies, Dr. DeJong participated in the first global genetic study of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni and led the most complete genetic study of its snail host, Biomphalaria. He has published more than 30 papers in the areas of parasitology, immunobiology, ecology, and evolution and has teaching experience at several institutions of higher learning.
Research and scholarship
Studying the interactions of Schistosoma parasites with their snail hosts as well as aquatic invertebrate ecology.
His current interests include bacteriophages and bacterial communities of invertebrates, and the application of molecular biology techniques to environmental problems, such as microbial source tracking.
- James G. Lamine, Randall J. DeJong, and Serita M. Nelesen. PhamDB: a web-based application for constructing Phamerator databases. Bioinformatics doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btw106. 2016.
- Welkin H Pope, Charles A Bowman, Daniel A Russell, Deborah Jacobs-Sera, David J Asai, Steven G Cresawn, William R Jacobs Jr, Roger W Hendrix, Jeffrey G Lawrence, Graham F Hatfull, Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science, Phage Hunters Integrating Research and Education, Mycobacterial Genetics Course - See complete list of authors at:http://elifesciences.org/content/4/e06416/article-info#.dpuf (Calvin authors: RJ DeJong, JT Wertz, and 59 students: Ola-Oluwakiti Alabi, Malak Alkanani, Abigail JS Armstrong, Anne Barron, Abbey Bell, Amy Bohner, Kirsten Brink, Kyle Burghgraef, Aaron Burghgraef, Anna Casto Markosky, Ariangela J Davis-Kozik, Jodie DeVries, Mieke Dykhouse, Annelle Eben, Eric Edewaard, Tom Everding, J Grant Fahey, Joel Feldhake, Taylor Fleet, Aubree Frownfelter, Katelyn Geleynse, Neil Gilbert, Alex Harris, Henry Higby, Stacy Hooker, Emily Huizenga, Timothy Jen, Mark Juel, Kyle Kaczynski, Samuel Kerk, Jessica Lang, Jonathan Lin, Ryan Martinie, Trevor Meindertsma, Nicole Michmerhuizen, Jordan Newhof, Ian Noyes, Margot Oliver, Larissa Osterbaan, Anna Plantinga, Rachel Polet, Riemer Praamsma, Jeremiah Reenders, Emily Rhude, Alexander Schierbeek, Elizabeth Schleh, Karyssa Schrouder, Lisa Schultz, Shawntavia Stewart, Rebecca Van Zanen, Peter VandeHaar, Josue Vasquez, Kelsey Veldkamp, Kara Venema, Victoria Westra, Peter Widitz, Kathryn Wrobel, Eric Yu; 2863 authors total). 2015. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity. eLife 2015;4:e06416 http://elifesciences.org/content/4/e06416
- Molina-Cruz, A, RJ DeJong, C Ortega, A Haile, E Abban, J Rodrigues, G Jaramillo-Gutierrez, and C Barillas-Mury. 2012. Some strains of Plasmodium falciparum, a human malaria parasite, evade the complement-like system of Anopheles gambiaemosquitoes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ePrint, May 23, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1121183109
- Pope, W.H., CM Ferriera, D Jacobs-Sera, RC Benjamin, Ariangela J Davis*, Randall J. DeJong, SCR Elgin, FR Guilfoile, MH Forsyth, Alexander D. Harris*, SE Harvey, LE Hughes, PM Hynes, AS Jackson, MD Jalal, EA MacMurray, CM Manley, MJ McDonough, JL Mosier, Larissa J. Osterbaan*, HS Rabinowitz, CN Rhyan, DA Russell, MS Saha, CD Shaffer, SE Simon, EF Sims, IG Tovar, EG Weisser, John T. Wertz, KA Weston-Hafer, KE Williamson, B Zhang, SG Cresawn, P Jain, M Piuri, WR Jacobs Jr., RW Hendrix, GF Hatfull. 2011. Cluster K Mycobacteriophages: Insights into the Evolutionary Origins of Mycobacteriophage TM4. PLoS One 6(10): e26750. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026750
- Lotfy,WM, SV Brant, RJ DeJong, TH Le, A Demiaszkiewicz, RPVJ Rajapakse, VBVP Perera, JR Laursen, and ES Loker. 2008. Evolutionary origins, diversification, and biogeography of liver flukes (Digenea, Fasciolidae). American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 79: 248-255.
- Zhang, SM, H Nian, Y Zeng, and RJ DeJong. 2008. Fibrinogen-bearing protein genes in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata: Characterization of two novel genes and expression studies during ontogenesis and trematode infection. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 32: 1119-1130.
- Molina-Cruz, A. RJ DeJong, B Charles, L Gupta, S Kumar, G Jaramillo-Gutierrez, and C Barillas-Mury. 2008. Reactive oxygen species modulate Anopheles gambiae immunity against bacteria and Plasmodium. Journal of Biological Chemistry 283: 3217-3223.
In the news
NSF grant boosts Calvin's research infrastructure
A $338,000 grant from the National Science Foundation provides more research opportunities for students through access to more state of the art equipment.
Researching the mighty phage
Summer research projects pair two students with two professors in the study of bacteriophages.
- Off-campus programs:
- Course code: