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Douglas B. Spicer, Ph.D., M.MEdL

Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, COM


Stella Maris Hall 319
Biddeford Campus
Eligible for Student Opportunities



Ph.D., Biochemistry
Boston University School of Medicine
University of New England

Post-Doctoral Training

Post-Doctoral Training, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Harvard Medical School (, )


Selected publications

Abali EE, Carman R, Spicer DB. Biochemistry Behind the Symptoms. Wolters Kluwer Publishing (2023).    

O'Mara T A, Angstman K, Spicer D B, et al. (December 13, 2022) Raising Capacity to Address Mental Health Concerns in Costa Rica. Cureus 14(12): e32481    

Simmons JM, Franklin DS, Dahlman KB, Symes K, Viselli SM, Diaz-Cruz ES, Fong SFT, Spicer DB. Teaching biochemistry to students of dentistry, medicine, and pharmacy: 8th International Conference of the Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE) Virtual Conference, May 3-7, 2021. Med Sci Educ. 2021 Sep 20;31(6):1-4 

Spicer DB, Thompson KH, Kilgallen S. Making the connection: Using concept mapping to bring the basic sciences to the diagnosis. JAOA. 2020;120(8): 524-528

Spicer DB, Thompson KH, Tong MS, Cowan TM, Fulton TB, Lindsley JE. Medical biochemistry without rote memorization: multi-institution implementation and student preceptions of a nationally standardized metabolic map for learning and assessment. Med. Sci. Edu. 2018. 

Spicer DB, Rowe R, Kilgallen S, Thompson KH. Concept mapping as a tool to promote cognitive integration. IAMSE Annual Meeting, Burlington, VT, June 2017

Thompson KH, Spicer DB, Kilgallen S, Rowe R, Winterson BH. Student perceptions of integrated vs basic science and clinical resources. Association of Biochemistry Educators Biannual Meeting, Clearwater Beach, FL, May 2017

Guzzo RM, Alaee F, Paglia D, Gibson JD, Spicer DB, and Drissi H. Aberrant expression of Twist1 in diseased articular cartilage and a potential role in the modulation of osteoarthritis severity.  Genes & Diseases. 2016; 3(1);88-99.

Rowe RJ, Thompson KH, Spicer DB. Identification of “at risk” students in Osteopathic Medical Knowledge I. IAMSE Annual Meeting, Leiden, Netherlands, June 2016

Jacqueroud L, Bouard C, Richard G, Devouassoux-Shisheboran M, Terreux R, Pierrot A, Spicer DB, Caramel J, Payen L, Puisieux, Tissier A, Ansieau S. The heterodimeric TWIST1/E12 complex drives the oncogenic potential of TWIST1 in human mammary epithelial cells. Neoplasia. 2016 May;18(5):317-27.

Spicer DB, Van Deusen J, Thompson KH. Small group facilitation effects on student learning. IAMSE Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, June 2015

Spicer DB, Van Deusen J, Thompson KH. Identification of facilitation skills that promote student learning. University of New England Board of Trustees Meeting, November 2014

Spicer DB, Thompson KH, Winterson BJ. Development of a flexible learning space for use in an integrative team-based curriculum. IAMSE Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, June 2014

Spicer DB, Thompson KH, Winterson BJ. Development of a flexible learning space for use in an integrative team-based curriculum. AACOM Annual Meeting, Washington DC, April 2014

Vincentz JW, Firulli BA, Lin A, Spicer DB, Howard MJ, Firulli AB. Twist1 controls a cell-specification switch governing cell fate decisions within the cardiac neural crest. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(3):e1003405

Spicer DB, Kilgallen S, Binks A, LeClair R, Winterson BJ, Thompson KH. Concept Map Assessment as a Tool for 2nd Year Medical Student Review and Feedback for 1st Year Students. IAMSE Annual Meeting, St Andrews, Scotland. June 2013

Thompson KH, Binks A, Cao L, Dane P, Kilgallen S, LeClair R, Spicer DB, Van Deusen J, Winterson BJ. Concept Maps Support Integration of Content across Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Case Scenarios. IAMSE Annual Meeting, St Andrews, Scotland. June 2013

Morel AP, Hinkal GW, Thomas C, Fauvet F, Courtois-Cox S, Wierinckx A, Devouassoux-Shisheboran M, Treilleux I, Tissier A, Gras B, Pourchet J, Puisieux I, Browne GJ, Spicer DB, Lachuer J, Ansieau S, Puisieux A. EMT inducers catalyze malignant transformation of mammary epithelial cells and drive tumorigenesis towards claudin-low tumors in transgenic mice. PLoS Genet. 2012; 8(5):e1002723.

Connerney J, Spicer DB. Signal transduction pathways and their impairment in syndromic craniosynostosis, in Monographs in Human Genetics. Craniosynostoses: Molecular Genetics, Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment, M. Muenke, H. Collmann, W. Kress, and B.D. Solomon, Editors, Karger. 2011; 28-44.

Guzzo R, Andreeva V, Spicer DB*, and Drissi H*. Persistent expression of Twist1 in chondrocytes causes growth plate abnormalities and dwarfism in mice. J Int Dev Biol. 2011; 55:641-7. *equal contribution.

Chakraborty S, Wirrig EE, Hinton RB, Merrill WH, Spicer DB, Yutzey KE. Twist1 promotes heart valve cell proliferation and extracellular matrix gene expression during development in vivo and is expressed in human diseased aortic valves. Dev Biol. 2010; 34(1)7:167-79.

Spicer, D. FGF9 on the move. Nat. Genet. 2009; 41:272-273.

Connerney, J., V. Andreeva, Y. Leshem, M.A. Mercado, K. Dowell, X. Yang, V. Lindner, R.E. Friesel, and D.B. Spicer. Twist1 homodimers enhance FGF responsiveness of the cranial sutures and promote suture closure. Dev. Biol. 2008; 318; 323-334.

Connerney, J., Y. Leshem, V. Andreeva, C. Muentener, M. Mercado, and D.B. Spicer. Twist dimer selection regulates cranial suture patterning and fusion. Dev. Dyn. 2006; 235: 1345-1357.

Research interests

Clinical reasoning skill development
Active learning pedagogies in medical education
Innovations in medical education
Online education for health sciences