Kathleen Ahles

Adjunct Instructor School of Science & Mathematics

Contact Information

Kathleen Ahles has been a faculty member at TCC since 2011. In that time, she has taught many courses, including Biology for Majors & Minors, Biotechnology Methods, and most recently, Human Anatomy. Her favorite part of TCC is the students that she meets each semester, and she always enjoys running into former students between classes. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences at OSU Center for Health Sciences, and hopes to become a full-time Biology instructor in the future.

Courses Taught

  • Human Anatomy
  • Biology for Majors
  • Biology for Non-Majors
  • Biotechnology Methods & Techniques


  • Bachelor's in Science, Oral Roberts University - 2007
  • PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences - in progress           

Research Interests

I am researching the gut-brain axis. This is the pathway that the bacteria inside your digestive system communicate with your brain. I change the gut bacteria in an animal known as the prairie vole by administering things like Lactobacillus (the bacteria in yogurt) or antibiotics (like you get from the doctor). Prairie voles are normally very friendly rodents, so I check to see if they spend more or less time with strangers when their gut bacteria change.

Publications & Presentations

Publications include:

Lactobacilli with probiotic potential in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Gut Pathogens 2015; 7: 35. Published December 30, 2015.

Presentations include:

"Lactobacillus administration alters behavior in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)." ASM Missouri Valley Branch Meeting, Kansas City. March 2016

"Lactobacillus and the Gut-Brain Axis: the Impact of one microbe on behavior." Oklahoma Research Day in Tulsa, Tulsa. February 2016

"Probiotics, the Gut-Brain Axis, and the Host." Oklahoma Health Research Conference, Oklahoma City. March 2015

"Exploring the Impact of Lactobacilli on Social Behavior." 5th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes, Washington, D.C. September 2014.

"Your 'Inner Man': the Microbiology of the GI Tract." Oral Roberts University Microbiology Class, Tulsa. September 2014.

"Probiotics and the Gut-Brain Axis: A Pilot Study." Oklahoma Health Research Conference, Oklahoma City. March 2014.

"The Effect of Cinnamaldehyde on Cell Death and Proliferation in HT-29 Colon Cancer Cells." Oklahoma Academy of Science Regional Meeting, Broken Arrow. November 2010.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Association
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