Professor of Biology; Biology Department Chair
Biology / Academic
- IDEA Center 342
Ph.D.; Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology; University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH
B.S.; Biology; Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
The Richardson Chair for the Center for Research, Experience & Transformative Education
I entered college undecided on a major and a career. My own liberal arts education transformed my life, career, and approach to learning. By the time I finished my Ph.D., I knew that I would be happiest providing that same opportunity for transformation that I encountered as teenager. I joined the faculty of Austin College in 2003 and am currently a Professor and Chair of the Biology Department. During my career, I have worked extensively to promote and develop opportunities for students to learn through research experiences. I led the development of the all-campus Austin College Student Scholarship Conference (ACSC) to provide professional opportunities for students to present their research on campus in all subject areas and was named the Director of the Center for Research, Experiential, Artistic, and Transformative Education (CREATE) at Austin College in 2015. I was elected a Councilor in Biology for the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) in 2013 and currently serve as a the Biology Division Chair for CUR. I also serve on the steering committee for Austin College’s Science Teaching and Research (STAR) Leadership Program, which works to integrate leadership training into the science curriculum to better prepare students for careers and citizenship. My own research studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer is supported by the Discovery Foundation in Dallas, Texas.
- Biology 116: Introductory Cell Biology
- Biology 248: Cellular Physiology
- Biology 340: Immunology
- Biology 347: Cancer Biology
- Biology 472: Research and Design of Experiments
My research focuses on how the activity and specificity of an enzyme called the proteasome affects the biology of a cell. The activities of proteasomes are essential for almost every process in the eukaryotic cell. My lab uses a variety of genetic, biochemical, molecular, and cellular biology approaches to specifically study the proteasome activator called PA28gamma, which is a prominent marker of several cancers and the autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus. In my lab, we currently pursue questions examining the roles that PA28/proteasomes play in regulating the life and death decisions of cells. Through understanding the regulation of proteasome activity, we hope to understand the biological processes that lead to cancerous transformations and aberrant cellular function.
Publications, CV, and Links:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Biology Department
- Student Scholarship Conference
- Lab page
- Council on Undergraduate Research
- Sigma Xi
I am also a Certified Specialist of Wine and teach a January Term course on the Science and Culture of Wine.