Michelle Labonte

(781) 283-3087
Biological Sciences
B.A., Princeton University; Ph.D., Harvard University

Michelle LaBonte
Instructor in Biological Sciences Laboratory

Molecular biologist with current interests in science education and the ethical implications of new genetic technologies.

My past research focused on virology and molecular immunology. My research at Wellesley has shifted to medical ethics, and I am particularly interested in the ethics surrounding genetic testing of embryos before implantation in IVF procedures. Recently published work includes an examination of informed consent for IVF patients regarding the safety of this testing procedure (termed preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)) and the conflict of interest that fertility centers have in disclosing risks associated with this procedure. My ongoing research in this field expands on this issue to look at how the regulation of PGD differs by country and how that correlates with the design of safety studies carried out in different countries.

I regularly teach the introductory cell and molecular biology lecture and laboratory courses (BISC 110 and BISC 112) and an upper level immunology seminar (BISC 336). I have also taught Biotechnology (BISC 107) as well as laboratory sections of the Cellular Physiology (BISC 220) and Genetics (BISC 219) courses. In addition to teaching in the Department of Biological Sciences, I also teach a Human Genetics and Ethics course (WRIT 125) through the Writing Program.

I am particularly interested in science education and I have enjoyed taking part in the development of new labs for the introductory cellular and molecular Biology course.

Outside of Wellesley, I enjoy running, quilting, taking photographs of cells, and spending time with my husband, son, daughter, and dog.