B.S., University of New Hampshire; Ph.D., Cornell University
Melissa A. BeersSenior Instructor in Biological Sciences Laboratory
Broad interests in molecular biology that are now focused on engaging students in complex experiments and science writing.
My primary research interests focus on the work I have done with the nematode worm C. elegans , studying the proteins involved in how an egg becomes an organized embryo. I have extensively used RNA interference to help determine what these proteins do. I have also spent some time working on ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, using the mouse as a model system. We worked to introduce RNA interference molecules in a cell-specific manner in mice. My focus now is to introduce my students to up-to-date research methods to answer complex problems in biology.
I teach the laboratory component of several biology courses including Introductory Cell Biology, Genetics, and Cell Physiology. Over the years I have worked extensively with the microscopic nematode worm C. elegans as a model organism. I am working to integrate this versatile model organism into the curricula of several different courses. I am also working to reduce the amount of printed materials in our courses by introducing an online wiki format for lab manuals. Students are able to read online all background materials and protocols and use their lab notebooks to outline the essentials of daily work. Several courses have adopted this new format.
When I am not running after my young son, I enjoy reading, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting (especially quilting), and spending time with family and friends.