Julie Roden

Senior Instructor in Biological Sciences Laboratory

Research and teaching interests in microbiology, cellular, and molecular biology.

Both as an educator and as a researcher, I have found it particularly valuable to examine the intersection of various fields including microbiology, plant physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and immunology. As a graduate student, I identified and characterized novel virulence proteins from Xanthomonas, a plant pathogenic bacterium. For my postdoctoral research, I studied the role of several membrane proteins in Bartonella, a bacterium that causes cat scratch disease. At Wellesley, I draw from these diverse experiences to help students learn and think analytically about the practice of science.

I teach the laboratory component of both molecular and organismal introductory courses, as well as upper level courses including cell biology and microbiology. In all courses, I am passionate about engaging students in active learning. Students in my courses frequently work as a class or in small groups to develop hypotheses, predict outcomes, and engage each other to spur critical thinking. I believe that students learn best when they are passionate about a subject and are given the chance to have a degree of ownership in their work.

As part of my commitment to fostering undergraduate research, I am involved in several projects that aim to add or expand upon student-designed research experiences in Wellesley biology laboratory courses.

When not in the lab, you can usually find me playing with my family in the backyard, walking in the woods, or conducting cooking “experiments” in the kitchen.


  • A.B., Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Stanford University

Current and upcoming courses

A foundation course that focuses on the study of life at the cellular and molecular level, including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, function of biological macromolecules, molecular genetics, cellular metabolism, and key topics in cell biology. This course will provide the fundamental tools for exploration of cellular and molecular biology with the aim of enhancing conceptual understanding. Laboratories focus on experimental approaches to these topics. This course is intended for students who, because of their previous biology, chemistry or math preparation, would benefit from additional academic support for the study of introductory biology, or who do not meet the prerequisites to enroll in BISC 110. Includes two additional class meetings per week. Students in BISC 110P must enroll in BISC 110P lab. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.