Full-Time Faculty

Timothy Chapp  Synthetic mimics of enzyme active sites. B.S., St. Lawrence University (chemistry and biology); Ph.D., Dartmouth College.

Catharina Coenen  Plant hormone physiology. Undergraduate work, Universität Bremen (Germany); Ph.D., Oregon State University.

Alice Deckert  Kinetic approach to reaction mechanisms. B.S. (chemistry), B.A. (mathematics), Bethel College; Ph.D., Stanford University.

Moira Flanagan  Biophysical understanding of photoprotective mechanisms. B.S., The Cooper Union; PhD, The University of Chicago.

Ivelitza Garcia (Chair)  Structure and function of RNA binding proteins; biophysical and molecular biology methods for investigating interactions between RNA and proteins. B.S. (chemistry), Florida International University; Ph.D.(Biological Chemistry/Biophysics), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bradley Hersh  Developmental genetics; evolutionary developmental biology. B.A., Kenyon College; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tricia Humphreys  Microbiology; host-pathogen interactions. B.A., Thomas More College; Ph.D., Miami University.

Shaun Murphree  Synthetic methodology using polyfunctional sulfones; synthesis of furan-containing compounds of biological relevance; development of methods for microwave-assisted organic synthesis (MAOS). B.A., Colgate University; Ph.D., Emory University.

Margaret Nelson  Developmental, cell, and molecular biology. B.A., Williams College; M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University.

P.J. Persichini, III  B.S., University of Pittsburgh at Bradford; M.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Ph.D., University of Wyoming.

Yee Mon Thu  Molecular and cancer biology. B.A., Grinnell College; Ph.D., Vanderbilt University.


Selected Faculty Publications

  • “Genetic evidence for auxin involvement in arbuscular mycorrhiza initiation,” published in New Phytologist
  • “A comprehensive study of the formation and reaction of a tethered N-hydroxysulfosuccinimidyl ester utilized to covalently tether proteins to surfaces,” published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry
  • “Differential RNA-dependent ATPase activities of four rRNA processing yeast DEAD-box proteins,” published in Biochemistry
  • “The UBX-regulated network in the haltere imaginal disc of D. melanogaster,” published in Developmental Biology
  • “Rapid divergence of two classes of Haemophilus ducreyi,” published in The Journal of Bacteriology
  • “Sequences in intron 51 of the von Willibrand Factor gene target promoter activation to a subset of lung endothelial cells in transgenic mice,” published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • “Spectroscopic characterization and assignment of reduction potential in the tetraheme cytochrome c554 from Nitrosomonas Euorpaea,” published in Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • “Thermodynamic analysis of 5′ and 3′ single and 3′ double-nucleotide overhangs neighboring wobble terminal base pairs,” published in Nucleic Acids Research

Faculty Achievements

  • Recipient of a National Science Foundation grant ($174,000) to fund faculty-student research for four years to investigate how different structural elements within DEAD-box proteins can regulate the activity and initial structural state of a protein model.
  • Recipient of a National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science grant (over $240,000) to fund a project (including student internships) focused on innovative pedagogies for organic chemistry laboratories.
  • Collaborator, with a University of Pittsburgh faculty member, on a National Institutes of Health grant; includes close to $100,000 in support of Allegheny-based faculty-student research work on the evolutionary origins of a gene network regulating Drosophila morphology.
  • Two program faculty served as mentors to Beckman Scholars as part of a $77,200 grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in support of student-faculty research extending across two summers and the intervening academic year.
  • Program faculty were recipients of the Merck/AAAS Grant for Interdisciplinary Work in Biochemistry ($60,000) to fund the development of an interdisciplinary junior seminar and provide stipends for summer research students.
  • Recipient of National Science Foundation CAREER grant (nearly $280,000) to fund equipment and supplies, stipends for summer research students, and course development focused on integration of research and teaching.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture grant ($75,000) given to study the role of plant hormones in symbiosis between plants and fungi.
  • Recipient of five successive National Science Foundation RUI grants (current one for nearly $230,000) to fund collaborative student-faculty research on RNA structure.
  • Fogarty Senior International Fellow at CNRS in Strasbourg, France.
  • Fulbright Teacher/Scholar Award for work at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz, Austria.
  • Three program faculty have been the recipient of Allegheny’s Thoburn Award for Excellence in Teaching; Three have received funding via Allegheny’s Demmler Award Program to support innovations in teaching.