Biological Sciences

MacKenzie Research Lab



  Dr. Jim MacKenzie (Principle Investigator)

My research revolves around the cellular, molecular, and physiological understanding of human health and disease.  Currently, this involves understanding the role of environmental toxicants on cardiovascular health, elucidating the pathophysiology of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, and determining the targeting mechanisms of nuclearly-encoded proteins to mitochondria.  For more information on these projects, see here

Undergraduate Research Students

Kim Bailey    Kimberlyn Bailey (Philosophy major)
My research is centered on discerning the mechanisms and the conditions by which proteins are imported into mitochondria. Although mitochondria are capable of synthesizing some proteins, the majority that they need for correct functioning are encoded in the nuclear genome. The failure to properly import these proteins has been shown to lead to a number of human diseases and disorders. By focusing my research on C. elegans, a model organism for human biology, my goal is to understand mitochondrial protein import as a small initial step toward helping to treat these human health issues.
Holly Granat   Holly Granat (Psychology Major)
The research I am currently working on involves cortisol responses to negative social interactions between college-aged participants. Cortisol is a hormone in the body that is released in response to stress. Those with lower cortisol levels are less likely to handle high-stress situations with ease. Low cortisol levels have been evident in past research in subjects with high aggression levels. My goal is to try to determine whether measuring cortisol before and after a negative interaction will yield significant results. I predict that I will see a decrease in cortisol level in participants based on their internal aggression and reaction to their peers, which both work to cause stress to the individual. My research is with Dr. Dykas in the Psychology Department, in conjunction with Dr. MacKenzie of the Biological Sciences.
Johana Lambert   Johana Lambert (Biology Major)
The research I am currently working on involves the relationship between circulating cortisol and obesity in children. Circulating cortisol levels are lower in obese children, than in lean children. The presence of excess adipose tissue suggests a link between adipose-derived hormones and cortisol production. I am looking into protein hormones, leptin and adiponectin to determine if either shares a relationship with cortisol. This would help create a mechanism by which circulating cortisol levels are decreased in obese children.

Former Student Research Assistants

Chris Andriano (Biology); Spring 2010
Robert Birdsall (Chemistry); Fall 2006 - Spring 2009
Amy Boleto (Biology); Spring 2007
Maggie Brower (Biology); Fall 2013
Jenna Burgess (Zoology); Summer 2008 - Fall 2008
Jennifer Bushey (Zoology); Spring 2005
Lisa Cassidy (Biology); Spring 2011
Brooke Chamberland (Biology); Fall 2012-Spring 2013
Dan Crosset (Biology); Summer 2007 - Fall 2007
Dan Dempsey (Chemistry); Spring 2005 - Spring 2007
Caitlin Fields (Biology); Spring 2010
Elena Gabrikova (Biology); Fall 2010 - Fall 2011
Kathy Gebbie (Zoology); Fall 2005 - Spring 2006
Thea Hassan (Biology); Summer 2007 - Spring 2008
Tia Hendershott (Biology); Summer 2006 - Spring 2007
Amanda Hewlett (Biology); Spring 2009 - Spring 2010
Jessica Lallier (Biology); Spring 2010 - Summer 2010
Paul MacMahon (Biochemistry); Summer 2007 - Spring 2009
Tabitha Maier (Chemistry); Summer 2008
Michael Mastraumoro (Zoology); Spring 2006 - Spring 2007
Greg Miller (Biochemistry); Spring 2006 - Spring 2008
Yoshi Miura (Zoology and Biochemistry); Fall 2010 - Summer 2011
Zach Neyhard (Adolescent Ed, Biology); Spring 2007 - Fall 2007
Patricia Sattelberg (Biochemistry); Fall 2005 - Spring 2007
Randy Smith (Zoology); Spring 2009
Kristen Roosa (Biology); Summer 2007 - Spring 2009
Nicole Wicksell (Biology); Fall 2005
Eric Yeager (Zoology); Summer 2008 - Fall 2008