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.
Ellert Abigail Ellert (Biology major)
My research involves evaluating the levels of organic chemicals found in Eastern Elliptio mussels from the Little Salmon River. The release of harmful chemicals into nearby waterways has become a major concern due to the decline of unionoid species throughout North America. Contamination has the ability to oxidize molecules and cause dysfunction within cells, even altering the organism's reproductive ability. The level of organic toxicants within tissues will be determined using gas chromatography. Statistical analyses will reveal the maximum level of organic toxicants that can be released into the environment before harmful bioaccumulation occurs.
Saroli   Lauren Saroli (Biology major)
My research focuses on assessing toxicant levels found in fish collected from Cayuga Lake and Lake Ontario to determine their effects on fish physiology. Understanding toxicant levels and their effects on wildlife can aid in devising consumption regulations and educating others to help prevent future chemical contamination. Using analytical chemistry and biochemical methods, the concentration of enzymes cytochrome P450 and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) in fish liver samples can be quantified. These two biological markers both play major roles in the metabolic processes of detoxifying molecules in the liver, and statistical analysis of these analytes can show how toxicants relate to physiological changes.

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
Jennifer Cruz (Biochemistry); Summer 2014 - Fall 2014
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
Holly Granat (Psychology); Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
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
Johana Lambert (Biology); Spring 2012 - Spring 2014
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