Lynn Bedard and her students take a variety of approaches to investigate fundamental questions of cell and molecular biology. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Microbiology, Professor Bedard worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. While there, Professor Bedard developed a system in Baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to begin to investigate how cells distinguish between normal and abnormal proteins.
All eukaryotic cells organize their nuclear DNA with histone proteins to form a structure called chromatin. While being more than a simple packaging system, histones have been shown to profoundly impact gene expression and regulation. All nuclear events, including DNA replication and RNA transcription, have to work with DNA in the form of chromatin. So understanding how cells effectively package meters of DNA into a compact but organized system is important.
Professor Bedard and her students ask the rather simple questions: “If given a choice, can cells choose normal proteins over abnormal proteins?” and “How do cells choose normal proteins?” The answer to the first question is yes, cells can choose normal proteins over abnormal proteins. But the answer to the second question remains unknown. Jenna Whitbeck ’10, one of the students who contributed to this project, presented her findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at Butler University.
Professor Bedard’s students have also worked on collaborative projects investigating the diversity of bacteria in ponds at the DePauw Nature Park. Megan May ’13, Rachel Rominger ’13, and Amanda Metternich ’13 presented the results of this research at the international meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
Left: Rachel Rominger ‘13, Dina Leech, Caroline Gilson, Lynn Bedard, Ali Pistoia ’13, and Megan May ‘13 at the DePauw Nature Park.
Amanda Metternich ’13 at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in San Francisco.
Professor Bedard teaches courses in molecular biology and microbiology. Among the courses she teaches are: Bio 215, Cells and Genes; Bio 250, Microbiology; and Bio 315, Molecular Biology.