Dr. Bernadette Connors joined the faculty at Dominican College in January 2009. Her research focuses on better understanding proteolytic mechanisms related to defects in nucleotide excision repair, defects that have direct implications on development of certain types of cancer in higher eukaryotes. The importance of this repair mechanism is evidenced by the severe human diseases that result from mutations in its component proteins, such as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Using the Saccharomyces cerevisae model system, Dr. Connors aims to dissect the mechanisms that regulate this repair process with regard to protein degradation following ultraviolet irradiation. To date, undergraduates working in her laboratory have identified several novel genetic interactions, and will continue to work to delineate the relationships using standard genetic and biochemical techniques.
Prior to her arrival at Dominican College, Dr. Connors taught at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, at which she both taught Cell Biology and Genetics, and operated an NIH-funded laboratory while employing and training several undergraduate students. She and her students presented their research at both regional and international scientific meetings.
Recent publications include:
(*Denotes undergraduate as a co-author)
Maynard C, Liang H, Connors BJ, LaPierre S, Polin L*, Mukherjee R, and Powell WA. "Using biotechnology to restore American Chestnut: an unfolding story." Proceedings of the National Society of American Foresters. October, 2004.
Connors BJ, Miller M*, Maynard CA, Powell WA. "Cloning and characterization of promoters from American chestnut capable of directing reporter gene expression in transgenic Arabidopsis plants." Plant Science 163: 771-781. 2002.
Connors BJ, Laun NP*, Maynard CA, Powell WA. "Molecular characterization of a gene encoding a cystatin expressed in the stems of American chestnut (Castanea dentata)." Planta 215: 510-514. 2002.
Connors BJ, Maynard CA, Powell WA. "Expressed sequence tags in American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)." Biotechnology Letters 23: 1407-1411. 2001.
Boggs BA, Connors BJ, Sobel RE, Chinault AC, and Allis CD. "Reduced levels of histone H3 on the inactive X chromosome of human females." Chromosoma 105: 303- 309. 1996.
Selected recent presentations at professional conferences include:
Heterologous expression of human phospholipase D in Saccaromyces cerevisae. MFGN Symposium, Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS. October 2007 (poster) with Patel I*, and Howard G.
The Role of Dia2 and Cdc20 in UV-Activated Repair Pathways. MFGN Symposium, Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS. October 2007 (poster) with Strickland L*, Howard G, and Rochelle L*.
The roles of CDC20 and RAD4 in double strand break repair. MFGN Symposium, Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS. October 2007 (poster) with Rochelle L*, Roberts A*, Goodwin MK*, Patel B, and Howard G.
Cdc20 links nucleotide excision repair to cell cycle progression in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting, Starkville, MS. 2007 (oral presentation) with Rochelle L*.
Regulation of Dbf4-dependent kinase in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting, Starkville, MS. 2007 (poster) with Roberts A*, Burke M*, and Goodwin K*.
Regulated Proteolysis of Dbf4p in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting. Princeton, NJ. 2006 (poster) with Gaskin LM, Hajj M*, Rochelle L*, and Goodwin K*.
Regulated Proteolysis of Mitotic Proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Mississippi Academy of Sciences, Vicksburg, MS. 2006 (poster) with Gaskin LM, and Hajj M*.
Regulated Proteolysis of Dbf4p in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting (SERYM). Hattiesburg, MS. 2006 (oral presentation).
Mutations in snoA and snoB act through different mechanisms to rescue defects in the initiation of DNA synthesis. Cold Spring Harbor meeting ‘The Cell Cycle’. 2004 (poster) with Hoque S*, McCarthy B*, Wilson K*, and James S.
Mutations in snoA and snoB act through different mechanisms to rescue defects in the initiation of DNA synthesis. Genetics Symposium, Pennsylvania State University. 2004 (poster) with Hoque S*, McCarthy B*, Wilson K*, and James S.
Where is snoA? The hunt for a novel regulator of DNA synthesis in Aspergillus nidulans. 15th Annual Student Research Symposium, St. Joseph’s Chapter of Sigma XI ‘A Celebration of Student Research’. 2004 (poster) with Wille E* and James S.