Suzanne M. Deschênes, Ph.D.
Areas of Specialization: Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology
Degrees and Certifications
- Post-Doctoral Associate, 1997-2001, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Molecular & Medical Genetics, Portland, OR, Laboratory of R. Michael Liskay, Ph.D.
- Ph.D., 1997, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania
- A.B., 1990, Biology, College of the Holy Cross
- Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Genetics Society of America
- Environmental Mutagenesis Society
- BI299 – Cancer Biology
- BI235 – Principles of Biotechnology
- BI335 – Topics in Genetics
- BI399 – Senior Seminar
- BI111/113 – Concepts in Biology I
- BI112/114 – Concepts in Biology II
- Biology First Year Seminar
Research Interests & Grants
- Sacred Heart University Research and Creativity Grant (2014-2015)
- Sacred Heart University Research and Creativity Grant (2008-2009)
- Sacred Heart University Academics for Creative Teaching Grant (2006-2007)
- Sacred Heart University Research and Creativity Grant (2004-2005)
- Sacred Heart University Research and Creativity Grant (2003-2004)
Dr. Deschênes’ research interests focus on studying telomere dynamics and heavy metal tolerance in Limulus polyphemus, the American horseshoe crab. Telomeres in many species are known to shorten with age, but telomere dynamics have yet to be reported for the horseshoe crab. Therefore, we are investigating the telomere sequence and length fluctuations of telomeres in individuals of different ages. Ultimately, our findings may impact our understanding of the age structure of the Long Island Sound population of Limulus. A second project in the laboratory involves identifying the molecular processes by which horseshoe crabs protect themselves against heavy metal toxicity. While many marine invertebrates are highly susceptible to pollutants, especially heavy metals, Limulus is surprisingly tolerant to these chemical insults, except at early developmental stages. We are particularly interested in determining whether oxidative damage is apparent in metal-exposed horseshoe crab embryos, and assessing the roles of various enzymes and proteins in the heavy metal response.