Tisha Emily Bohr, PhD
Department of Molecular Medicine
Veterinary Medical Center
I’m currently working as a post-doctoral research associate studying planaria regeneration. I’m particularly interested in how stem cells contribute to the regeneration of organs after injury. I am also looking to expand my skills as a STEM educator during my post-doctoral position.
Graduate: My graduate research focused on chromosome dynamics during cellular division in C. elegans. Specifically, I identified conserved mechanisms that maintain genomics integrity during chromosome segregation in order to prevent the production of daughter cells with the incorrect number of chromosomes. Defects in chromosome segregation have been linked to infertility, developmental disorders and tumorigenesis. Therefore, understanding mechanisms that protect against aberrant cell divisions is important in addressing human health issues. I specifically study how synapsis, a process in meiotic prophase, is monitored and regulated to ensure proper segregation of homologous chromosomes.
SFI UREKA Summer Undergraduate Internship: During undergraduate study, I was awarded a full time, paid, summer internship through the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) Undergraduate Research Experience & Knowledge Award (UREKA) at Trinity College Dublin. During this internship, I investigated the use of conserved gene family, Sfrps, across embryos of two vertebrate species under Dr. Paula Murphy. I also participated in seminars and workshops that covered topics such as grant writing, oral presentations and scientific ethics.
Undergraduate: I started off as a transfer student from Santa Barbara City College and then continued on to a small State University, California State University Channel Islands, where I graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry in June, 2009. CSUCI’s emphasis on undergraduate teaching allowed me to benefit from extensive course material and labs. In addition, my curriculum included valuable lessons in analyzing scientific literature, oral presentation, grant writing and scientific practices. I was also able to conduct two research projects under Dr. Charles Sackerson, investigating sea mammal gene regulatory regions for myoglobin and the regulation and function of Drosophila even-skipped during development. I very much valued an educational experience that helped foster my science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) identity and this is where I gained my initial interest in the field of regeneration.
Inclusive Teaching: I consider my non-traditional educational experience as one of the contributing factors that has led to my desire to learn pedagogical techniques that will contribute to developing strong, innovative and inclusive teaching practices that target a diverse student body. I am very passionate about STEM education and involving approaches to increase diversity and inclusivity within STEM fields. My experiences include; mentoring graduate rotation students, mentoring undergraduate lab researchers, teaching assistance for genetics lecture and lab and teaching a full course in Molecular Biology.
In addition, my passion for STEM education is highlighted by my repeated participation in the Institute for Science and Engineer Educators (ISEE) Professional Development Program (PDP), which aims to prepare early scientists and engineers to be productive educators and professionals with a focus on effective inquiry-based and inclusive teaching techniques. I have also worked with faculty through a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) funded initiative to create active learning curriculum in introductory STEM courses using our PDP designs as models. Furthermore, I helped develop and and am an organizer for the STEM Active Learning Seminar Series, a continuing seminar series on STEM education and learning at UCSC.
Outreach & Commitment to Diversity: I am currently the Science and Postdoctoral Communications Officer with Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) at Cornell University. Our goal is to promote gender equality in STEM and to provide both gender-based and non gender-based support, networking, and recognition opportunities to scientists both at Cornell University and nationally. My specific role in the group is to effectively communicate science that is going on at Cornell with the Ithaca community and provide them with relatable science role models. I also coordinate communications between the postdoc community and GWIS to provide increased support to postdoctoral researchers campus wide. For more information about GWIS go to: gwisithaca.org.
In addition I have participated in a variety of activities and groups that promote diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. For instance, in my graduate career I served as a representative for the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Council. Also, in conjunction with the Division of Graduate Studies and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion I helped designed a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program for UCSC graduate students modeled after the current Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program offered to staff and faculty. At Cornell I am currently serving as a postdoctoral representative on the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement’s Diversity Advisory Council.