A program of the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach offered to students in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

Angela Eeds, Ph.D. angela dot eeds at vanderbilt
Director

Education Background

Vanderbilt University: 2006
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics & the Center for Human Genetic Research

On Teaching

Through the example of both educators in my family and professors integral to my academic career, I have a passion for learning and learning by teaching others. I believe that to be an effective teacher requires also being an enthusiastic mentor. I enjoy the discovery and hands-on approach of science and I firmly believe that the best way to learn is by participation - to not only visualize but also contribute to scientific discovery. However, beyond learning about science and scientific inquiry, it is my goal to ensure that all students develop the skills of a broader education by integrating math, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. The most important job of an educator is to provide students with the communication and critical thinking tools necessary to succeed in any endeavor they pursue.

Research

The focus of my studies has been on genetics and molecular biology. Beyond mutation detection, I am interested in finding ways that genetic changes can be used as a tool to understand more about molecular biology in general. For my dissertation, I identified mutations in patients with CPSI Deficiency, a rare genetic disorder affecting the urea cycle. I then designed a way to rapidly introduce these mutations into cells. From these cells, I was able to isolate DNA and RNA to differentiate between mutations that affect RNA stability and those that affect the final protein product. This project was valuable because understanding how a mutation affects the pathway from DNA to protein is not only helpful in determining the molecular cause of a certain disease phenotype, but should also be used to understand how gene expression occurs in general. I have also worked with other interesting genetics research projects including a marine biology project (while I was an undergraduate) where I studied the genetics of a fish population on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. And, during my post-doctoral research, I used genetic reporter systems to study the gene expression patterns important for proper nervous system development in the gut.

Publications