Melinda Harrison, PhD
Chair and Professor, Chemistry
Melinda Harrison, PhD, believes that to teach effectively in the sciences, you need to have close, personal faculty attention. Her philosophy of teaching helps bring real-world experience into the classroom, as Harrison aims to instill in her students the concept that science is an essential part of life.
In 2008, Cabrini was one of only 12 colleges and universities in the U.S. accepted into the 2009 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Alliance (SEA). The SEA provides resources and support for Harrison to teach a research-based virus discovery course.
Harrison teaches the “phage” course built around a national experiment in bacteriophage genomics. (A bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that infects bacteria.) Within this course, students discover, isolate, name and image novel bacteriophages. Her students present their research at the annual HHMI phage symposium as well as other local; regional and national conferences.
Her current research centers on bacteriophages and focuses on protein studies within the phage genomes. Her secondary research interests include wine chemistry and heavy metal metabolism.
Harrison teaches undergraduate and graduate biochemistry courses as well as general and analytical chemistry courses.
Harrison currently serves as a co-director for the Science for Social Justice Scholars (SSSJ) learning community and enjoys collaborating on service learning projects with her students in this group.
Harrison currently has funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is a member of the HHMI SEA Phages group.