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    Faculty Profile

    Heather Pelzel, Assistant Professor

    Office location: Upham 351
    Phone: (262) 472-5134


    B.S. in Biotechnology, University of Wisconsin - River Falls, 2001
    Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010.

    Research Description: 

    My main research interest is identifying the mechanism(s) that lead to gene silencing in degenerating neurons, specifically histone modifications. Although there has been some progress in neuroprotective treatments for several neurodegenerative conditions, it is likely that many of these saved neurons are non-functional due to early apoptotic events, such as gene silencing and somal atrophy. Work in my lab focuses on identifying histone modifications, especially histone deacetylations, that are associated with gene silencing in apoptotic cells, as well as how these modifications occur and are regulated. By determining which changes are occurring in dying cells, it may be possible to prevent or reverse the changes and rescue the neurons from the death process. My research uses mammalian cell culture to examine a general model of neuronal cell death, as well as a mouse model of retinal ganglion cell death, such as that seen in people with glaucoma.

    Classes Taught: 

    Bio253 - Intro to Cell Biology; Bio311 - Microbiology


    College of Letters & Sciences
    Laurentide Hall 4100
    University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    800 W. Main Street
    Whitewater, WI 53190-1790


    Office of the Dean
    Rebecca Reichert
    Phone: (262) 472-1621

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