Suzanne Deschenes, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Biology. 

Degrees: 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. 

Affiliations: Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Genetics Society of
America, Environmental Mutagenesis Society. 

Professor Deschênes is a past Director of the Thomas More Honors Program. 

Dr. Deschênes’ research interests focus on delineating the role of DNA mismatch repair
(MMR) in protecting cells against DNA damage induced by environmental mutagens. MMR is an
essential DNA repair system used by almost all species to maintain low baseline levels of
mutations arising from natural biological processes inside cells. Bacteria are an
excellent model system for mutagenesis studies; excellent assays already exist for
detecting mutations and measuring their frequencies, and their MMR functions have been
extensively characterized. One mutagen of interest in Dr. Deschenes’ lab is the processed
meat preservative sodium nitrite. Other areas of interest include exploring how MMR and
other DNA repair pathways protect local aquatic bacterial and/or invertebrate populations
from DNA damage induced by environmental pollutants such as metals. 



Mutations Affecting a Putative MutLa Endonuclease Motif Impact Multiple DNA Mismatch Repair Functions (with Naz Erdeniz, Megan Nguyen, and R. Michael Liskay), Biology Faculty Publications (2007)

Mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) lead to increased mutation rates and higher recombination between...



The E705K Mutation in hPMS2 Exerts Recessive, Not Dominant, Effects on Mismatch Repair (with Guy Tomer, Megan Nguyen, Naz Erdeniz, Nicole C. Juba, Natalia Sepúlveda, Jenna E. Pisani, and R. Michael Liskay), Biology Faculty Publications (2007)

The hPMS2 mutation E705K is associated with Turcot syndrome. To elucidate the pathogenesis of hPMS2-E705K,...



Intracellular Transport, Assembly, and Degradation of Wild-Type and Disease-linked Mutant Gap Junction Proteins (with Judy K. VanSlyke and Linda S. Musil), Biology Faculty Publications (2000)

More than 130 different mutations in the gap junction integral plasma membrane protein connexin32 (Cx32)...



Mammalian DNA Mismatch Repair (with Andrew B. Buermeyer, Sean M. Baker, and R. Michael Liskay), Biology Faculty Publications (1999)

Details the process of DNA mismatch repair in mammals (MMR). Mismatch repair in Escherichia coli...



Altered Trafficking of Mutant Connexin32 (with Jessica L. Walcott, Tamara L. Wexler, Steven S. Scherer, and Kenneth H. Fischbeck), Biology Faculty Publications (1997)

We examined the cellular localization of nine different connexin32 (Cx32) mutants associated with X-linked Charcot–Marie–Tooth...


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