Education

Ph.D., Botany, University of California, Riverside, CA
June 1992, Thesis: ABA-induced gene expression during drought stress in tomato

B.A. with honors, Biology, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
May 1985, Senior project: Allelopathic interactions in Chlorokybus atmophyticus

Research Experience

Aug. 1997 – present, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Characterization of nuclear-encoded genes in chloroplast gene expression; Population genetics of the Santa Ana River Woolly Star (Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum)

Oct. 1992 - July 1997, Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
Light-activated translation of the chloroplast-encoded psbA mRNA

July 1985 - Aug. 1987, Research Technician, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Expression of von Willebrand factor in transfected human cell lines

Sep. - Dec. 1996, Lecturer, Plant Physiology, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

Sep. - Dec. 1995, Lecturer, Introductory Biology Laboratory, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

Sep. - Dec. 1990, 1989, Teaching Assistant, General Botany, University of California, Riverside, CA

Teaching Experience

Aug. 1997 - present, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

  • Principles of Botany (BIOL241)
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology Lecture and Lab (BIOL273)
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology (BIOL312)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology Lab (BIOL320L)
  • Principles of Gene Manipulation (BIOL412)
  • Plant Cell Physiology (BIOL445)
  • MARC Pro-seminar (BIOL480M)
  • Extra-nuclear Gene Expression (BIOL505T)
  • Current Research Interests

    Dr. Cohen has three main areas of research in her laboratory. She has studied the mechanism by which nuclear-encoded translational activators regulate the translation of chloroplast-encoded photosynthetic mRNAs in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for 18 years. She also has established collaborations within the Department of Biological Science to investigate the population genetics of the endangered Santa Ana River Woolly Star (Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum) using allozyme analysis and RAPDs and identify the roles of different hosts play in the spread the bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis) in prairie dog colonies, using PCR-based analyses. Dr. Cohen is the Director of the NIH-funded MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers Program), which provides students with a comprehensive experience that leads to acceptance into high-quality PhD programs and a research career in biomedical science.

    Selected Publications

    Thompson, L. S., Pate, N., Sanchez, Y., Atallah, Y. C., Sandquist, D. R., Jones, E., and Cohen, A.  Establishing the genetic diversity of the endangered shrub, Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum  (EDS) using isozyme markers. In preparation.

    Atallah, Y. C., Jones, E., Walker, S. E., Burk, J. H., Moskowitz, D. F., Clayton, H., Sandquist, D. R., Cohen, A. and Shropshire, F. M. Inter-annual rainfall influence on germination and establishment of Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum (Milliiken) H. Mason (Polemoniaceae), the Santa Ana River Woolly Star. Ecological Applications. Submitted.

    Franklin, H. A., Stapp, P. and Cohen, A.. 2010. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identification of blood meals confirms host sharing by flea vectors of plague. Journal of Vector Ecology. In press.

    Alizadeh, D. and  Cohen, A.  2010. Red light and calmodulin regulate the expression of the psbA binding protein genes rb38 and rb60 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Plant Cell Physiology. 51: 312–322.

    Barnes, D., Cohen, A., Bruick, R., Kantardjief, K., Fowler, S., Efuet, E. and Mayfield, S. P. 2004. Identification and characterization of a novel RNA binding protein that associates with the 5’-untranslated region of the chloroplast psbA mRNA. Biochemistry. 43: 8541-8550.

    Extramural Grants and Awards

  • NIH American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Supplement, Program Director, Cal State Fullerton MARC U*STAR Program Supplement, submitted May 28, 2009 (awarded: $64,092).
  • NIH MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Program, Program Director, Cal State Fullerton MARC U*STAR Program. June 2007 – May 2012 (awarded: $1,444,432).
  • San Bernardino County Flood Control District, Co-Investigator with Drs. Darren Sandquist and Eugene Jones, Santa Ana River Woolly-Star Preservation Area Biological Study. Sept. 2005 –2009 (awarded: $399,998).
  • Intramural Grants and Awards

  • CSUF 2008-2009 Recognition as an Outstanding Teachers/Scholar for Promotion of Student Research and Creative Activities.
  • CSUF Junior/Senior/General Research Award, Determining the genetic diversity of Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum with  RAPD and ISSR markers. Submitted May, 2008 (awarded: $2664).
  • CSUF 2007-2008 Recognition as an Outstanding Teachers/Scholar for Promotion of Student Research and Creative Activities.
  • University Mission and Goals Initiative, Co-Investigator with William Hoese. Development and Implementation of a Research Preparatory Program in the Department of Biological Science. Submitted March 2008.  (awarded: $20,000).
  • NSM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Success, 2007 ($8431.20).
  • CSUF 2006-2007 Outstanding Faculty Recognition for Scholarly and Creative Activities, April 11, 2007.
  • CSU Program for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Grant, Isolation and Characterization of a Red Light Photoreceptor in the Unicellular Green Alga Chlamydomonas.. Submitted Oct. 2006.  (awarded: $5000).
  • Student Grants and Awards

  • ASPB Minority Affairs Travel Grant, Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists, Honolulu, HI, July. 18-22, 2009.  Yareli Sanchez  (funded: airfare, room and board).
  • Jerome Wilson Memorial Science Scholarship. Department of Biological Science, Cal State Fullerton. 2009. Ayse Bassari ($500).
  • Faculty-Undergraduate Student Research /Creative Activity Grant. The Isolation and Characterization of a Phytochrome-like Gene in the Unicellular Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Submitted October 2008, Co-investigator with Keiko Tuttle (awarded: $1000).
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Award in Ecology. 2008 SACNAS National Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, Oct. 9-12, 2008, Yareli Sanchez.
  • Fleckles Fund  Award- Graduate Student travel Funding. Plant Biology and Botany 2007, Chicago, IL, July 7-11, 2007. Marcella Olave (granted: $500).
  • Faculty-Undergraduate Student Research /Creative Activity Grant. Genetic Variability Within the Santa Ana Woolly Star, Eriastrum densifolium ssp. sanctorum: Reanalysis Seventeen Years Later. Submitted March 2008, Co-investigator with Yareli Sanchez (awarded: $1000).
  • Faculty-Undergraduate Student Research /Creative Activity Grant. Genetic Evaluation of the Santa Ana Wooly Star Using Isozyme and RAPD Analysis. Submitted Oct. 2007, Co-investigator with Natalie Deleon (awarded: $1000).