Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier


I am a cell and molecular biologist with interests in genetics, biochemistry, cancer biology, and science writing. Most of my research has been conducted using the budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) model system. I have investigated the role of protein localization and phosphorylation in regulating cellular processes, particularly the cell division cycle and cell morphogenesis. Recently, I have also begun to investigate factors that promote cancer metastasis using mammalian cells grown in culture. I will be on sabbatical in the Spring 2019 semester, gaining skills to pursue additional research in the arena of cancer biology. I enjoy introducing students to the research process and the excitement of new discoveries as well as helping them to develop strong scientific communications skills.


University of California, San Francisco
Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard University
Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Williams College
Chemistry, Concentration in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Grant grant-iconCreated with Sketch.
NSF Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Grant
September 2004-August 2008 grant period
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  • Articles
. Cse1p is required for export of Srp1p/importin- from the nucleus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Read More
Nup2p is located on the nuclear side of the nuclear pore complex and coordinates Srp1p/importin- export Read More
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae cyclin Clb2p is targeted to multiple subcellular locations by cis- and trans-acting determinants Read More
Cytoplasmic Clb2 is required for timely inactivation of the mitotic inhibitor Swe1 and normal bud morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Read More
A Western Blot-based Investigation of the Yeast Secretory Pathway Designed for an Intermediate-Level Undergraduate Cell Biology Laboratory Read More
TORC1 kinase and the S-phase cyclin Clb5 collaborate to promote mitotic spindle assembly and DNA replication in S. cerevisiae Read More
Identification of phosphatase 2A-like Sit4-mediated signaling and ubiqutin-dependent protein sorting as modulators of caffeine sensitivity in S. cerevisiae Read More
Coupling of septins to the axial landmark by Bud4 in budding yeast Read More
A Strategy for Teaching Undergraduates to Write Effective Scientific Results Sections Read More
Active Learning Workshops for Key Topics in Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology Read More


BI 141

Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology

This course introduces students to the structures and functions of biological molecules and how those molecules assemble into cells, the fundamental units of life. Topics covered include structure and function of macromolecules, membranes and organelles, membrane transport, chemotrophic and phototrophic cellular metabolism, cell signaling, cell division, and the process of gene expression. Emphasis is placed on asking experimental questions in cell and molecular biology and making connections to real-world topics such as human diseases.
4 credits
BI 203


This course covers the basics of heredity, concentrating on three areas of genetics: Mendelian (or transmission) genetics, molecular genetics, and population/ evolutionary genetics. Major concepts include how the genetic material replicates and is passed on, how it encodes information that results in a phenotype, and how it can change. Recent discoveries, historical concepts, and relevant ethical issues are addressed.
4 credits
BI 371

Advanced Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology

Examination of current topics in cell and molecular biology, including mechanisms that regulate gene expression and protein function, organization of cellular components into functional pathways, and modern experimental techniques.
4 credits
BI 398

Cancer Biology

Cancer results from failures in the mechanisms that normally regulate cell growth and proliferation, cell death, and cell-cell interactions due to genomic mutations. This course examines how cancer cells differ from normal cells (morphologically, behaviorally, and in the functioning of molecular pathways), the genetic basis of cancer, how cells progress from a normal to a cancerous state, factors that promote cancer development, and strategies for cancer therapy. We also consider the human impacts of cancer and the relationship between cancer research and the general public. Lab activities address experimental tools for characterizing the molecular and cellular features of cancer cells.
4 credits
BI 399

Biochemical Regulatory Mechanisms

This course addresses the most common molecular mechanisms by which eukaryotic cells regulate their normal activities and respond to external signals. Students develop an understanding of how these regulatory mechanisms work together to control the cell division cycle and cell-level developmental decisions. In the lab, students gain experience designing and implementing experiments to investigate cellular regulatory pathways. The course also seeks to increase students' skills for reading, interpreting, and conveying to others the information presented in scientific articles.
4 credits
BI 404

Biology Seminar

This is a capstone course for the Biology major designed to help students integrate concepts and skills developed in prior coursework and prepare for the transition to employment or post-graduate studies. The primary goals of the course are to: • Further develop effective and audience-appropriate communication skills in written, verbal, and visual formats. • Think critically about the process of developing research questions, designing experimental approaches, and interpreting data, including maintaining standards of integrity and ethics. • Consider various aspects of the interface between science & society: for example, how scientific data are presented to and used by the non-scientific community; how scientific data influence policy decisions; and how scientific research is funded. • Facilitate the transition from undergraduate study to employment or post-graduate study.
2 credits
BI 193

"Stupid Cancer," or "The Emperor of All Maladies?"

This is a first-year seminar open to all majors that examines the many faces of cancer: its basic biology, its personal effects on people and families, and how its place in society has changed over time.
3 credits