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Laura Bechard

Adjunct Instructor of Biology
BIOGRAPHY:

Education:

 

B.S., 2004, Biology (Minor:  Music), Erskine College

Ph.D., 2010, Genetics, University of Georgia

 

Biography:

 

Dr. Laura Bechard graduated Magna Cum Laude from Erskine College in 2004, where she discovered a passion for biology.  She completed externships in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Showman at the University of South Carolina from January 2003 and January 2004, as well as during the summer of 2003.  While at the University of South Carolina, she worked to discover the timing of mitochondrial replication during the embryonic development of the mussels Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis.  During this experience, Dr. Bechard discovered a strong interest in research and a desire to continue her education in molecular biology.

 

In 2004, Dr. Bechard entered the Ph.D. program in Genetics at the University of Georgia.  While there, she expanded her knowledge in molecular biology and began a research program in the laboratory of Dr. Michael McEachern.  While in Dr. McEachern’s lab, she worked primarily on how telomeres undergo recombination in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis.  She was awarded an NIH Training Grant in 2007 and received her Ph.D. in 2010.

 

Desiring to continue her research on telomeres, Dr. Bechard began a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Katherine Friedman at Vanderbilt University.  While at Vanderbilt, she conducted research on potential roles for the telomerase protein Est3p in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  She was awarded an NIH Training Grant from 2011-2013, which supported her research.

 

While conducting research, Dr. Bechard discovered her affinity for teaching and mentoring students and was excited to obtain teaching experience.  When her funding ran out at Vanderbilt in August 2014, she accepted an adjunct position at Cumberland University teaching Cellular Biology.  She has been fortunate to continue her adjunct work for Cumberland and has taught General Biology and Anatomy and Physiology I and II.

 

Dr. Bechard has been promoted from Adjunct Professor to Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2016-2017 school year.  She is happy to be teaching Cellular Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and General Biology as well as working to start up some molecular biology research at Cumberland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentations:

 

2014 Poster               Bechard, L.H., Onouha, E.A., and K.L. Friedman.  Interaction of the regulatory subunit Est3p with the catalytic subunit of telomerase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting.  Vanderbilt University.  Nashville, Tennessee.

  2013 Poster               Bechard, L.H., Onouha, E.A., and K.L. Friedman. Elucidating Est3p’s Role in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Telomerase by Investigating its Interaction with the Telomerase Essential N-terminal Domain of Est2p.  Telomeres and Telomerase.  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Long Island, New York.

 

2012 Poster               Bechard, L.H., Onouha, E.A., and K.L. Friedman.  Genetic and Biochemical Analysis of Est3p’s Interaction with the TEN domain of Est2p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting.  Emory University.  Atlanta, Georgia.   2011 Poster                Bechard, L.H., Talley, J.M., Maness, L.D., and K.L. Friedman. Defining a Minimal Region of Est3p that is Necessary to Interact with Est2p Using a Constitutive Est2p-Est3p Fusion.  Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting.  Mississippi State University.  Mississippi State, Mississippi.   2009 Talk                   Bechard, L.H., Jamieson, N., and M.J. McEachern.  Telomere Rapid Deletion in Kluyveromyces lactis.  Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting.  Vanderbilt University.  Nashville, Tennessee.   2008 Poster               Bechard, L.H., Jamieson, N., and M.J. McEachern.  Telomere Rapid Deletion in the Yeast Kluyveromyces lactis.  Molecular Genetics of Aging.  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Long Island, New York.

 

2007 Talk                   Harris, L.A., Debelec, B., Masologites, G., McRae, W., Topcu, Z., and M.J. McEachern.  Mutant Telomeric Repeats can Promote Runaway Recombination at Telomeres in Kluyveromyces lactis.  Telomeres and Telomerase.  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Long Island, New York.

 

2006 Poster               Harris, L.A., Groff-Vindman, C., Cesare, A.J., Iyer, S., Basenko, E., Topcu, Z., Griffith, J.D., and M.J. McEachern.  Mechanisms of recombinational telomere elongation in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis.  Yeast Chromosome Structure, Replication, and Segregation Conference. FASEB Summer Research Conferences. Indian Wells, California.

 

2005 Poster               Iyer, S., Groff-Vindman, C., Cesare, A.J., Topcu, Z., Natarajan, S., Basenko, E., Harris, L.A., Griffith, J.D., and M.J. McEachern. Mechanisms of recombinational telomere elongation in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearragements Conference.  FASEB Summer Research Conferences.  Snowmass Village, Colorado.

 

Publications:

 

Bechard, L.H., Jamieson, N., and M.J. McEachern. 2011.  Recombination can cause telomere elongations as well as truncations deep within telomeres in wild type Kluyveromyces lactis cells.  Eukaryot. Cell. 10(2):226-36.

 

Ozsarlak-Sozer, G., Kerry, Z., Oran, I., Gokce, G., Tosun, M., Bechard, L., Reel, B., Yasa, M., Lebe, B., Topcu, Z.  2009.  Telomeric restriction analysis of vascular smooth muscle cells following balloon angioplasty in rabbits.  J. Physiol. Biochem. 65(3):243-9.

 

Bechard, L.H.,  Butuner, B.D., Peterson, G., McRae, W., Topcu, Z., and M. J. McEachern. 2009. Mutated telomeric repeats in yeast can disrupt the negative regulation of recombination-mediated telomere maintenance and create an ALT-like phenotype. Mol. Cell. Biol. 29:626-639.