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Dr. Vernooy completed her BA in Molecular Biology at Pomona College and her PhD in Biology at Caltech. Her PhD work focused on using molecular biology and genetics to identify and characterize regulators of programmed cell death in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. She taught Biology at L.A. Valley College and Pasadena City College for several years before moving to New York, where she joined the Siena faculty in 2009.

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Biology California Institute of Technology
B.A. Molecular Biology Pomona College

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy


I try to facilitate acquisition of the specific knowledge that students need as biology majors, while at the same time emphasizing experiments that led to our current understanding and challenging students to think about experimental design and interpretation. I typically include oral presentations on papers from the primary scientific literature in my curriculum, to have students become confident at reading research papers and extracting information from them as well as to foster development of the communication skills that are so important for scientists to have. Above all I aim to get students excited about biology and to help them further develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills. 

What I Love About Siena

I love the opportunity that Siena's small size often affords me to interact with the same students at different points in their undergraduate careers; I really enjoy getting to know students well and to see their growth over the years. Teaching Siena students is fun, and I learn so much myself from interacting with them. Additionally, I couldn't imagine a better group of colleagues than I have in the Biology Department.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

Molecular Genetics, Writing and Research Skills for Biologists, Gen Bio lecture and lab, Gen Bio for Social Science lab