Welcome to the Department of Biology

Department of Biology at Illinois State University
Department of Biology
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Dr. Alysia Mortimer

Assistant Professor
  • BSC 299.Sec 006 Independent Honor Study
  • BSC 499.Sec 024 Independent Research For The Master's Thesis
  • BSC 290.Sec 046 Research In Biological Sciences
  • BSC 370.01Sec 001 Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology: Genetics of Behavior
  • My teaching interests are Genetics, Genes and Behavior, and the Biology of Aging.
  • My research focuses on understanding how aging and environmental factors like pesticides and toxins contribute to neurodegenerative diseases and muscular dystrophies using the model system Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).
  • Post-Doc Aging and Physiology - 2012
  • Emory University
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Ph D Genetics and Molecular Biology - 2005
  • Emory University
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Dissertation/Thesis topic: Pathway Integration in the Developing Drosophila Eye
  • BS Biology - 2001
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Comstra, H.S., McArthy, J.U, , S., Hartwig, C., Gokhale, A., Zlatic, S.A., Blackburn, J.B., Werner, E., Petris, M., D’Souza, P., Panuwet, P., Boyd Barr D., Lupashin, V., Vrailas-Mortimer, A. ‡, and Faundez, V. ‡ “The Interactome of the Copper Transporter ATP7A Belongs to a Network of Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegeneration Factors.” eLife. 2017. Mar 29;6. pii: e24722. doi: 10.7554/eLife.24722

  • Shields, M. C., Bowers M. R., Fulcer M. M., Bollig M. K., Rock P. J., Sutton B. R., Vrailas-Mortimer A. D., Lochmüller H., Whittaker R. G., Horvath R., Reist N. E. Drosophila studies support a role for a presynaptic synaptotagmin mutation in a human congenital myasthenic syndrome. PLOS One. 2017 Sep 27;12(9):e0184817.

  • Gokhale, A., Vrailas-Mortimer, A., Larimore, J., Comstra, HS., Zlatic, SA. Werner, E., Manvich, DF., Iuvone, PM., Weinshenker, D., and Faundez, V. Neuronal Copper Homeostasis Susceptibility by Genetic Defects in Dysbindin, a Schizophrenia Susceptibility Factor. Human Molecular Genetics. 2015. Epub doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddv282

  • Vrailas-Mortimer, A., Ryan, S., Avey, M., Mortimer, N., Dowse, H. and Sanyal, S. The p38 MAP Kinase regulates circadian rhythm in Drosophila. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 2014 Dec;29(6):411-26.
  • Vrailas-Mortimer, A. ‡, Gomez, R., Dowse, H. and Sanyal, S. A survey of the protective effects of some commercially available antioxidant supplements in genetic and chemically induced models of oxidative stress in Drosophila melanogaster. Experimental Gerontology. 2012. Sept: 47:712-722. PMID: 22790021.

  • Vrailas-Mortimer, A., del Rivero, Tania, Mukherjee, S., Nag, S., Gaitanidis, A., Kadas, D., Consoulas, C., Duttaroy, A. and Sanyal, S. p38 MAPK regulates MnSOD expression in muscles to influence stress, motor function and lifespan in Drosophila. Developmental Cell. 2011. Oct 18: 21: 783-795. PMID: 22014527.

  • Freeman, A., Bowers, M., Vrailas-Mortimer, A., Timmerman, C., Roux, S., Ramaswami, M., and Sanyal, S. A new genetic model of activity-induced Ras signaling dependent pre-synaptic plasticity in Drosophila. Brain Research. 2010. Apr:1326: 15-29. PMID: 20193670.

  • Melicharek, D., Shah, A., Middleton, G., Gangemi, A.J., Cooke, E., Vrailas-Mortimer, A.D., and Marenda, D.R. Identification of novel regulators of atonal expression in the developing Drosophila retina. Genetics. 2008 Dec;180(4):2095-110. PMID: 18832354.

  • Fransciscovich, A.L., Vrailas-Mortimer, A.D., Freeman, A.A.  Gu, J., and Sanyal, S. Overexpression screen in Drosophila identifies neuronal roles of GSK-3 beta/shaggy as a regulator of AP-1-dependent developmental plasticity. Genetics. 2008. Dec;180(4):2057-71. PMID: 18832361.

  • Vrailas-Mortimer*, A., Majumdar*, N., Middleton, G., Cooke, E., and Marenda, D. Delta and Egfr expression are regulated by Importin-7/Moleskin in Drosophila wing development. Developmental Biology. 2007. Aug 15;308(2):534-46. PMID: 17628519.

  • Vrailas, A., Marenda, D., Cook S., Powers, M., Lorenzen, J., Perkins, L. and Moses, K. smoothened and thickveins regulate Moleskin/Importin -7 mediated MAP Kinase nuclear translocation in the developing Drosophila eye. Development. 2006. Apr;133(8):1485-94. PMID: 16540506.

  • Vrailas, A. and Moses, K. smoothened, thickveins and the genetic control of cell-cycle and cell fate in the developing Drosophila eye. Mechanisms of Development. 2006. Feb;123(2):151-65. PMID: 16412615.

  • Marenda, D.R., Vrailas, A.D., Rodrigues, A.B., Cook, S., Powers, M.A., Lorenzen, J.A., Perkins, L.A., Moses, K. MAP kinase subcellular localization controls both pattern and proliferation in the developing Drosophila wing. Development. 2006. Jan;133(1):43-51. PMID: 16308331.

  • Doong H., Vrailas A. and Kohn EC. (2002). What's in the 'BAG'?--A functional domain analysis of the BAG-family proteins. Cancer Lett. Dec 15;188(1-2):25-32. PMID: 12406544.