Cassandra Saitow

Assistant Professor, Biology
  • Biology

Education

  • BS Microbiology & Immunology, University of Rochester
  • PhD Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology, Sackler School at Tufts University

What I Teach

  • BIO113 - Introduction to Biology
  • BIO225 - Cell Biology

Past:

  • BIO200 (LC) - Microbiome and Human Disease
  • CHEM347 - Advanced Biochemistry
  • BIO350 - Senior Independent Research
  • BIO221L - Microbiology Lab

Research/Creative Activities

My research background is in cell biology and biomedical engineering. My current research projects fall into four categories:

1) Wound Healing. We are investigating effects of naturally-derived compounds on wound healing, using mammalian cell culture as a model. Aspects of these projects include understanding the mechanisms by which compounds derived from coconut oil, and mango pulp, enhance cell migration, proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition, as these are all critical steps in skin and vascular wound healing.

2) Controlled release of compounds. We are also trying to develop methods to control release of certain compounds to enhance wound healing (think, smart bandages). Here, we use biodegradable polymers to encapsulate natural compounds, and investigate the physical properties of these constructs.

3) Effects of PFOA on mammalian cells. PFOA is an environmental contaminant, which has been implied to have detrimental effects on human health. However, specific mechanisms of PFOA on mammalian cells are not well described. We are investigating how PFOA impacts cells such as fibroblasts, during the wound healing process.

4) Antimicrobial effects of Gold(1) compounds. Gold(1) compounds are known to inhibit bacterial growth. We are working in collaboration with Bennington College, to develop and characterize a panel of these compounds in order to elicit species-specific toxicity in bacteria.