Tricia R Serio

Research Interests

Dr. Tricia Serio Ph.D., is Department Head and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. She received a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University and Ph.D. in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics as a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. Dr. Serio received the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute at Yale University and named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences at Brown University. At the UofA, Dr. Serio's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which protein conformations can self-replicate and the resulting links with many maladies in humans, particularly age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Her work combines genetic, cell biological, biochemical, quantitative imaging techniques and mathematical modeling to understand and ultimately reverse these pathogenic processes. Dr. Serio seeks to understand various systems, including proteins that have been linked to processes historically limited to nucleic acids, such as infectivity and inheritance. Such proteins, termed prions, adopt multiple physical and therefore functional states in vivo, an attribute underlying their atypical roles in the cell. Dr. Serio’ work seeks to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that module prion protein conformational flexibility in vivo using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an experimental model.