Our Faculty

Natalie Karagodsky

Assistant Professor of Biology


Contact Information

617-735-9948


Office Hours

Office: Wilkens Science Center, Room 309-G

Education

Sci.B., Brown University; Ph.D. Harvard University


As scientists in the making, college is a time to develop one's ability to think critically about problems, develop hypotheses, test these hypotheses with experiments, gather and analyze data, and effectively communicate the process and conclusions to others. This is not an easy feat. And is learned in stages. My goal is to try to make each stage of this process as engaging and relevant for students, as possible.

Complete understanding of new facts is often blocked by misconceptions. I try to identify and challenge students' misconceptions, while maintaining a positive and supportive classroom environment. This helps students develop metacognition-awareness of what they do and do not know, allowing them to self-monitor their understanding, to ask the right questions and eventually to advance their understanding, by fully integrating new information into their preexisting frameworks. 

What I Love About Emmanuel:

I love the small classes, where students interact directly with faculty. I love the community, where faculty and staff are passionate and eager to help students succeed. I love the research environment, where students and faculty have the support and collaboration of one another, but also the opportunity to work with world renowned scientists at neighboring institutions. And I love the mission, where students and faculty are committed to service and social justice on campus and beyond. 

Course I Teach

  • BIOL 1106 Introduction to Organismic and Evolutionary Biology lab
  • BIOL 2135 Anatomy and Physiology I lecture and lab
  • BIOL 2137 Anatomy and Physiology II lecture and lab

Recent Publications

  • Moroz N, C.J.J., A.E., Hart A, Sinclair DA, and Blackwell TK. Dietary Restriction Involves NAD+-dependent Mechanisms and a Shift Toward Oxidative Metabolism. Aging Cell, 2014. doi: 10.1111/acel.12273.
  • M.M., N.H.E., Moroz N, L.Y. and Blackwell TK. mTORC2-SGK-1 Acts in Two Environmentally -responsive Pathways with Opposing Effects on Longevity. Aging Cell, 2014. doi: 10.1111/acel.12248.
  • Moroz N, T.M., L.L., X.H., and de la Monte S. Limited Alzheimer-type Neurodegeneration in Experimental Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J Alzheimers Dis, 2008. 15(1): p. 29-44.

Grants and Recognitions

  • Best New Faculty ECLearn Course Design (2018)
  • Emmanuel College Student-Faculty Research grants (2018)
  • Fitchburg State University Special Projects Faculty Scholarship grant (2016)
  • Fitchburg State University Special Projects Travel grant (2015-2016)
  • Fitchburg State University Continuing Scholarship grant (2014-2016)
  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Award T32 Training Grant in Diabetes & Metabolism (2009-2013)
  • NIH NIDDK Interdisciplinary Training in Genetics and Complex Diseases Roadmap grant (2008-2009)   
  • Brown University Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) (2007)

My research interests focus on SKN-1/NF-E2 related factor, a conserved transcription factor that regulates redox regulators, such as glutathione S-transferase and thioredoxin, in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a millimeter long worm. SKN-1 counters damage caused by reactive oxygen species, which is often implicated in age-associated diseases including diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, SKN-1 was shown to mediate fat accumulation and oxidative stress resistance in worms missing germline stem cells. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown, and encompasses an on-going project in the lab. For SKN-1 to be activated, SKN-1 has to be transported from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, and for inactivation, it is transported back into the cytoplasm. Investigating what mediates this movement encompasses another on-going project. Using a combination of genetics and biochemistry we hope to better understand how lipids and nuclear transporters regulate SKN-1. These findings will provide insight into the possible role of dietary, metabolic and cellular regulators of stress resistance, longevity and age-associated diseases. 

Lab Member (graduating class)

Current Position
2015 - 2017 Hannah Lombardo ('17) Research Technician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
2015 - 2017 Jacquelyn Durkan ('17) Quality Control Associate at Finch Therapeutics
2018 - present Allison Carroll ('19) Emmanuel undergraduate
2018 - present Katherine Gilmore ('19) Emmanuel undergraduate