ARMAS in Education Center

Achieving in Research, Math, and Science

Spotlight / Linder to Conduct Research at Johns Hopkins


Carol Linder

Las Vegas, N.M. –New Mexico Highlands biology professor Carol Linder

will complete a research sabbatical this fall in Baltimore at Johns

Hopkins University, one of the premier research institutions in the


Linder, a cell and reproductive biology scientist, joined the Highlands

University faculty in 2004 and established her Reproductive Biology

Laboratory in 2005 with a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Linder developed a mouse colony for her research, which focuses on male


“My lab uses genetic mouse models to identify genes and understand the

mechanisms required for spermatogenesis – sperm development,” Linder

said. “Our focus has largely been on a GOLGA3 protein mutation that

causes infertility in a unique mouse strain. The ultimate goal is to

provide insight into human male infertility.”

At Johns Hopkins, Linder will further examine the specific role of the

GOLGA3 protein in regulating sperm development in mice using samples

from her Highlands mouse colony.

“This will give me the chance to completely immerse myself in a

research-intensive environment, working side by side with other cell and

reproductive biologists,” Linder said. “My primary goal is to learn new

cell culture research techniques I can use to advance my research, and

teach to my students.

“I also want to establish an active collaboration with scientists at Johns Hopkins,” Linder said.

Linder will conduct her research in cell biologist Carolyn Machamer’s state-of-the-art lab at Johns Hopkins.

Machamer is a leading expert in the Golgi complex – a major processing

and sorting center found in all animal cells. The GOLGA3 protein is part

of the Golgi complex, which is important in sperm development.

“Having another well-trained scientist like Carol is very advantageous

for my research group, and I expect her sabbatical to be very

synergistic,” Machamer said. “She brings a different perspective because

of her expertise in mouse genetics. We’ll learn from her knowledge of

using spermatogenesis to study male infertility. I’m impressed with the

complexity of Carol’s experiments, and what she’s accomplished at a

small teaching university.”

Machamer, who also directs a Johns Hopkins program for 150 Ph.D.

science students in 106 labs, noted Linder’s track record with her


“I’m also impressed with the success Carol has mentoring students who

go on to do great things. You cannot underestimate the value of good

mentors at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Machamer said.

Machamer also has her sights set on building a partnership with Highlands.

“We’re hopeful that Carol’s sabbatical will lead to a productive

long-term collaboration with Highlands University,” Machamer said.

During her tenure at Highlands, Linder has mentored 34 undergraduate

students, 11 graduate students, and one postdoctoral fellow.

“The most important thing I’ve done in my career is to mentor

undergraduate and graduate students in my lab,” Linder said. “I’m

exposing them to the type of research that is conducted at major

research institutions. The fact that so many of my students are

successful at the graduate and doctoral levels is extremely rewarding,

and validates what we’re doing here at Highlands.

“My biggest goal in teaching and my research lab is to get my students

to think like scientists. It’s more than learning the specific molecular

biology methods ­– it’s also interpreting and applying results in a

larger context.”

Linder teaches upper-division courses in genetics, cell biology, and

molecular biology, as well as biology courses for non-majors.

During her sabbatical, Linder will communicate with her graduate

students at Highlands via e-mail and Skype. David Brookshier, a new lab

technician, will maintain Linder’s mice colony and lab.

Since 2005, Linder’s research lab has received ongoing funding from the

National Institutes of Health – New Mexico IDea Network of Biomedical

Research Excellence, Highlands University, and other sources. She has

also secured multiple grants to support student research such as the

National Science Foundation’s Western Alliance for Expanding Student


Linder completed her Ph.D. in cell and reproductive biology from the

University of Texas – Austin and her postdoctoral studies in

spermatogenesis at Washington State University – Pullman. She spent a

year as adjunct faculty at Oregon State University – Corvallis.  

For ten years, Linder worked at The Jackson Laboratory, a leading

nonprofit biomedical research institution in Bar Harbor, Maine. She held

positions such as associate director of genetic resources, research

scientist, and senior technical information scientist. 

Linder is active in professional organizations and often takes her

students with her to national scientific conferences. She serves as the

chair of the minority affairs/diversity committee for the Society for

the Study of Reproduction, and on editorial boards for publications such

as Andrology and Lab Animal.


© 2012 ARMAS in Education Center