Eric Mendenhall, PhD
Although his PhD diploma would have you call him a molecular and cellular biologist, Eric Mendenhall, PhD, is a geneticist through and through. In fact, it was an undergraduate genetics lab on birth defects that convinced him to make the switch from the pre-med track to the graduate school track. His research has incorporated some form of genetics ever since.
Throughout his career, Mendenhall has broadly focused on understanding gene regulation in the human genome and how its dysfunction contributes to some human diseases. He aims to define the function of the regulatory or non-coding regions of the genome. These regions control how genes are turned on or off in the appropriate cells of our bodies.
“Regions of the genome, called enhancers and promoters, control the on and off switch of genes, which is critical for the production and maintenance of different cells and tissue types,” says Mendenhall. “These regulatory regions are relatively easy to find and characterize but proteins called transcription factors which control their function are much more difficult to characterize. Working with many colleagues at HudsonAlpha, we are creating a catalog of these transcription factors and how they work.”
Mendenhall is also passionate about developing and implementing new technologies into his research to stay at the cutting edge of genetics research. He has developed methods to define what determines a functional regulatory region, investigate how the DNA sequence establishes these regions, and understand how variation in human DNA can alter this regulation to produce human traits and human genetic diseases.
Prior to joining HudsonAlpha as a Senior Fellow, Mendenhall was an associate professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and an adjunct faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha. He earned a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from University of Minnesota in 2006, and a BS in Biology from University of Iowa in 2002.
2006 – PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Minnesota
2002 – BS in Biology, University of Iowa
2021-present – Senior Fellow, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
2018-2021 – Associate Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville
2013-2021 – Adjunct Faculty Investigator, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
2013-2018 – Assistant Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville
2006-2013 – HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute
2018 – UAH Research Excellence Award, University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Science
2016 – Blue Flame Award for DNA Plasmid Depositing and Access, Addgene.org
2015 – Best Undergraduate Research Advisor, University of Alabama in Huntsville
2005 – International Society of Experimental Hematology, Presidential Session Presentation, 5th Annual Meeting, Glasgow, Scotland
2005 – American Society of Human Genetics, Predoctoral Presentation Award Finalist, 55th Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT