Curiculum Vitae

Ph.D. Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology, University of Pittsburgh, 2011.
Dissertation: ‘Single-Molecule Insights into PcrA-Driven Disruption of RecA Filaments’
B.S. Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, 2003. (With Honors)
B.A. Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 2003.  

Carlow University, Pittsburgh, PA
Assistant Professor, College of Learning and Innovation, Biology 2014 - present
Instructor, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Biology 2013 - 2014

Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Pittsburgh, PA 2011 – 2013
Science teacher and curriculum developer


I am perhaps most entranced by biology at the molecular and cellular levels. I'm interested in using emerging technologies to probe molecular interactions and also understand how neural activity drives behavior. I also love working with students on their own research projects.  


“PcrA-mediated disruption of RecA nucleoprotein filaments--essential role of the ATPase activity of RecA”. Fagerburg, MV et al. Nucleic Acids Res. (2012) 40(17):8416-24.

“Monoubiquitinated histone H2A destabilizes photolesion-containing nucleosomes with concomitant release of UV-damaged DNA-binding protein E3 ligase.”. Nan, Li et al. J Biol Chem. (2012) 287(15) :12036-49.

“Optimal Practices for Surface-Tethered Single Molecule Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Analysis”. Fagerburg, MV; Leuba, SH. appearing in DNA Nanotechnology: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press (2011)

Research Interests

Using advanced microscopy techniques and image analysis to gain biophysical insights
•In vivo calcium imaging of neurons using miniaturized GRIN-optics platforms to interrogate the neurological basis of behavior and disease
•Single-molecule spectroscopy to probe protein-DNA interactions and kinetics

Involving undergraduates in authentic research project experiences
•Molecular genetics to assess genetic diversity of local invasive species
•Using C.elegans as a platform to explore the neurological basis of behavior and disease
•Characterizing the genetic stability of capsaicinoid profiles in chili peppers
•Construction and programming of automated hydroponics platforms