Jennifer Robichaud Associate Teaching Professor

Jennifer Robichaud

Academic Interests:

In the General Biology Laboratories, we utilize various techniques (electrophoresis, PCR, bioinformatics etc) to increase the students understanding of biological theories and develop their ability to think critically and communicate in a scientific format. We work with the students to take initiative in the planning and implementation of projects that they have developed independently, especially during the spring semester. We have collaborated with 1) Dr. Patricia Champion (since Fall 2011) to implement one of her projects to screen Mycobacterium tuberculosis secretion pathways and 2) Dr. Jason McLachlan’s lab to examine how global environmental change has affected plants such as Schoenoplectus americanus (since Spring 2012).

In the fall semester lab, we have challenged the students to complete one semester long project related to protein secretion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis rather than completing several small projects. We did this for several reasons 1) to push the project further than just screening for proteins and 2) to challenge the students further in thinking and acting like scientists. No matter the final result of the actual experiments, our students are better able to understand the process of science, read primary literature and have worked on developing their ability to critically think/troubleshoot a scientific problem.

In my lecture courses, Medical and Veterinary Parasitology and Vertebrate Physiology, students are challenged to synthesize material from multiple sources to develop an understanding for the whole system whether it be the human body or how the human body is affected by another organism. In and out of class, multimedia sources are used to help reinforce the information that has been discussed during lecture. Public and global health is another important topic that is introduced into the parasitology lecture to give students a better understanding of how social, cultural, environmental, and economic factors influence infections and health and vise versa.

The two-week Global Health Summer Scholars program for high school students introduces them to the major global health challenges in under-resourced settings both within the United States and in developing countries. In class, we hold discussions on the determinants of health and the social factors that also determine health, communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal-child health, and the importance of WASH, to name a few topics. By the end of the course students should have an understanding that global health is truly interdisciplinary in nature.

 

Biography:

  • Assistant Teaching Professor/Professional Specialist, University of Notre Dame 2010-Present
  • Visiting Assistant Professional Specialist, University of Notre Dame, Department of Biological Sciences 2008-2010
  • Research and Diagnostic Parasitologist, Purdue University, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, West Lafayette, IN 2000-2006
  • Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Engineering (ORISE) Fellowship, Joint appointment with Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tuberculosis Branch, Atlanta, GA 1998-1999
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Training Fellowship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tuberculosis Branch, Atlanta, GA 1997-1998
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Georgia, Department of Medical Microbiology, Athens, GA 1995-1997
  • Clinical Laboratory Science Internship, Saint Mary’s Medical Center and the College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, MN 1994-1995
  • Master of Science, University of Georgia, Department of Medical Microbiology, Athens, GA 1997
  • Bachelor of Arts, Clinical Laboratory Science, College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, MN 1995

 

Selected Professional Activities:

  • IACUC member since 2011
  • Undergraduate Honors Committee since 2012
  • Outreach Committee since 2010
  • American Medical Women’s Association Club Advisor since 2014
  • World Health Assimilation Through Notre Dame (WHATND) Club Advisor since 2015
  • American Society of Clinical Pathologist certification 1995