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School ofSciences

Spotlight Sandra Thompson-Jaeger

Dr. Sandra Thompson-Jaeger

Title: Associate Professor of Biology and currently Chair of the Biology Department

Length of service at CBU: Dr. Thompson-Jaeger has been at CBU since 2001.

Courses regularly taught: Principles of Biology I (BIOL 111) lecture and lab; Nutrition (BIOL 236); Genetics (BIOL 311) lecture and lab; Microbiology (BIOL 321) lecture and lab; and Pharmcology (BIOL 367).

Formal Education: Dr. Thompson-Jaeger received her Bachelor of Science degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia Arkansas. She received the equivalent of Masters and Ph.D. in 1984 and 1988 from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, Germany.

Background: Dr. Thompson-Jaeger was born in California but moved to Little Rock, Arkansas when she was ten. She led a relatively sheltered existence until deciding at age 22, a few months out of college, to cash in her life savings and head to Germany for however long her money lasted. A few friends living there helped her get set up in a dorm room and she matriculated at the University of Giessen. She lived there for about 9 months during which time she became fluent in German and became hooked on travel. She returned to the U.S. to a job and part-time study in Manhattan, Kansas, but after less than a year found herself “homesick” for Germany. She applied for and was granted a scholarship from the DAAD for study in Munich; She spent almost six years in Munich where she earned two degrees and met and married a German man from Bavaria. In 1988, they moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where she did a post-doc at NCSU. FedEx brought them to Memphis in 1991. For five years she was “ungainfully employed” and enjoyed devoting most of her time to her two small children. In 1996, she began working at the VAMC part-time and worked there until 2001 when she began to teach at CBU.

Professional Interests: At the VAMC, Dr. Thompson-Jaeger used microarray analysis to compare mice that were normal (“wild type”) with sibling mice that had been manipulated at the DNA level so that they would not express the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). The mutant mice were discovered to have much less of a protein (Tamm-Horsfall protein) in their urine that is believed to have a protective effect against bacterial infection of the bladder. Studies of the COX-2 mice are ongoing at several labs at the VA, and a paper describing the study was published in 2005.

Interests: Photography, travel, reading, piano, quilting, and since last summer, running! She has run in several 5K's and one 4-miler.

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