Sherri Evans Bergsten, Associate Professor


Office: FSC249
Phone: (717) 477-1772


  • BS Biology Haverford College 1993
  • PhD Molecular Biology Princeton University 2001


I began teaching at Shippensburg University in 2005. I have a BS in Biology from Haverford College (1993) and a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University (2001). My dissertation research was in the field of developmental genetics, studying the regulation of gene critical for embryonic patterning in fruit flies. The intricate patterns of genetic regulation necessary to make an organism continue to fascinate me, but my interests have expanded as I collaborate with other faculty and with student researchers. I am excited to be part of a department and university where the primary focus is teaching, and I truly enjoy my time in the classroom and in the lab.

Research Interests

Work in my lab broadly focuses on genetic regulation, and the model we use is the process of autophagy in cancer cells. Autophagy is a cellular recycling process that works in concert with lysosomes to degrade and recycle proteins and organelles. Rapid division in cancer cells relies on such recycling, but research has shown that some of the regulators of autophagy also function as tumor suppressors and high levels of autophagy can induce cell death. Understanding the regulation of autophagy and factors that can alter that regulation have potential to influence the future of cancer treatment.

Courses Taught

  • Basic Biology
  • Principles of Biology: Cell Structure and Function
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics of Development and Disease
  • Evolutionary Development
  • Honors Seminar: Ethical and Societal Implications of Genetics

Student Research Projects

Recent projects include:

Expression, Cloning and Sequencing of Atg4c and p62 Autophagy related cDNAs from Glioma Cells. (In collaboration with Dr. Lucinda Elliott)

Engineering of Vectors to Express Fluorescent Fusion Proteins for Beclin-1, Atg4c and Atg4b Autophagy Regulatory Proteins (In collaboration with Dr. Lucinda Elliott)

The Effect of Overexpressing Atg5 and LC3 Autophagy Regulatory Proteins on the Balance between Cell Survival and Death of Glioma Cells (In collaboration with Dr. Lucinda Elliott)

Quantitation of Autophagic Flux through Activation and Inhibition of Autophagy in Glioma Cells that Express GFP-p62 and DsRed-LC3

Comparison of Alternative Atg5 Isoforms on Regulation of Autophagy in Glioma Cells

The Overexpression and Deletion of Atg4b and Atg4c Autophagy Regulated Proteins in Human Glioblastoma Cells

Impact of Beclin-1 Overexpression on Autophagy-Mediated Cell Survival and Cell Death in Glioma Cells

Impact of CRISPR Modification of Endogenous Beclin-1 on Autophagy in Glioma Cells

Combined effects of Atg5 Modulation and Chemical Treatment on Regulation of Autophagy in Glioma Cells

Effects on Autophagy with Respect to Varying Concentrations of Resveratrol Alone and in Conjunction with Chemotherapeutic Agents

Autophagic and Exosomal Variation in Glioma Cells that Express GFP-p62 and DsRed-LC3, through Inhibition and Induction of Autophagy