BUILD Program Leadership

The Biology Department at Pine Manor College submitted a grant proposal to the NIH under the BUILD initiative. We are awaiting review of our proposal and hope to launch this site in the near future.

Laura Liscum, Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Pine Manor College
BUILD Program Director of Research

Dr. Liscum received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 1982 and then did postdoctoral work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under the direction of Michael Brown, MD, and Joseph Goldstein, MD. She joined the TUSM faculty in 1985 and was promoted to Professor in 1997.

Dr. Liscum has significant experience in graduate education. She was Director of the Cellular and Molecular Physiology graduate program from 2001 to 2010. Dr. Liscum has extensive experience in undergraduate research training. She has mentored many undergraduates in her laboratory. She has been a research mentor and small group leader for Tufts’ Building Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences (BDBS) summer undergraduate research program, and was named BDBS Director in 2011.

Dr. Liscum also directs a Pathway to the PhD research enrichment program for undergraduates at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a local undergraduate institution with a large diverse population. In this three-week program, Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences doctoral students lead the undergraduates in laboratory experiments, giving hands-on training in the scientific method and critical research techniques. Faculty members offer career development workshops and introduce the undergraduates to research training opportunities. This program, which received an American Association of Medical Colleges Innovation Award in 2013, will serve as a template for STEP-One and STEP-Two activities that are described below.

Dr. Liscum’s ties to Pine Manor College date back to 2007, when she and Dr. Susan Bear developed a Pathophysiology course for Pine Manor Biology majors. In alternate years, Drs. Liscum and Bear mentor TUSM medical students, and doctoral students from the Sackler School and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy to team teach a course that covers six diseases that disproportionately affect African-American and Latina women. Development of this course was supported by a 2007 Innovation in Education grant from TUSM. In recognition of her contribution to the Pine Manor educational mission, Dr. Liscum was appointed Adjunct Professor of Biology in 2014.

Colleen Krieser, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology at Pine Manor College
Director of the Pine Manor BUILD curriculum 

Dr. Krieser received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2004 from Dartmouth College. Since 2004, she has been working with undergraduates at primarily undergraduate institutions and has been heavily involved in curriculum development. From 2004 to 2008, she was an Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Thomas Aquinas College, a small liberal arts college with a diverse student body in Sparkill, NY, during which time she developed a new Neuroscience course. Dr. Krieser joined Pine Manor as an Assistant Professor of Biology in 2008. Since then she has promoted several key curricular changes. These included implementing a program-wide writing initiative.

Dr. Krieser serves on the Pine Manor College Curriculum Committee and is currently the Biology Program Coordinator. In 2013, she completed a sabbatical in the laboratory of Peter Juo, PhD, at TUSM/Sackler to learn ways she can incorporate studies with C.elegans, a powerful molecular and genetic model that is readily adaptable to small college teaching into the Pine Manor curriculum. Dr. Krieser has now incorporated this model system into the curriculum.

Ms. Denise Puopolo, Science Teacher
BUILD program Liaison from East Boston High School

Ms. Denise Puopolo, Science Teacher brings 19 years of experience as a science educator to her role as BUILD liaison from East Boston High School. She has personal experience working in biotechnology and research labs. As an educator and scientist, Ms. Puopolo will contribute to assessing the development of our BUILD scholars and the programs instituted to support that development. She is an experienced mentor of students and has a clear track record as one who develops and offers to students a broad range of educational opportunities and career paths. She has brought many new educational programs to her students at East Boston High School and will be responsible for developing and assessing individual courses, curriculum and institutional growth and development. Her experience in secondary school gives her a perspective on students’ educational and career approaches as they prepare for college.

Ms. Kate Pickle, Senior Program Director
BUILD Program Liaison from Science Club for Girls (SCFG)

Ms. Kate Pickle's position of leadership in local and national organizations provides the foundation for her ability to assess BUILD initiatives and think critically and productively about program change and growth. SCFG connects girls, mostly from under-resourced communities, with scientists and engineers who guide them in hands-on explorations and expose them to careers in these fields. Ms. Pickle has more than 15 years of youth development experience, with a focus on STEM, from both local Girl Scout councils in the Northeast as well as the national organization. She has a proven track record of developing strong collaborations which leverage each party’s strengths to reach a common goal, has developed youth programs through her work at Girl Scouts.

Prior to entering the youth development field, Ms. Pickle was a staff marine scientist for Science Applications International Corporation with primary responsibility for survey work related to dredge material monitoring, including geotechnical and bathymetric data analysis. She also worked on project teams for software development, global information systems projects, environmental impact studies, and implementation of technology to monitor dredge material dumping activities.

Susan Bear, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Pine Manor College
Principle Investigator for the BUILD program

Dr. Bear received her Ph.D. in Immunology from Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1980 and did her postdoctoral work at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda and Frederick, MD. After almost 30 years in research at the DuPont Experimental Station, the Fox Chase Cancer Center, and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Dr. Bear turned her attention to education and program development. Her education experience began during her research career when she was an instructor in the Microbiology Department of Thomas Jefferson University Graduate School. Subsequently, she assumed a three-year full time visiting professor position in the undergraduate and graduate programs within the Biology Department of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She was hired to the Biology Program of Pine Manor College in 2005 where she was awarded tenure in 2008, and promoted to Full Professor in 2014.

Dr. Bear has demonstrated a clear and continued commitment to bringing STEM career awareness to the students in the biology program. In addition to her teaching, advising and college-wide responsibilities, her specific focus has been to strengthen the Biology program in cell and molecular biology and bring research opportunities to the students. Dr. Bear has reached out to numerous organizations to form partnerships that can strengthen the Pine Manor Biology Program. Over the last nine years, Dr. Bear has formed and managed working groups of different stakeholders to strategize and implement new programs at Pine Manor.

Since joining Pine Manor in 2005, Dr. Bear has co-designed collaborations with numerous Tufts faculty members. She worked to provide pathways for Biology majors to do semester-long internships in research labs at TUSM and the Sackler School. She also worked with Dr. Laura Liscum to develop a mentored undergraduate teaching course that gives TUSM medical students, Sackler School Ph.D. students and Ph.D. students from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts the opportunity to lead a Pathophysiology course at Pine Manor.

Dr. Bear initiated conversations with the Biotechnology Program at the Metropolitan College of Boston University, and designed and implemented the program that embeds their Biotechnology Certificate into the Pine Manor Biology major. She has also played a key role in bringing Science Club for Girls to the Pine Manor Campus.