As I look back at my life, it has become clear that my successes are less and less about what I was planning, and more and more about what God was doing. Soli Deo gloria.— Andrew R. Russell
Additional Faculty Information for Andrew Russell
Ph.D., Indiana University, 2014
B.S., Hillsdale College, 2005
I joined the biology department at Hillsdale College in 2022, after spending eight years at Northern State University in South Dakota. Therefore, I am one of only a handful of people that can say they moved to Michigan to be in a warmer climate. My expertise as a scientist lies in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology, but my research has afforded me experience in a broad range of biological topics including: genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, and plant physiology.
Lately, my research has been centered on bacterial biofilms. I am interested in basic and applied research that helps us understand how biofilms form on various surfaces, as well as, how to prevent their detrimental effects in medicine and industry. Recent projects include the development of strategies to prevent biofilm formation in beer draft lines and on contact lenses.
I also have a background in host-microbe interactions using Arabidopsis as a model host and P. syringae as a model pathogen. I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms hosts employ to detect potential threats and how pathogens exploit the host to disarm these mechanisms. In particular, I would like to better understand how a pathogen’s many molecular weapons work in concert to achieve this.
Beyond research, I am passionate about science education. I am a gifted teacher whose experience spans a variety of ages, topics, methods and environments. Through classroom, lab, and community outreach, I am enhancing knowledge of how science works and how it connects to real life experiences. Above all, I strive to cultivate critical thinking in my students so they can adequately critique the information they receive from any source or discipline.