Ann Aguanno

Professor of Biology and Faculty Recruiter in Biology

Dr. Aguanno received her B.A. in Biology and Physical Anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology with a focus on Development and Neuroscience at New York University. She conducted research as a post-doctoral fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology at the Hoffman La Roche Pharmaceutical Company, and held faculty positions at  Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University.

Dr. Aguanno joined Marymount Manhattan College in 2002. She teaches a number of the introductory-level Biology courses, Cellular & Molecular Biology  and the capstone Genetics course, along with a variety of general education courses (e.g., Evolution, Bioethics).   

Dr. Aguanno has an active research program in which she guides the research of students within the Biology major. Her group investigates the role of a member of the cyclin dependent kinase family in the development of the mammalian tissue systems. Specifically, her lab examines the role of this protein in neurodegenerative diseases and the regulation of insulin.  Her research group has enjoyed much success with the award of multiple grants to the laboratory and the earning of First Place Honors by her research students in a number of scientific research conference presentations.

Dr. Aguanno also explores effective methods for training undergraduate biology researchers. She recently co-authored a chapter on innovations in biology education where she described her approach for training undergraduate scientists.

She also studies the pedagogy of incorporating national newspapers into the science classroom and frequently  leads faculty workshops on the method she developed to accomplish this.  Recently she has begun to focus on fundamental best practices in molecular life science education and the development of complex teaching modules for application in the biology teaching lab. 

Dr. Aguanno is the Director of the Student Chapters (Northeast Region) of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a collection of colleges and universities which foster undergraduate research experiences.  

She is the recipient of the 2011 Council on Undergraduate Research “Outstanding Biology Mentor Award.” and the 2016 Outstanding Science Faculty at MMC.


Professor of Biology and Faculty Recruiter in Biology


Natural Sciences





B.S., State University of New York, Buffalo
M.S., New York University
Ph.D., New York University

Recent Work


Benore, M., Provost, J.,  Aguanno, A. and Vega, Q. 2016 “The Balance of a PUI Career. What is the tightrope you walk?” FASEB J April  30:883.3

Aguanno, A., Mertz, P., Martin, D., Bell, E. 2015 “A National Comparison of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Capstone Experiences.” BAMBED,  43 (4, July/August):223–232, (DOI 10.1002/bmb.20869)

Bell,  J., Aguanno,  A.,  Mertz,  P., Johnson,  M.,  and Fox, K. 2016 “RCN-UBE: Integrating Evolution and Homeostasis with the Core Concepts of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology FASEB J April  29:559.2

McIlrath, V., Trye, A., Aguanno, A. 2015 “Using Mouse Mammary Tumor Cells to Teach Core Biology Concepts: A Simple Lab Module” JoVE, 6/18/15 Issue 100 (DOI: doi:10.3791/52528)

Aguanno, A., Mertz, P., Martin, D. and Bell, E. 2014 “A national comparison of learning objectives and outcome assessment of the biochemistry and molecular biology capstone experience: building the ASBMB Concept Inventory”  FASEB J April 28:618.13

Trye, A. and Aguanno, A., 2014 “Elucidating the role of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 in insulin exocytosis: studies toward understanding a possible link between neurodegeneration and type II diabetes” FASEB J.  28:576.4

 McIlrath,  V., Trye, A.,  and Aguanno, A. 2014 “Using breast cancer cells to teach students about cell division and signaling through cell culture techniques: a simple lab module” FASEB J., 28: 618.27.

Aguanno, A.  and  Sumter, T.,   2013 “Innovation in Foundation Courses and Undergraduate Research Experiences: Training the Next Generation of Scientists”.” Roberta V. Nata (Ed.). Progress in Education, Volume 30 Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, NY, 11788 

Trye, A and Aguanno, A., 2013,“The role of Cyclin Dependent Kinase 5 in insulin exocytosis”.  FASEB J., 27:1030.1

Khost, D.E. and Aguanno, A., 2013, “Cyclin dependent kinase 5’s role in the development of both insulin-positive and neuronal phenotypes” FASEB J., 27:1030.3

Brower, A., Romano, R., Columbus, D., and Aguanno, A., 2012, “Gaining those important lab skills: Three different training programs at a liberal arts college.” In FASEB J., 26:619.5

Aguanno, A., 2012, “Getting the high schools involved in scientific research! The New York City Partnership to Advance Science (NYCPAS); Collaborative research projects between NYC high schools and a liberal arts college: The pilot year.” FASEB J., 26:618.1



Sr. Colette Mahoney Grant, 2014 Marymount Manhattan College Faculty-Student Research

Joseph Alexander Foundation Award, 2013-14, Faculty-Student Research 

Science Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) Program 2013 LI-COR Biosciences, US

Research Coordination Network, Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) Award    2010-2015 Contributor, National Science Foundation  (ASBMB/UAN) ($370,000, NSF0957205)

Geraldine Ferraro Center for Educational Excellence in Science, Technology, Mathematics 2010-2011 Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Congressionally Directed Projects, U.S. Department of Education ($400,000)Coauthor & Contributor, with Division of Sciences, MMC

Sokol Award 2011-2012 Marymount Manhattan College                                                

Science Award 2009-2015 Marymount Manhattan College, Faculty-Student Research Grant  

Campus Challenge Partnership Award  2009-2011  New York Organ Donor Network     

Freeman Award  2008-2009  Marymount Manhattan College, Faculty-Student Research Grant                                                                                                                                                    


Principal Investigator Marymount Manhattan College (2002-present)

  1. Examine role of cyclin dependent kinase, cdk5, in mammalian tissue development. Analyze expression profiles of cdk5 and p35/39 in response to differentiation agents in cell lines PC12 (neuronal-like) and AR42J (b-cell like); inhibit cdk5 activity and analyze resulting alteration in cell morphology/biochemistry; investigate CDK5 as a link between neurodegeneration and insulin dysregulation. Mentored sixteen undergraduate researchers
  2. Pedagogical Methods (2006-present)

A) Mentoring undergraduate students in scientific research projects. Devised codified training protocol reliant on a peer-mentoring system to indoctrinate research students

 B) Incorporating the New York Times into the classroom.  Devise protocol and assessment instruments for integration of national newspapers into majors/non-major biology courses

C) Devising Effective Student Center Learning Activities for Biology Undergraduates

D) Pedagogy of cooperative examinations in the classroom (2003-2007)


General Biology I & II  (BIOL 220/222)

Cellular and Molecular Biology (BIOL 240)

Laboratory Research Methods (BIOL 251)

Genetics (BIOL 425)

Evolution (BIOL 127 and Online))

Honors Evolution (BIOL HP 127)

Heredity (BIOL 129)

Bioethics (BIOL 332)

Principals of Natural Sciences (BIOL 105/106)

Professional Experience

National Chair, ASBMB Student Chapters (Elected)                                                            2014- 2017 American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB), Wash. D.C.                                                                                                            

Director, Northeast Region, Student Chapters (Appointed)                                          2007-2014, 2018 American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB), Wash. D.C.

 Member, Educational and Professional Development Committee                                 2007-present   American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), Wash. D.C.

 Consultant: Subject Matter Expert  (SME) 2013-present                                                        Vital Technology Management, LLC. , VT (RFP # Quote#083013

 Steering Committee, RCN-Undergraduate Biology Education Award                          2013-present   National Science Foundation  (ASBMB/UAN) ($370,000, NSF#0957205)


 Program Coordinator  New York City Partnership to Advance Science (NYCPAS) Research Program  2010-present  Marymount Manhattan College, NY

 Conference Organizer

Catalyst Conversations for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Educators              February, 2018  ASBMB Student Chapters Organization  Marymount Manhattan College, NY

Developing and Sharing Best Practices: From Concept to Classroom                   March 2016  Research Coordination Network-Undergraduate Biology Education, NSF   Marymount Manhattan College, NY

Transforming Undergraduate Education in the Molecular Life Sciences                July 2015  Missouri Western Sate University, St. Joseph, MO (w/ASBMB Student Chapters)

Northeast Regional ASBMB-UAN Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Concept     January 2013  Inventory Workshop: Assessment of Student’s Reasoning   Research Coordination Network-Undergraduate Biology Education, NSF   Marymount Manhattan College, NY

 New York City Partnership to Advance Science (NYCPAS) Research Symposium     June 2011   Marymount Manhattan College, NY

  Northeast Regional ASBMB-UAN Leader’s Biochemistry Concept Workshop          January 2011  Promoting Concept Driven Teaching Strategies in BMB through Concept Assessments    Research Coordination Network- Undergraduate Biology Education, NSF  Montclair University, NJ  (with Q.Vega, Ph.D.)

 Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences                 2008-11, 2013-14  William Paterson University, NJ (with J. Menon, Ph.D)                                    

Poster Competition Judge (Invited)                                                                       

Annual Undergraduate Student Research Achievement Award Poster Competition   2005-201

Lead Judge    2011-2016

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Experimental Biology Conferences

Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium,                                                    2007-11, 2013-14 William Patterson University, Wayne NJ

Publishing Consultant

Genetics Advisory Panel, Member                                                                           2010-present  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,  Hoboken, NJ


Biology Subject Matter Expert                                                                               2015-present  LearningMate Solutions, INC, New York                                                                                

Learning Express, LLC, New York   2008                                                            Generated test questions for Science sections of Praxis II Exams, ACT exams

Media Author, W. H Freeman & Co., NY ((Art Development, Assessment Instruments, Figure Conversion Engines, Electronic Learning Tools)

Shuster, M. et. al., Scientific American Biology for a Changing World, 2nd ed. 2015

Lodish, H. et. al., Molecular Cell Biology, 7th ed. 2013

Raven, P. et. al., Biology of Plants, 7th ed. 2012

Phelan, J., What is Life? A Guide to Biology with Physiology. 1st ed., 2012

Pierce, B. Genetics 4th ed. 2011

 Phelan, J., What is Life? A Guide to Biology. 1st, 2nd, 3rd ed., 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015                                                        

Text Book Reviewer                                                                                 

       Alberts,, Essential Cell Biology, 4th ed, Taylor Francis, 2016

       Watson, J. et. al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 7th ed. Pearson, 2016

       Alberts, B., et. al., Essential Cell Biology, 3rd ed. Garland Science, 2015

       Zimmer, C., The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution, 2nd ed. Roberts & Co., CO, 2013

       Pierce, B., Genetics: A Conceptual Approach, , 4th ed. W.H. Freeman, New York, 2012

       Shuster, M. et. al., Scientific American Biology for a Changing World, 1st ed.  W.H. Freeman, NY 2012

       Freeman, S., Biological Science, 4th Ed.; Benjamin Cummings: New York, 2011

       Pierce, B., Genetics 3rd, 4th ed. W.H. Freeman, New York , 2009, 2011

       Snustad & Simmons, Principles of Genetics, 6th ed., J. Wiley & Sons, NY,  2011

       Reeses, B., et. al., Campbell Biology, 9th ed., Pearson Higher Ed. NY, 2011

       Phelan, J., What is Life? A Guide to Biology. 1st ed.  W.H. Freeman, New York, 2009

       Shuster, M., et. al., Biology for a Changing World , W.H. Freeman, New York, 2008, 2010

       Watson, J. T., et., al., Molecular Biology of the Gene 5th ed.  Pearson Education, INC, CA, 2005    

       Mader, S., Biology, 7ed. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, New York,  2002

       Beran. J.A., Laboratory Manual for Principals of General Chemistry, 6th ed. J Wiley & Sons, NY, 2000


Consultant, Stevens Institute of Technology  2002                                                                                Designed course Business and Biotech for Business and Technology Program (Chair, R. Seymour, Ph.D)                                      

Forensic DNA Analysis: Forensic Biology Laboratory                                             10/2002- 1/2003  Aided in DNA identification of victims of 9/11, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, New York, NY



Carson Hall 603