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.

Dr. Aguanno is the Director of the Undergraduate Affiliate Network (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.”



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


Aguanno, A.  and  Sumter, T.,  “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., “Analyzing the Effect of Various Chemotherapy Agents on Moure Mammary Tumor Cells: A Simple Experiment to Teach Cell Culture Methods and the Mammalian Cell Cycle to Undergraduates.” Journal of Visual Experimentation (JOVE Submission May 2014

Brower, A., Romano, R., Columbus D and Aguanno, A., Undergraduates training undergraduates; An effective training program for student researchers at a liberal arts college”” Manuscript in preparation Journal of College Science Teaching, Submission 

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 thirteen undergraduate researchers

2. Pedagogy of mentoring undergraduate students in scientific research projects.Devised codified training protocol reliant on a peer-mentoring system to indoctrinate research students

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

Research Collaborations

R. Sheryll, Ph.D. American Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics &Cyclops Research & Development, Inc (1998-2000, 2012-present) Joint business/academic project involving novel culture methods of barophilic organisms along with molecular analysis of their gene products as a source of potential therapeutics.


General Biology I (BIOL 220), 

Cellular and Molecular Biology (BIOL 240)

Lab Skills (BIOL 2xx)

Genetics (BIOL 425)

Evolution (BIOL 127),

Heredity (BIOL 129)

Bioethics (COR B 301)

Principals of Natural Sciences (GS 105/GS 106)

Professional Experience

Director, Northeast Region, United States(Appointed) 2007- present

Undergraduate Affiliate Network, Educational and Professional Development Committee, 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)

 Advisory Board Member

Research Coordination Network, 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

Northeast Regional ASBMB-UAN Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Concept Inventory Workshop: Assessment of Student’s Reasoning January 2013 Research Coordination Network, 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 Promoting Concept Driven Teaching Strategies in BMB through Concept Assessments January 2011 Research Coordination Network, Montclair University, NJ (with Q.Vega, Ph.D.)

 Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences 2008-2011, 2013 William Paterson University, NJ (with J. Menon, Ph.D)

 Poster Competition Judge (Invited) Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2007-2011, 2013 William Patterson University, Wayne NJ

 Annual Undergraduate Student Research Achievement Award Poster Competition 2005-2011 Lead Judge 2011-2013

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Experimental Biology Conferences

 Publishing Consultant

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

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

Shuster, M. et. al., Scientific American Biology for a Changing World, 2nded. (in progress)

Raven, P. et. al., Biology of Plants, 7thed. 2012

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

Pierce, B. Genetics 4th ed. 2011

Phelan, J., What is Life? A Guide to Biology. 1st, 2nded., 2009, 2010, 2011 


Text Book Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

Snustad & Simmons, Principles of Genetics, 6thed., 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 5thed. 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


Carson Hall 603