Maria "Mia" Bertagnolli, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Mia Bertagnolli, a graduate of Gonzaga University and strong believer in the value of a Jesuit, liberal arts education, earned her PhD in cellular biology from the University of Utah (Dr. Mary Beckerle, mentor) before returning to Gonzaga to begin her...

Profile photo of Professor Maria Bertagnolli

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D. in Biology, University of Utah

B.S. in Biology, Gonzaga University

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

BIOL 106 - Energy Flow in Biological Systems

BIOL 399 - Advanced Topics in Cancer Cell Biology

BIOL 499 - Senior Colloquium


Mia Bertagnolli, a graduate of Gonzaga University and strong believer in the value of a Jesuit, liberal arts education, earned her PhD in cellular biology from the University of Utah (Dr. Mary Beckerle, mentor) before returning to Gonzaga to begin her teaching career.  She was jointly appointed to the Biology and Chemistry Departments and taught for both departments for many years before moving to full-time work for the Biology Department. Mia was a Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Biochemistry and received a Gonzaga Exemplary Faculty Award (2008). She was Chair of the Biology Department at Gonzaga University from June, 2011 through May, 2017 and is currently serving as Interim Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. She organized the 2016 Faculty Enrichment Workshop for the Murdock College Science Research Conference focused on supporting junior faculty in STEM fields. Her interest in translational research resulted in collaborations with Dr. Katherine Tuttle, Executive Director of Research for Providence Health Care, and Dr. Ellen Klohe, HLA Laboratory Director at INBC, as well as with Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, Chief of Surgical Oncology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She has served as scientific consultant for organizations such as the American Dental Association and several local biotechnology companies.  She enjoys teaching, advising and mentoring undergraduate students as well as supporting the great work of her colleagues.

Bertagnolli, M.E., Meek, R.L., Anderberg, R.J., Cooney, S.K., Tuttle, K.R.  RAGE expression modulates mediators of fibrotic injury in mesangial cells. J Am Soc Nephrol 20, 2009; SA-PO2914.

Meek, R.L., Bertagnolli, M.E., Leboeuf, R.C., Alpers, C.E., Hudkins, K.L., Tuttle, K.R. Albuminuria, podocyte loss, and kidney RAGE expression in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes and high protein diet.  J Am Soc Nephrol 20, 2009: SA-PO2912.

Weyant, M.J., A.M. Carothers, M.E. Bertagnolli, and M.M. Bertagnolli (2000) Colon cancer chemopreventive drugs modulate integrin-mediated signaling pathways.  Clinical Cancer Research 6: 949-956.

Bertagnolli, M.E., L.A. Hudson and G.Y. Stetsenko (1999) Selective association of the tyrosine kinases Src, Fyn and Lyn with integrin-rich actin cytoskeletons of activated, nonaggregated platelets.  Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 260: 790-798.

Weyant, M.J., A.M. Carothers, R.T. Bilinski, M.E. Bertagnolli and M.M. Bertagnolli (1999) Increased tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) correlates with altered intestinal cell growth in an animal model of early carcinogenesis.  Abstracts, Association for Academic Surgery, Philadelphia, PA. (Abstract chosen to receive a resident research award)

Roy, M.L. and M.E. Bertagnolli (1999)  Identification of a platelet membrane glycoprotein causing an alloimmune response.  Book of Abstracts, 217th ACS National Meeting, Anaheim, CA, March 21-25; CHED-422.

Hudson, L.A., G.Y. Stetsenko and M.E. Bertagnolli (1998)  Kinase activity in integrin-rich cytoskeletons isolated from activated, nonaggregated platelets.  Molecular Biology of the Cell 9:163a.

My field of research is cellular biology.  In general my research focuses on understanding structural and regulatory molecules associated with cytoskeleton-mediated functions such as cell adhesion and migration.  I am currently interested in studying changes in cytoskeletal structure and signaling pathways that affect cell adhesion during the development of colon cancer.  The effect of colon cancer chemopreventive drugs on these structures and pathways is also being examined to improve our understanding of how these drugs work.