Andrea is a biochemist whose research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying aging and longevity, tissue regeneration and resistance to cancer. Using red, purple and other local sea urchin species that exhibit a wide range of lifespans, Andrea takes a comparative approach to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms that determine lifespan and resistance to disease. Her research currently focuses on whole genome analysis of age-related gene expression in sea urchins, the molecular response of sea urchins to DNA-damaging agents and the mechanisms underlying long-term maintenance of tissue homeostasis and regeneration.

Andrea received a PhD in biochemistry from McMaster University in 1991. She completed a postdoc at the University of London in the department of neurological science, where she spent three years investigating the mitochondrial defects that cause human neurological diseases. With a newfound interest in disease and neurodegeneration, Andrea worked as a scientist with Geron Corporation, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, where she investigated therapies for cancer and other age related diseases. Prior to joining BIOS she also worked at the University of Singapore studying cancer therapeutics and stem cell biology, as well as in the oncology department at Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.

Research Interests: 
Sea urchins as models for biomedical research, stem cells and tissue regeneration, negligible senescence and lifespan determination, mitochondrial function and defects, DNA repair and resistance to cancer

Educational Background:
University of London, London UK 1991-1994
-Postdoc in the department of neurological science
McMaster University, Ontario Canada 1985-1991
-PhD in biochemistry

Further Information:
Molecular Discovery Lab
Ocean Acidification and Coral Gene Expression

Selected Publications:
Bodnar, A.G. and Coffman, J.A. (2016) Maintenance of somatic regenerative capacity with age in short- and long-lived species of sea urchins. Aging Cell. doi: 10.1111/acel.12487.

Reinardy, H.C., Chapman, J. and Bodnar, A.G. (2016) Induction of innate immune gene expression following methyl methanesulfonate-induced DNA damage in sea urchins. Biology Letters 12: 20151057

Reinardy, H.C. and Bodnar, A.G. (2015) Profiling DNA damage and repair capacity in sea urchin larvae and coelomocytes. Mutagenesis 30, 829-839. doi:10.1093/mutage/gev052

Reinardy, H.C., Emerson, C.E, Manley, J.M. and Bodnar, A.G. (2015) Tissue regeneration and biomineralization in sea urchins: role of Notch signaling and presence of stem cell markers. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0133860. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133860

Bodnar, A.G. (2014) Cellular and molecular mechanisms of negligible senescence: insight from the sea urchin. Invertebrate Reproduction & Development, 59:sup1, 23-27, DOI: 10.1080/07924259.2014.938195

El-Bibany, A.H., Bodnar, A.G. and Reinardy, H.C. (2014) Comparative DNA damage and repair in echinoderm coelomocytes exposed to genotoxicants. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107815. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107815

Du, C., Anderson, A., Lortie, M., Parsons, R. and Bodnar, A. (2013) Oxidative damage and cellular defense mechanisms in sea urchin models of aging. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 63, 254-263.

Bodnar, A. (2013) Proteomic profiles reveal age-related changes in coelomic fluid of sea urchin species with different life spans. Experimental Gerontology 48, 525-530.

Loram, J. and Bodnar, A. (2012) Age-related changes in gene expression in tissues of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 133, 338-347.

Bodnar, A.G. (2009) Marine invertebrates as models for aging research. Experimental Gerontology 44, 477-484.