Associate Professor of Biology

B.S. - California State University, Long Beach 
Ph.D. - University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms associated with wound healing and tissue repair.

My lab is interested in understanding how the wound healing process influences tissue regeneration.  We employ two different model systems (cornea tissue and cartilage tissue) to investigate how changes in cell phenotype during wound healing can modulate tissue regeneration.  In either model system, wound healing processes involving the innate immune system, pro-inflammatory responses, and tissue remodeling enzymes, influence the quality and integrity of the regenerated tissue.  In the cornea model system my lab is collaborating with Professor Elizabeth Orwin (Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA), an expert in tissue engineering, to develop a viable, transparent corneal tissue that can serve as replacement tissue for diseased or damaged human corneas. An artificially created transparent cornea can address the need for corneal tissue transplants due to donor shortages, and would provide a model in which to study the effects of new ophthalmic drugs and laser treatments for vision correction.

Building upon my prior research interests involving virus: host cell interactions, and the cartilage (chondrocyte) model system, my lab has recently begun another collaboration into the role of dengue virus in generating the severe arthralgia associated with dengue fever, which is known as “Breakbone Fever”.  This collaboration with Professor Amanda Biesecker (JMU) seeks to understand how dengue virus contributes to this severe arthralgia.

Thompson RE, LC Boraas, M Sowder, MK Bechtel, and EJ Orwin. 2013. Three Dimensional Culture Environment Induces Partial Recovery of the Native Corneal Cell Phenotype from a Subcultured Population, Tissue Engineering, Part A, Feb., Epub ahead of print.

CS Klein, A Clawson, M Martin, MJ Saunders, JA Flohr, MK Bechtel, W Dunham, M Hancock, and CJ Womack. 2012. The effect of caffeine on tennis skill performance in collegiate tennis players. J Caffeine Research, 2(3), 111-6.

Womack CJ, MJ Saunders, MK Bechtel, DJ Bolton, M Martin, ND Luden, W Dunham, and M Hancock. 2012. The Influence of a CYP1A2 polymorphism on the ergogenic effects of caffeine. J International Soc of Sports Nutr. 9, 7-13.

Bechtel, M. K., and B. Bonavida. 2001. Inhibitory effects of 17β-Estradiol and progesterone on ovarian carcinoma cell proliferation: a potential role for inducible nitric oxide synthase. Gynecol. Oncol. 82: 127-138.

Bechtel, M. K., L. E. Mathes, K. A. Hayes, R. Pandey, and P. Roy-Burman. 1999. Recombinant feline lukemia Virus (FeLV) variants establish a limited infection with altered cell tropism in specific pathogen-free cats in the absence of FeLV subgroup A helper virus. Vet. Pathol. 36: 91-99.

Bechtel, M. K., L. E. Mathes, K. A. Hayes, A. Phipps, and P. Roy-Burman. 1998. In vivo evolution and selection of recombinant feline leukemia virus species. Virus Res. 54: 71-86.

Chen, H., M. K. Bechtel, Y. Shi, A. Phipps, L. E. Mathes, K. A. Hayes, and P. Roy-Burman. 1998. Pathogenicity induced by feline leukemia virus, Rickard strain, subgroup A plasmid DNA (pFRA). J. Virol. 72(9): 7048-7056.

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