Dr. Ondra M. Kielbasa

Associate Professor of Biology


Professional Education

  • Bachelors of Science in Biology - Albright College
  • Ph.D. in Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology Program - Boston University
  • Postdoctoral Curriculum Fellow in Cell Biology - Harvard Medical School

Courses Taught

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Lecture and Laboratory: Two semester course covering all major systems of the human body with an emphasis on relating structure to function.
  • Cell Biology Lecture and Laboratory: One semester lecture course covering major aspects of eukaryotic animal cell biology, with a strong emphasis on experimental techniques used in modern cell and molecular biology research.  In the laboratory, students participate in projects that are specifically designed to provide an experiential course-based research experience focused on the study of mammalian cells in culture.
  • Forensic Biology Lecture and Laboratory:  One semester course covering sources and analysis of biological evidence, serology, species identification, identification of biological fluids, blood group typing, DNA extraction, DNA amplification, and electrophoresis.

Pedagogical Interests

Dr. Kielbasa approaches teaching and learning in the classroom from a data-driven, research-based perspective. She is passionate about improving science education, and believes (like many others!) that student learning in science should occur as much as possible through inquiry and activity-based approaches.  In support of this, she utilizes pedagogical methods that are based on best practices and are supported by recent advances in science education literature.

Research Interests

Dr. Kielbasa’s research involves the use of cultured mammalian cells to examine fundamental biological processes such as cell growth and differentiation, with a specific focus on muscle differentiation.  Research project areas include examination of the transcriptional regulation using promoter analysis in cultured cells, as well as the characterization of various cell lines in the laboratory.  Experiments allow student researchers to gain hands on experience and exposure to several biological techniques, including aseptic culturing of cells and routine maintenance, phase-contrast microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, DNA isolation/analysis, and protein isolation/analysis.

Professional Organizations

  • American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

Selected Presentations and Publications

OM Kielbasa.  2014. “Development of a novel, inquiry-based curriculum for the undergraduate cell biology laboratory.”  American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Annual Conference. Philadelphia, PA. Poster Presentation.  Abstract Citation: Kielbasa OM (2014) Molecular Biology of the Cell. 25: 629-630. Abstract #P830.

OM Kielbasa.  2014. “Development of a novel, inquiry-based curriculum for the undergraduate cell biology laboratory.”  STEM-UP PA Innovations in Teaching Symposium. Harrisburg, PA. Oral Presentation.

OM Kielbasa. 2013. “What are the molecular pathways that govern striated muscle formation and function?” Disappearing Boundaries Summer Research Meeting.  Lebanon Valley College.  Small Group Oral Presentation.

OM Kielbasa. 2011. “Teaching for Understanding: The Importance of Developing a Conceptual Framework.”  Curriculum Fellows Seminar Series on Education.  Harvard Medical School.  Oral Presentation.

OM Kielbasa, JG Reynolds, H Weiler, C Wu, S Kandarian, and FJ Naya.  2011.  Myospryn modulates skeletal muscle regeneration and fiber-type through the calcineurin-NFAT signaling pathway. FASEB Journal. 7: 2276-2286.

SA McCalmon, DM Desjardins, S Ahmad, KS Davidoff, CM Snyder, K Sato, K Ohashi, OM Kielbasa, M Mathew, EP Ewen, K Walsh, H Gavras, FJ Naya. 2010.  Modulation of Angiotensin II-mediated cardiac remodeling by the MEF2A Target Gene Xirp2.  Circulation Research. 106: 952-960.

OM Kielbasa, JG Reynolds, H Weiler, SC Kandarian, and FJ Naya.  2009.  “Myospryn Modulates Skeletal Muscle Regeneration and Fiber-type Transformation through the Calcineurin-NFAT Signaling Pathway.”  Joint Meeting of Frontier in Myogenesis and Skeletal Muscle Stem and Satellite Cells.  Columbia University, New York, NY.  Poster Presentation.

OM Kielbasa, JG Reynolds, and FJ Naya.  2008.  “Functional Analysis of the Novel Muscle Specific Scaffolding Protein Myospryn.”  National Graduate Student Research Festival.  National Institutes of Health.  Bethesda, MD.  Poster Presentation.

HT Huang, OM Brand, M Mathew, C Ignatiou, EP Ewen, SA McCalmon, and FJ Naya.  2006.  Myomaxin is a novel transcriptional target for MEF2A that encodes a Xin related alpha-actinin interacting protein.  Journal of Biological Chemistry. 280: 39370-39379.

JT Durham, OM Brand, M Arnold, JG Reynolds, L Muthukumar, H Weiler, JA Richardson, and FJ Naya. 2006. Myospryn is a direct transcriptional target for MEF2A that encodes a striated muscle, alpha-actinin interacting, costamere-localized protein.  Journal of Biological Chemistry.  281: 6841-6849.


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