Clauson, Cheryl

Title: Assistant Professor of Biology

Department: Department of Mathematics & Science

Phone: 352-588-8343



  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Emory University


Dr. Clauson was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and attended a small liberal arts college in Illinois. Upon completion of her degree, she entered graduate school at Emory University where she studied DNA damage and repair under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Doetsch. After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Clauson did postdocs at the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center. The first, with Drs. Laura Niedernhofer and Paul Robbins, examined the role of DNA interstrand crosslinks and inflammation in driving aging in mice. The second, with Dr. Kara Bernstein, looked at DNA double-strand break repair in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Dr. Clauson joined the faculty at Saint Leo University in the Fall of 2013.

Community Affiliation:

  • Member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
  • Undergraduate Affiliate Network of ASBMB, Co-sponsor of the Saint Leo Chapter
  • Beta Beta Beta, National Biology Honor Society, Member since 2001
  • Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity, Member since 2000, Faculty Advisor at Saint Leo

Teaching & Professional Interests:

Dr. Clauson is interested in studying DNA damage and repair and its role in cancer and aging. She has teamed up with the researchers at CREST - Connecting Researchers, Educators and Students to use computer modeling to examine the structure of key DNA repair enzymes. Interesting finds can be translated to the wet lab through the use of the model genetic system Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These strains are available to students doing senior seminar research. Also with CREST, Dr. Clauson is examining how a flipped classroom format and the use of kinesthetic models affect student outcomes in the STEM classroom.

Honors & Awards:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pediatric Loan Repayment Program (LRP) July 2011- June 2013
  • Biomedical Research Fellowship, The Hartwell Foundation, January 2011-December 2012

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