Cassidy Terrell

Cassidy Terrell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, CLI
+1 507 258 8051
(507) 258-8066


Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Texas, Austin, 2012
B.S., Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2007

Personal Vision: to be an agent of inspiration and discovery, leading others to uncover the joys and wonder of the biomolecular world.


I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2007. During this time I engaged in a number of research and teaching opportunities that led me to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Texas, Austin (UT). At UT, I found my place in biochemistry; wherein I investigated the structure-function relationships of isozymes in bacteria that degrade unique hydrocarbons. After defending my Ph.D., I became entrenched in teaching, research and service as Visiting Assistant Professor at St. Olaf College in the Department of Chemistry. This experienced solidified my desire to be a permanent member of an innovative learning community and I am happy to have found my way to UMR.


Goal: Excel at teaching, advance curricula and embody a professor who values integrity, creativity, and life-long learning

Prior to UMR, I taught a variety of courses including: the yearlong biochemistry sequence (biochemistry I & II), an integrated general, organic, and biochemistry course (GOB) for non-majors, and a team-taught biomolecular sciences course. I also held lab directorship roles for the biochemistry, chemistry and the world (GOB course), and organic chemistry labs.

At UMR, I am excited to design and deliver curriculum for biochemistry and microbiology courses in a university that values creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


Goal: Develop a productive, long-term, exciting research program involving undergraduate students and peer collaborations that contribute to the scholarship of learning and scientific community.

My research aims to develop opportunities for educational and independent research in the broad area of Biomolecular Interaction Analysis.

Educational Research: I endeavor to develop and assess curricula related to biomolecular interaction analysis with goal of creating data-driven research on learning and disseminating this information. Recognizing that undergraduate students can benefit from analysis of 3D protein structure and function, I am collaboratively, developing and assessing a multi-step curriculum development project for the biochemistry curriculum. Additionally, a CREST (Connecting Researchers, Educators and Students) partner with the Milwaukee School of Engineer, I aim to engage student in CREST projects. The CREST program creates teams of undergraduate students, scientists and undergraduate educators who collaborate on a research topic involving macromolecules.  In one facet of the project, students design models that are brought to life using 3D printing technology.

Independent Research: Another component my research plan focuses on creating independent research opportunities for undergraduate students with an interest in biochemistry related careers. The primary goal of this research is to investigate metabolic enzymes in bacterial species that (1) have multiple aromatic hydrocarbon catabolic pathways and (2) thrive in polluted water.


Terrell, C.R., Burks, E.A., Whitman, C. P., Hoffman, D. W. Structural and Kinetic Characterization of Two 4-Oxalocrotonate Tautomerases in Methylibium petroleiphilum strain PM1. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2013, 537: 113-124.