Michele Lemons, Ph.D

Professor of Biology

Director of Center for Neuroscience

508-767-7658 Testa Science Center - Room 254

Degrees Earned

B.S., The College of William and Mary, Biology major, Psychology minor, Education degree and certification, 1993
Ph.D., University of Florida, Neuroscience, 1999
Ph.D. dissertation title: “Inhibition of regeneration in the injured, adult spinal cord: potential role of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, specifically aggrecan.”

Undergraduate Courses Taught

Principles of Neuroscience lecture and laboratory
Developmental Biology lecture and lab
General Physiology, lecture and laboratory
Concepts in Biology, laboratory
Human Biology in Health and Disease, lecture and laboratory
Independent Study. Mentored students
Mentored student internships
Matters and Mysteries of your Brain
Independent Study

Publications & Editorships

D. Oliver, E. Norman, H. Bates, R. Avard, M. Rettler, C.B. Benard, M.M. Francis, M.L. Lemons.(2019) Integrins Have Cell-Type-Specific Roles in Development of Motor Neuron Connectivity. Journal of Developmental Biology. 7(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7030017.

A. Philbrook, S. Ramachandron, C.M. Lambert, D. Oliver, J. Florman, M.J. Alkema, M. Lemons, M.M. Francis. (2018) Neurexin directs partner-specific synaptic connectivity in C. elegans. Elife. Jul 24;7. pii: e35692. doi: 10.7554/eLife.35692.

M.L. Lemons (2017) Referee Report For: A novel educational module to teach neural circuits for college and high school students: NGSS-neurons, genetics, and selective stimulations [version 1; referees: 3 approved with reservations]. F1000Research 2017, 6:117 (doi: 10.5256/f1000research.11456.r20684) https://f1000research.com/articles/6-117/v1#referee-response-20684

M.L. Lemons. (2017). Locate the Lesion: A Project-Based Learning Case that Stimulates Comprehension and Application of Neuroanatomy. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. 15(2) C7-C10.

M.L. Lemons. (2016). An inquiry-based approach to study the synapse: student-driven experiments using C. elegans. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. 15(1). A44-A55.

Powell, S., Vinod, A., Lemons, M. L. Isolation and Culture of Dissociated Sensory Neurons From Chick Embryos. J. Vis. Exp. (91), e51991, doi:10.3791/51991 (2014).

M.L. Lemons, M.L. Abanto, Dambrouskas, N., Clements, C.C., DeLoughery, Z., Garozzo, J., Condic, M.L.. (2013) Integrins and cAMP mediate netrin-induced growth cone collapse. Brain Research, (1537) 46-58.

M.L. Lemons (2012) Characterizing Mystery Cell Lines: Student-driven Research Projects in an Undergraduate Neuroscience Laboratory Course. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education. 10(2): A96-A104.

M.L. Lemons and M.L. Condic. (2008) Integrin signaling is integral to regeneration. Experimental Neurology, 209(2): 343-52.

M.L. Lemons and M.L. Condic. (2006) Combined integrin activation and intracellular cAMP cause Rho GTPase dependent growth cone collapse on laminin-1. Experimental Neurology, 202(2): 324-35.

M.L. Lemons, M.L Abanto, S. Barua, W. Halfter and M.L. Condic (2005). Adaptation of sensory neurons to hyalectin and decorin proteoglycans. Journal of Neuroscience 25 (20), 4964-73.

M.L. Lemons, J.D. Sandy, D.K. Anderson and D.R. Howland (2003). Intact aggrecan and chondroitin-sulfate depleted aggrecan inhibit axon growth in the adult rat spinal cord. Experimental Neurology 184(2):981-90.

M.L. Condic and M.L. Lemons (2002). Extracellular matrix in spinal cord regeneration: getting beyond attraction and inhibition. Review paper submitted per request, Neuroreport 13 (3), A37-48.

M.L. Lemons, J.D. Sandy, D.K. Anderson and D.R. Howland (2001). Intact Aggrecan and Fragments Generated by Both Aggrecanase and Metalloproteinase-Like Activities Are Present in the Developing and Adult Rat Spinal Cord and Their Relative Abundance is Altered by Injury. Journal of Neuroscience 21 (13), 4772-4781.

M.L. Lemons, D.R. Howland, D.K. Anderson. Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan Immunoreactivity Increases Following Spinal Cord Injury and Transplantation (1999). Experimental Neurology 160, 51-65.


Lemons, M.L., Philbrook, A. Ramachandran, S., Oliver, D., Lambert, C. Francis, M.M. (2017) The synaptic organizer neurexin coordinates cholinergic connectivity with GABAergic neurons. Board B45. #368.20. Society for Neuroscience Meeting. 

Avard R.C., Rettler M.M., Temple M.W., Lemons M.L. (2015) Conformational state of integrins causes significant axonal patterning defects in GABAergic motor neurons. Poster #30, Society for Neuroscience Convention, Faculty for Undergraduate Research (FUN) symposium. 

C.A. Lincoln, D.O. Oliver, M.M. Francis, M.L. Lemons (2014) Characterizing the role of integrins in axon pathfinding in C. elegans. Poster #24 Society for Neuroscience Convention, Faculty for Undergraduate Research (FUN) symposium. 

M.L. Lemons, D. Oliver, M.M. Francis (2014). Investigating the role of integrins in Caenorhabditis elegans axon patterning. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. 

D. Oliver, M.M. Francis, M.L. Lemons (2014). Genetic analysis of integrin signaling in C. elegans axon guidance. Poster presentation at the NorthEast Under/graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON). #34. 

M.L. Lemons, J. Hauri, S. Cavanagh (2012). Learning through teaching: Undergraduates designing and executing lesson plans for elementary students during Brain Awareness Week. Poster presentation at Society for Neuroscience Meeting in the Teaching and History Session. 

Z. DeLoughery, J. Garozzo, S.M. Powell, A. Vinod, M.L. Condic, M.L. Lemons (2011). Netrin-1 activates integrins on neural growth cones: evidence for a direct ligand-receptor mechanism of activation. Society for Neuroscience Abstract presented at Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience symposium. 

M.L. Lemons, M.L. Abanto, N. Dambrauskas, C. Clements, V. Duke and M.L. Condic. (2010) An interaction between netrin-1 and integrin receptors in growth cones. Axon Guidance, Synapse Formation and Regeneration Meeting. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. 

M.L., Lemons, M.L., Abanto, N. Dambrauskas, C. Clements, and V. Duke. (2008) Netrin-1 induced growth cone collapse is mediated by integrin receptors. Society for Neuroscience Abstract. Program number 26.4. 

M.L. Lemons and M.L. Condic (2005). Integrins, cAMP, and netrin-1 interact and influence growth cone behavior. Society for Neuroscience Abstract. Program number 146.11. 

M.L. Lemons and M.L. Condic (2004). Interactions between cAMP, integrin receptors and Rho GTPases influence growth cone motility. Society for Neuroscience Abstract. Program number 723.14. 

M.L. Lemons and M.L. Condic (2002). Effects of cAMP on Neurite Outgrowth and Integrins. Society for Neuroscience Abstract. Session Number 528.3 

M.L. Lemons and M.L. Condic (2001). Cytoplasmic cAMP levels influence neurite outgrowth on growth- influential proteins. Society for Neuroscience Abstract 26: 407.

Grants and Awards

National Science Foundation, Full Proposal, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, 2017 Title: RUI: Collaborative Research: Molecular mechanisms of dendrite development, maintenance and plasticity: in vivo single-neuron analysis in C. elegans. Role: Principle Investigator Funding: $245,710 total: $184,183 direct costs plus $61,527 indirect costs

National Institutes of Health (NIH) R15 Science Research Grant: Molecular mechanisms of axonal guidance. 2011 - 2015

Assumption College Honors Program Research Internship: Molecules that guide neurons: the surprising role of integrin receptors in netrin-mediated axon guidance. 2011.

Spinal Cord Research Foundation (SCRF) Fellowship Grant: Cell Autonomous Factors Influence Regeneration. 2002 - 2004.

NIH Developmental Biology Training Grant: Intrinsic factors that impact regeneration. 2001 - 2003.

Research Grant from the State of Florida Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Trust Fund: The Effect of Aggrecan on Axonal Growth In Vivo Following Spinal Cord Injury. 1997-1998.

Research Grant from the State of Florida Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Trust Fund: Enzymatic Degradation of Neurite

Inhibiting Extracellular Matrix Molecule, Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan, In Vivo. 1996 - 1997.

Professional Affiliations

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience 2008-present

Society for Neuroscience 1993-present