Nancy Anne Wall
Department of Biology
Lawrence University
Appleton, WI    54911
(920) 832-7360

Curriculum Vitae


1989-1994  Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
   Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology
1986-1988  University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
   M.A. biology education
1979-1983  Presbyterian College, Clinton, S.C.
   B.S. biology


1995-present   Associate Professor of Biology, Lawrence University.  Study of the molecular basis of development using chick and zebrafish model systems.  Interests include exploring the fundamental molecular basis of development and understanding how the molecular basis of development can provide insight into mechanisms of evolutionary change.  Current projects are focused on the role of vg1/mgdf1/zdvr1 control of left-right asymmetry using zebrafish as a model system.  Please see the expanded statement later in this document.  I have directed 48 students (27 since tenure) in summer or independent research.

1994-1995  Postdoctoral research, Vanderbilt University, Dr. Brigid Hogan, mentor.
   Using the chick embryo as a model system, demonstrated that several of the key genes involved in limb bud development are also expressed in the branchial arches.  Additionally, investigated the role of the TGF-beta related gene, bmp-4, in neural development by misexpressing this gene under the control of a heterologous promoter in transgenic mice. 
1989-1994  Doctoral dissertation, Vanderbilt University, Dr. Brigid Hogan, advisor.  Studied the role of the TGF-beta related growth factor, bmp-6, in embryonic development of the mouse.  Emphasis was on the expression and effects of bmp-6 in the developing nervous system.  In addition, produced a polyclonal antibody against hoxb-5(2.1) and used it to study expression and biosynthesis of this homeoprotein in vivo.

1989   Research assistant, Medical School of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
Assisted in research examining the effects of progesterone on pituitary development in hamsters and on growth of MCF-7, breast carcinoma cells.


Administrative Positions

• 2011-present  Neuroscience program chair, Lawrence University

• 2008-present  McNair Scholars program coordinator

• 2006-2010  Associate Dean of Faculty, Lawrence University.  Regular duties included chairing the Committee on Instruction, overseeing Off-Campus Programs including budgeting, co-chairing the Sexual Harassment and Assault Board, directing the faculty mentoring program, overseeing the Wriston and West scholars budgets, assisting in oversight of the budget for faculty/student research, providing support for summer research programs, providing support for Fulbright, Udall, and other scholarship programs, establishing and implementing an academic equipment budget, serving as the FaCE Liaison to the ACM. Additional duties included serving as the academic administration representative on the Committee for Teaching Development, the Committee on Assessment, the President’s Committee on Diversity Affairs,  and the Technology Advisory Committee.  Special projects included the list below.

• 2007-2009  REACCREDITATION - Directed institutional self-study for reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).  Responsibilities included chairing a committee of faculty and staff to: review accreditation criteria; identifying evidence demonstrating the institution meets the criteria; conducting surveys of and meetings with faculty, staff, and students to collect data for the self-study; collecting data and documentation from all major offices on campus relevant to the reaccreditation criteria; communicating progress of the reaccreditation process to all stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, administration, and trustees; directing writing of all drafts of the self-study report, including the final report submitted to the HLC; and organizing and overseeing all aspects of the site-visit of the HLC review team.

• 2007-2008  LONDON CENTRE - Initiated a review of the operation of the Lawrence University London Centre to identify an alternative model of operation in order to preserve the program rather than terminate it.  Identified a closed-program model with the Foundation for International Education (FIE) and worked with group of faculty to work with FIE to develop a financially viable program that maintained the distinctive curricular identity of the London Centre.

• 2009-2010  MAJOR CALENDAR CHANGE - Co-chaired an ad-hoc committee comprised of faculty, staff, and administration charged with making recommendations for cost savings during a trustee-mandated extended winter break.  Work of the committee included extensive review of energy costs and projected savings for various building usage and shutdown scenarios; policies for student residency during the break; work hours for staff and faculty.

• 2009-2010  SHERMAN-FAIRCHILD GRANT PROPOSAL – Chaired an ad-hoc committee comprised of 2 faculty members from each natural science department to respond to an invitation to apply for a 5-year, $500,000 grant.  Chaired meetings leading to the writing of the grant proposal and organized the subsequent site visit.  Helped write the draft for the grant section for equipment for the biology department and then worked with the Office of Sponsored, Corporate, and Foundations to combine drafts from each science department to produce the final proposal.

• 2004-2006  Biology Department Chair, Lawrence University.  In addition to regular duties, conducted a hiring search and undertook a departmental review.

• 2005-2006  Conducted all aspects of organizing a search and interviews for hiring a tenure-track position.
• 2004-2005  Organized and directed a year-long decennial departmental self-study and review.

• 2002-2004  Gender Studies Program Chair, Lawrence University


Current Research Interests and Activities

I have a long-term goal of understanding the role of secreted signaling proteins in differentiation and patterning of vertebrate embryos.  My current research interest is investigating the role of genes encoding these proteins.  More specifically I am focusing on the role of vg1, and its orthologs, in establishing the left-right asymmetry of the internal organs in vertebrates.  The vg1 gene was originally identified in the frog.  Orthologous genes have been identified in fish (zdvr1), chick (cvg1), mouse (mgdf1), and human (gdf1).  My previous research identified the mouse ortholog and demonstrated that the mouse gene (mgdf1) functioned similarly to the frog gene (vg1) when injected into frog embryos.  To further demonstrate the evolutionary significance of these genes, I plan to extend this work by conducting gain of function and loss of function experiments.  I will use the mouse gene (mgdf1) and the fish gene (zdvr1) to demonstrate that these orthologous genes function similarly the frog gene (vg1).  Loss of function experiments with zdvr1 are in progress.

Additionally, I plan to examine the mechanism(s) that control the expression of the functional protein product of these orthologous genes.  To date, only the mRNA expression pattern has been determined.  However, we know from biochemical evidence that the production of functional protein from the mRNA of vg1 is tightly regulated.  This is apparently the case for mgdf1 and presumably for zdvr1 and cvg1 as well.  Therefore, I plan to generate a fluorescently labeled ZDVR protein by producing a zdvr1 gene with a green fluorescent protein (gfp) gene fused to it.  This chimeric gene will be injected into fish embryos and we will be able to visualize the fluorescent protein with confocal microscopy.  Since the fluorescent protein is fused to the ZDVR protein, visualization of fluorescence will indicate the location of ZDVR.  I am currently collaborating with Dr. Barbara Sisson at Ripon College to produce the fluorescently labeled zdvr1 gene


Lui, V.C.; Lui, V.C.H.; Cheng, W.W.; Leon, T.Y.; Lau, D.K.; Garcia-Barcelo, M.M.; Miao, X.P.; Kam, M.K.; So, M.T.; Chen, Y.; Wall, N.A.; Sham, M.H.; Tam, P.K.H. (2008) Perturbation of Hoxb5 signaling in vagal neural crests down-regulates Ret leading to hypoganglionosis in mice. Gastroenterology 134(4):1104-15.

Wall, N.A., Craig, E., Labosky, P.A., and Kessler, D.S. (2000) Mesendoderm induction and reversal of left-right pattern by mouse Gdf1, a Vg1-related gene. Developmental Biology 227:495-509.

Wall, N.A. And Hogan, B.L.M. (1995) Expression of bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4), bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7), fibroblast growth factor-8 (FGF-8), and sonic hedgehog (SHH) during branchial arch development in the chick, Mechanisms of Development, 53:383-392.

Barnes, J., Anthony, C.T., Wall, N.A. and Steiner, M.S. (1995) Bone Morphogenetic Protein-6 Expression in Normal and Malignant Prostate, World Journal of Urology, 13(6): 337-343.

Wall, N.A. and Hogan, B.L.M. (1994) TGF-beta related genes in development, Current Opinion in Genetics and Development, 4:517-522.

Drosdof, V., Wall, N.A., and Pledger, W.J. (1994) Expression and growth inhibitory effect of DVR-6 suggest a regulatory role in keratinocyte differentiation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  91:5528-5532.

Wall, N.A., Blessing, M., Wright, C.V.E., and Hogan, B.L.M. (1993) Biosynthesis and in vivo localization of the Decapentaplegic-Vg related protein, DVR-6 (Bone Morphogenetic Protein-6), Journal of Cell Biology, 120(2):493-502.

Kuratani, S.C. and Wall, N.A. (1992) Expression of Hox 2.1 protein in a restricted population of the cephalic neural crest, Developmental Dynamics, 195(1):15-28.

Wall, N.A., Jones, C.M., Wright, C.V.E., and Hogan, B.L.M. (1992) Expression and modification of Hox 2.1 protein in mouse embryos,  Mechanisms of Development, 37:111-120.


Abstracts/ Posters

Bettencourt, C. Wienlander, M., Mohrmann, S., Wall, N.A. and Hall, D.H. (2011) Effects of silver nanoparticles on Danio rerio embryos WiscAMP Annual Meeting

Wall, N., *Mohrmann, S., *Weinlander, M., Hall, D. (2011) Nanoparticle effects on morphology in Danio rerio. 70th Annual Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology.

Nyholm, M, Wall, N., and Grinblat, Y. (2005) Zic gene function during zebrafish brain development: upstream and downstream of the zic2/5 gene pair, 45th Annual Midwest Developmental Biology Meeting.

Nyholm, M, Samuels, T., Gilhouse, M., Wall, N., and Grinblat, Y. (2004) Functional analysis of zic2 and zic5 in zebrafish.  6th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics.

Pinckney, H., Carlson, E. and Wall, N.A. (1999) Expression of bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4), bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7), fibroblast growth factor-8 (FGF-8), and sonic hedgehog (SHH) in chick lung development.  Pew Midstates Science and Mathematics Consortium Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences.

Harris, D, Weyers, J. and Wall, N.A. (1997) DNA sequence analysis of the putative chick Evi-1 gene.  Associated Colleges of the Midwest Minority  Student Research Symposium.

Kumar, A. and Wall, N.A. (1997) Utilizing two staining techniques to determine correlation between apoptosis and gene expression in whole chick embryos.  Pew Midstates Science and Mathematics Consortium Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences.

Barnes, J.D., Anthony, C.T., Wall, N.A., and Steiner, M.S. (1994) Expression of bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP-6) in normal rat prostate and in the Dunning rat prostate adenocarcinoma model, Society for Basic Urologic Research.


Invited Talks

2006 Vanderbilt University, Science Career Symposium, Nashville, TN

2005 Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, MO

2004 Davidson College, Davidson, NC

2001 Vanderbilt University, Science Career Symposium, Nashville, TN

2000 University of Wisconsin, Department of Anatomy, Madison, WI

1998 Winchester Academy, Waupaca, WI

1998 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Department of Biology, Stevens Point, WI


Professional Organizations/ Service

Society for Developmental Biology
Project Kaleidoscope, Faculty 21
Association for the Advancement of Science
Reviewer for online educational resources for the Society for Developmental Biology and the American Physiological Society


Grants Received

2011 - WiscAMP Small Grant $7000 – small grant to Lawrence to support 2 URM students in summer research. Sole author.

2011 - Sherman Fairchild Grant – $500,000 grant for purchase of equipment for teaching in the sciences. Co-authored as lead author with Marcia Bjornerud, Jeff Collett, Stefan Debbert, Beth De Stasio, Andrew Knudsen, Doug Martin, Juan Navea.

2011 - NSF-MRI Grant – $552,666 grant for a confocal microscope that will support the research needs of 6-8 faculty.  Co-authored as Senior Personnel with Beth De Stasio (PI), Judith Humphries, Dubear Kroening, Nick Maravolo, Brian Piasecki (Co-PIs) and Kim Dickson (Senior Personnel).

2007 – Merck-AAAS Grant – $60,000 grant to support interdisciplinary research between chemistry and biology faculty and students. Co-authored with Dave Hall, Nick Maravolo, Ron Peck, and Brad Rence,

2005 - NSF-MRI Grant – $99,225 grant for a real-time thermocycler and digital imager for interdisciplinary research. Co-authored as Senior Personnel with David Hall (PI), Bart De Stasio (Co-PI), and Beth De Stasio (Senior Personnel) an NSF-MRI grant.

2002 – Merck-AAAS Grant – $60,000 grant to support interdisciplinary research between chemistry and biology faculty and students. Co-authored with Mary Blackwell, Bart De Stasio, Jerry Lokensgard, Nick Maravolo, Karen Nordell, Bill Perreault, and Brad Rence,

2002 – Grass Foundation Grant – $15,000 grant for equipment for Neuroscience. Co-authored with Brad Rence.

1996-97 – NSF-ARI Grant –$61,064 grant for a research grade fluorescent microscope with computer imaging system. Co-authored as PI with Bart De Stasio, Marcia Bjornerud, Elizabeth De Stasio, and George Smith as Co-PIs.


Lawrence University Service

Since arriving at Lawrence I have served on the following committees and task forces as a faculty member:

Tenure Review Task Force
Campus Center Planning Task Force
Gender Studies Steering Committee (chaired for 2 years)
Animal Care Committee
Institutional Review Board
Faculty Athletic Representative, Committee on Recreation and Athletics
Committee on Curriculum
Committee on Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion
Faculty Committee on Governance (elected twice)
Presidential Search Committee

I have also served on numerous faculty search committees, been faculty advisor to numerous student groups and organizations, and served on selection committees for the Wriston and West, Rhodes, and Watson scholarships.

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