Associate Professor of Biology
Head of the Biology Department
Dr. McConnell was born in the Northeast corner of Montana, spending most of his childhood in the small town of Fairview (pop. 840). He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Southeast Missouri State University, and immediately began graduate study at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. McConnell performed postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Brian Calvi, first at Syracuse University, and then at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Dr. McConnell’s research has focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate DNA replication. This is the process by which a cell’s genome is copied in preparation for cell division, and defects in this process contribute to the development of cancer. As a graduate student, Dr. McConnell originally studied this process in the single-celled fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as baker’s yeast. For his postdoctoral research, Dr. McConnell continued to study DNA replication, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Dr. McConnell has published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles describing this research.
Married to Margarita Quinchia-Rios, of Medellin, Colombia, they have two daughters, Victoria and Annabelle.
Dr. McConnell is excited to be using his expertise in the molecular mechanisms of biology in his classroom teaching at Judson. In addition, he is continuing to pursue research on DNA replication in the laboratory, by mentoring undergraduate research projects.