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Mathematics, Natural and Health Sciences
Assistant Professor of Biology

During the course of my undergraduate and graduate training, I strongly felt that I could make my greatest impact at the bench. But as I started to explore career options I realized that my real passion lies in mentoring and providing educational opportunities for the underserved. Growing up on the Navajo reservation, I can now see how the opportunities I had as a student and researcher have given me necessary skills to reach out to students who have goals to become students in either pre-professional or graduate programs.  My focus and career path leads me to academia where I would become part of mentoring and inspiring the next generation of biologists. Since joining the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu as an assistant professor in biology, I have taught human biology, introductory courses in biology for majors and non-majors, an inquiry-based microbiology course, and a cell and molecular biology course. And as an assistant professor I have also started to mentor young high school students and undergraduates with small research projects that have increased their interest in biomedical research.  My philosophy is to engage students and get them excited about what is going on in the scientific community.  As a junior investigator and campus co-coordinator for the Hawaii-INBRE, West O‘ahu campus, I am committed to promoting research opportunities for our students and interacting with the Hawaiʻi INBRE network.

Ph.D. Molecular Biology
New Mexico State University, 2003-2007

M.S. Molecular Biology
New Mexico State University, 2001-2003

B.S. Microbiology
New Mexico State University, 1995-2000 

2014-Present: Assistant Professor, Biology
University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu

2010-2014: Postdoctoral teaching and research fellow
IRACDA/ASERT program at University of New Mexico

2008-2010: Postdoctoral research fellow
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

  • BIOL 171 Introduction to Biology I
  • BIOL 171L Introduction to Biology I Laboratory
  • BIOL 101 Biology and Society
  • BIOL 101L Biology and Society Lab
  • BIOL 100 Human Biology
  • BIOL 296A Inquiry Based Biology: Microbes and Antibiotics
  • BIOL 275 Cell And Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 275L Cell and Molecular Biology Lab
  • BIOL 340 Genetics, Evolution, and Society
  • BIOL 375 Genetics
  • BIOL 375L Genetics Lab

George, O., M. A. Johnston, and C. B. Shuster.  2006.  Aurora B Kinase Maintains Chromatin Organization During the MI to MII Transition in Surf Clam Oocytes.  Cell Cycle.  5(22): 2648-2656.

Olivia George, Bj K. Bryant, Ramesh Chinnasamy, Cesear Corona, Jeffrey B. Arterburn, and Charles B. Shuster.  2008.  Bisphenol A Directly Targets Tubulin to Disrupt Spindle Organization in Embryonic and Somatic Cells.  ACS Chemical Biology.  3(3): 167-179.

Sreenath Shanker, Godwin Job, Olivia L. George, Kevin Creamer, Alaa Shaban, and Janet F. Partridge.  2010.  Continuous Requirement for the Clr4 Complex But Not RNAi for Centromeric Heterochromatin Assembly in Fission Yeast Harboring a Disrupted RITS Complex.  PLoS Genetics.  6(10): e1001174.

Magedov, Igor; Frolova, Liliya; Manpadi, Madhuri; Bhoga, Uma; van Otterlo, Willem; Tang, Hong; Evdokimov, Nikolai; George, Olivia; Hadji Gorgeou, Kathy; Renner, Steffen; Getlik, Matthäus; Kinnibrugh, Tiffany; Fernandes, Manuel; Van slambrouck, Severine; Shuster, Charles; Rogelj, Snezna; Steelant, Wim; Kornienko, Alexander.  2011.  Anticancer Properties of an Important Drug Lead Podophyllotoxin Can Be Efficiently Mimicked by Diverse Heterocyclic Scaffolds Accessible via One-Step Synthesis.  Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.  54(12): 4234-4246.

Weixiang Guo, Li Zhang, Devin M. Christopher, Zhao-Qian Teng, Sarah R. Fausett, Changmei Liu, Olivia L. George, John Klingensmith, Peng Jin and Xinyu Zhao.  2011. RNA-binding Protein FXR2 Regulates Proliferation and Differentiation of Adult Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells by Reducing Noggin Expression.  Neuron.  70(5): 924-38.

Weixiang Guo, Erin L. Crossey, Li Zhang, Stefano Zucca, Olivia L. George, C. Fernando Valenzuela, and Xinyu Zhao. 2011.  Alcohol Exposure Decreases CREB Binding Protein Expression and Histone Acetylation in the Developing Cerebellum.  PLoS One.  6(5): e19351.

Olivia L. George and Scott A. Ness.  2014.  Situational Awareness: Regulation of the Myb Transcription Factor in Differentiation, the Cell Cycle and Oncogenesis.  Cancers.  6: 2049-2071.

2019-Present: UH West Oʻahu INBRE Junior Investigator and campus co-coordinator

2017-2019: UH West O‘ahu INBRE Campus Coordinator

2015-2018: NSF-14-572 – Tribal Colleges and Universities Program Grant: Kikaha STEM Project

2010-2013: 1K12GM0888021 – Academic Science Education and Research Training (ASERT) - Institutional Research and Academia Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program

2010-2013: NSF-08177224 - FIRST IV Postdoctoral Scholar University of New Mexico


Using Chemical Biology to Probe the Regulation of Cell Division

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics

Swainsonine Effects on Serum Alkaline Phosphatase

2018: Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute

2015: Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) and Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) Leadership Development Institute (LDI) for STEM Junior Faculty at TCUP Grantee Institutions

2014: Small World Initiative: Crowdsourcing Antibiotic Discovery Workshop

2013: ASCB MAC 8th Annual Junior Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows Career Development Workshop

2012: Teaching Assistant, Logan Science Journalism Program – Biomedical Research Course, Marine Biological Laboratories, Woods Hole, MA

2011-2012: National Science Foundation FIRST IV Postdoctoral Scholar – attended the workshop with the intent to reform undergraduate education by using active learning rather than traditional lecture-based format

2007: Frontiers in Human Embryonic Stem Cells Advanced Lab Course, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • National Science Teachers Association

2019-Present: UH West Oʻahu INBRE Campus Co-Coordinator

2017-2019: UH West O‘ahu INBRE Campus Coordinator

2017: UH West O‘ahu Biology Faculty Search Committee Chair

2016-Present: UH West O‘ahu Division Assessment Leaders Working Group – Math and Sciences

2015-2016: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) – Interstate Passport: A WICHE Region Initiative Participant/UH West O‘ahu representative for Natural Sciences

2016: UH West O‘ahu Math Search Committee

2016: UH West O‘ahu Biology Search Committee

2016: Research Mentor for TCUP Kikaha Mini-grant (3 Students)

2015-2016: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) – Interstate Passport: A WICHE Region Initiative Participant/UH West O‘ahu representative for Critical Thinking

2015: UH West O‘ahu Biology Search Committee

2015: UH West O‘ahu Math Search Committee

2014-Present: UH West O‘ahu General Education Committee Member

2014-2016: UH West O‘ahu Faculty Senate Representative

2014: UH West O‘ahu Biology and Chemistry Laboratory Search Committee