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Sara Olson

Assistant Professor of Biology

Contact Information

Seaver Biology, Room 022
175 W. 6th St.
Claremont, CA 91711


Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
B.A., Lawrence University, Appleton, WI

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor of Biology, Pomona College
NIH IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California San Diego


BIOL 41C: Introduction to Cell Chemistry & Cell Biology with Lab
BIOL 163: Advanced Cell Biology with Lab

Research Interests

The Olson lab utilizes the powerful model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to understand the process of eggshell assembly in nematodes (roundworms).  Our work addresses the fundamental question of how extracellular barriers are built to protect newly fertilized embryos from their environment, and is relevant to human health since the eggshell is a potential drug target to combat parasitic nematode infection.  We use fluorescence microscopy, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetic approaches to understand cell biological processes that promote assembly of the multilayered eggshell.

Selected Publications

Olson SK, Greenan G, Desai A, Muller-Reichert T, and Oegema K (2012). "Hierarchical assembly of the eggshell and permeability barrier in C. elegans." J Cell Biol, 198: 731-748.  [html | pdf]

Carvalho A^, Olson SK^, Gutierrez E^, Zhang K*, Noble L*, Zanin E, Desai A, Groisman A, and Oegema K (2011). "Acute drug treatment in the early C. elegans embryo." PLoS One, 6: e24656.  [html]

Lawrence R, Olson SK, Steele RE, Wang L, Zhang L, Warrior R, Cummings RD, and Esko JD (2008). "Evolutionary differences in glycosaminoglycan fine structure detected by quantitative Glycan Reductive Isotope Labeling." J Biol Chem, 283: 33674-33684.  [html | pdf [pdf] ]

Olson SK, Bishop JR, Yates JR 3rd, Oegema K, and Esko JD (2006). "Identification of novel chondroitin proteoglycans in C. elegans: Embryonic cell division depends on CPG-1 and CPG-2." J Cell Biol, 173: 985-994.  [html | pdf [pdf] ]

Hwang HY, Olson SK, Esko JD, and Horvitz HR (2003). "Caenorhabditis elegans early embryogenesis and vulval morphogenesis require chondroitin biosynthesis." Nature, 423: 439-443.  [html | pdf [pdf] ]

Hwang HY, Olson SK, Brown JR, Esko JD, and Horvitz HR (2003). “The Caenorhabditis elegans genes sqv-2 and sqv-6, which are required for vulval morphogenesis, encode glycosaminoglycan galactosyltransferase II and xylosyltransferase.” J Biol Chem, 278: 11735-11738.  [html | pdf]

Pinhal MA, Smith B, Olson S, Aikawa J, Kimata K, and Esko JD (2001). "Enzyme interactions in heparan sulfate biosynthesis: uronosyl 5-epimerase and 2-O-sulfotransferase interact in vivo." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 98: 12984-12989.  [html | pdf]

Tsuda M, Kamimura K, Nakato H, Archer M, Staatz W, Fox B, Humphrey M, Olson S, Futch T, Kaluza V, Siegfried E, Stam L, and Selleck SB (1999). "The cell-surface proteoglycan Dally regulates Wingless signaling in Drosophila." Nature, 400: 276-280.  [html | pdf [pdf] ]

* Undergraduate co-author 
^ Equal author contributions