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Rachel Bonds

Rachel Bonds

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329 Whitmore Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-6758


Hello! My name is Rachel Bonds and I am from Saline, MI. I graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. Go Blue! Currently I am a second year graduate student in the Penn State Forensic Science Program (Biology track). I chose Penn State because of the well-rounded curriculum and because the professors are very personable. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing my violin, hanging out with friends, playing with my cat Pepper, and running half-marathons.

I am a member of Dr. Holland's research group. I am currently working as part of the ongoing DNA damage grant with the NIJ. The first part of my research project is focused on modeling oxidative damage through the identification and characterization of lesions using active damage and comparing that to an assessment of mitochondrial DNA damage on bullet cartridge cases. Characterization will be accomplished through an NGS approach using the Illumina MiSeq. I am also interested in exploring different repair mechanisms for damaged DNA.

Research Interests

I will be working with Dr. Holland’s research group. My research will be related to the ongoing DNA damage project. I am interested in assessing the impact of different types of damage in both mitochondrial DNA sequences (heteroplasmy) and SNPs as well as exploring different repair mechanisms for damaged DNA.