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Research in the Mullen Davis lab focus on how organisms respond to changing environmental conditions.  Prokaryotes and eukaryotes have developed mechanisms to survive stress, including altering gene expression and physiology to counteract changing temperature, nutrient availability, and other abiotic conditions.  Our lab uses model systems to study gene expression by transcription factors in prokaryotes (Escherichia coli) and by long non-coding RNAs in eukaryotes (Arabiodpsis thaliana).

We are also engaged in education research, developing creative methods to increase student interest and engagement in Chemistry and Biochemistry and to improve learning in in-person and virtual classrooms and laboratories.

Interested in joining the lab?  Please contact me melissa.mullendavis [at]


Mullen Davis MA. Interdisciplinary Perspectives Assignment: Increasing Student Interest, Engagement, and Sense of Belonging with Diverse Topic Exploration. In Pfannenstiel, A.N., Baldys, E., Hughes, J.M.F., Licata, A.N., Szczyrbak, G., Anderson, S., & Rice, K. (Eds.). Inclusive Practices: Ideas for classroom integration from Millersville classrooms to yours. OER Commons. 2024, Ch 17, pp160-170.

Mullen Davis, M.A. Fostering Student Sense of Belonging with Inclusive Course Design. In Chemistry in General Education [Online]; Crawford, G.L., Kloepper, K.D., Eds; American Chemical Society, 2023, Ch13, pp 193-210.

Mullen Davis, M.A., Schmeisser, J., Crawford, G.L. Distance Learning with Food Chemistry. In Chemistry in General Education [Online]; Crawford, G.L., Kloepper, K.D., Eds; American Chemical Society, 2023, Ch4, pp 49-70. 

Mullen Davis, M.A. Encouraging Transparency and Accountability for Group Oral Presentations. In deNoyelles, A., Bauer, S., & Wyatt, S. (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning. 2023. Link

Mullen Davis, M.A. and Allen, K. Writing Children's Books to Increase Engagement in Non-major Introductory Chemistry Courses. J. Chem. Educ. 2023. Link

Coyne, K.*, Mullen Davis, M.A., Mizoguchi, T., Hayama, R. Temporal restriction of salt inducibility in expression of salinity-stress related gene by the circadian clock in Solanum lycopersicumPlant Biotechnology 2019, 36(3): 195-200.


Mullen Davis, M.A., Guo, J., Price, D.H., Luse, D.S. Functional interactions of the RNA polymerase II-interacting proteins Gdown1 and TFIIF J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289: 11145-11152.


Mullen, M.A., Assmann, S.M., Bevilacqua, P.C. Towards a digital gene response: RNA G-quadruplexes with fewer quartets fold with higher cooperativity. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134 (2): 812-815.


Mullen, M.A., Olson, K.J., Dallaire, P. Major, F., Assmann, S.M., Bevilacqua, P.C. RNA G-quadruplexes in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana: Prevalence and possible functional roles. Nucleic Acids Res2010, 38 (22): 8149-8163.


Bove, J., Hord, C.L.H., Mullen, M.A. The blossoming of RNA Biology: Novel insights from plant systems RNA 2006, 12 (12): 2035-2046. 

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