Giuliana Gusmaroli, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Genetics and Molecular Biology
One University Boulevard
Bluffton, SC  29909
Hilton Head Gateway Campus

Giuliana Gusmaroli, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology at USCB. Her research focuses primarily on molecular genetics and developmental biology. 

Gusmaroli earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a master’s degree in Biological Sciences cum Laudem at the University of Milan in Italy, then went on to receive a Ph.D. in Genetics at the same University in 1999. 

From 1995 to 2001, she served first as a Ph.D. research fellow and later as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology at the Universita’ degli Studi di Milano. 

From 2001 through mid-2008, she worked as a post-doctoral associate and then as an associate research scientist in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. Her research has contributed to the identification of gene families, novel mutants and molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of protein ubiquitination and plant signal transduction.

In July of 2008, Dr. Gusmaroli joined the University of South Carolina Beaufort as a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Science and Mathematics. The following month, she was named Associate Professor of Molecular/Developmental Biology. 

Dr. Gusmaroli’s research is focused primarily in two areas. She is investigating the molecular genetics of COP9 signalosome, a molecular machine controlling all the signaling pathways that regulate plant development, in the model dicot species Arabidopsis thaliana. Also known as thale cress or mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis thaliana is a small flowering plant found in Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa. In the past 2 decades Arabidopsis has undoubtedly emerged as the primary model organism for the study of plant development at the molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological level. 

The other research area of Dr. Gusmaroli is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Borgianini and focuses on the investigation of the molecular mechanisms limiting species distribution in aquatic ecosystems. In this context, Dr. Gusmaroli is currently studying Uca minax, the red-jointed fiddler crab, commonly found in marshes and tidally influenced freshwater river along the South East United States, including the South Carolina Lowcountry. A species’ ability to tolerate salinity, or in some cases changes in salinity, often limits the geographic range of species within estuaries. By contrast, Uca minax has the unusual ability to strive in a wide spectrum of salinity conditions. Because of such unusual ability, the investigation of the molecular mechanisms implicated in the tolerance to salinity stress will broaden our understanding of the evolutionary processes involved in the transition of estuarine species to freshwater habitat; this research will also help in predicting species adaptability to estuarine changes and threats brought about anthropogenic activities and interference with the geochemical cycles in coastal ecosystems. 

Dr. Gusmaroli has delivered lectures, seminars and presented abstracts and posters at several international conferences in Europe, China and United States. 

Dr. Gusmaroli teaches several introductory and upper level Biology courses including:
-          Biological Principles I (BBIO101), and its associated Laboratory
-          General Biology (BBIO110), and its associated Laboratory
-          Plant Biology (BBIO200), and its associated Laboratory
-          Microbiology (BBIO230) and its associated Laboratory
-          Cell and Molecular Biology (BBIO302) and its associated Laboratory
-          Developmental Biology (BBIO405) and its associated Laboratory
-          Bacteriology (BBIO431) and its associated Laboratory

Giuliana Gusmaroli