Dr. Jennifer Benford joined the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics in 2015. She received her B.A. in Biology from Wellesley College, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology from Emory University. Dr. Benford then received an IRACDA (Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award) fellowship to complete postdoctoral work as part of the Fellowship in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) at Emory.
Dr. Benford joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at Emory University in 2008, where she was a lecturer and directory of undergraduate laboratories until 2012. She then spent 2 years as a lecturer at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, GA, before arriving at the University of Montevallo.
Dr. Benford’s past laboratory interests have included exploring the effects of local anesthetics on both the growth of neuroblastoma tumors, and on the ATP-sensitive potassium channel in cardiac muscle. Her doctoral dissertation, titled “Transactivation of the IGF-1R by aldosterone” explored the effect of steroid hormone aldosterone on sodium transport in the kidney, and her research found that aldosterone, a steroid hormone, does not have to use a traditional pathway to have an impact on sodium reuptake. Dr. Benford was able to further explore the topic of cellular signaling pathways during her postdoctoral work, which involved insulin and insulin-like growth factor responses in skeletal muscle.
Currently, Dr. Benford serves as an instructor, teaching non-majors introductory biology and Anatomy and Physiology I and II for pre-nursing students and Exercise Science and Nutrition majors. Dr. Benford is also the pre-nursing track advisor, and has won two grants from the Montevallo Foundation to fund purchases of models for the anatomy and physiology courses.