The Office of Student Research is proud to feature Caitlin Harris in this week’s “Scholar Story”.

Caitlin Harris ’20 earned her Biology degree with a minor in Chemistry at Longwood University. Caitlin used yeast as a model organism to study the effects cancer mutations had on the function of Mre11, a protein involved in DNA damage repair. She worked on this research project at Longwood for two and a half years alongside Dr. Erin Shanle. Caitlin also had the opportunity to participate in the summer PRISM research program two summers in a row. Caitlin said that “participating in research at Longwood has not only shaped my career but it also gave me an amazing and supportive community of both students and faculty who continue to support me even after I have graduated from Longwood.”  

The most important lesson Caitlin learned while conducting her research is to “be patient and never give up. I spent an entire summer troubleshooting the same experiment before I found a solution. I made it a point to power through and help figure out how to continue the research.”

She had the opportunity to present this research at multiple local and national conferences including the Virginia Academy of Science (VAS) conference and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) conference in Orlando, Florida. Caitlin also recently submitted a manuscript for publication.

Caitlin is currently working in Richmond, VA as a microbiology lab technician. Her future career goals are to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in molecular biology.

Congratulations to Caitlin on her success!


If you would like to have your research featured in a “Scholar Story”, or if you would like to learn more about getting involved in research at Longwood University, please visit Longwood’s Office of Student Research website

or contact Amorette Barber, Director of the Office of Student Research ( or