MSU_BEST_Head_Shots_27   Lisa A. Boughner, PhD


Connect: @LisaABoughner or LinkedIn Profile



Professional interests:

Overarching professional goal: to help people.

An extremely self-motivated, resourceful and successful researcher, teacher and leader. I greatly enjoy working with new lab members (at any level). I’m an effective teacher and with my assistance, the trainees become competent researcher’s themselves, while enjoying the process. An accomplished writer and editor (scientific and non-scientific), including experience in writing and reviewing desirable grant proposals. Currently I am working in the field of molecular, evolutionary, functional and environmental microbiology.



Educational Background:

*     Certificate in Scientific Teaching of Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing Michigan, 2013

Instructor: Dr. Diane Ebert-May


*     Doctor of Philosophy, Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA, 2007 – 2013.

Dissertation Title: Investigations on the essentiality of the Escherichia coli DedA membrane protein family


*     Bachelor of Science, Honours Biological Sciences with Thesis, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario Canada, 2001 – 2006. Minor: Chemistry



Work Experience:

*     Michigan State University:

June 2014 – Present; Postdoctoral Researcher

East Lansing, Michigan

Center for Microbial Ecology

-Research goal is to isolate microbial organisms and/or genes that are capable of utilizing toxic chlorinated dioxin compounds, as their sole carbon and energy source, of which only one organism is in pure culture.


*     Michigan State University:

June 2013 – May 2014; Postdoctoral Researcher

East Lansing, Michigan

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

-Worked on two main projects: 1- to investigate the residues of E. coli DnaC that are essential for binding single stranded DNA, and 2- utilize site directed mutagenesis analyses to determine essential interacting residues between E. coli DnaB and DnaC proteins, two key players in DNA replication.


*     Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre:

2005 – 2007; Field and laboratory assistant

Harrow, Ontario

Soil Biochemistry and Soil Analytical Services*/Field Crops£/Weed Ecology

*Soil and gas sampling; soil extraction; soil and water analysis using TRAACS analyzer  

£Preparing and planting field crops (i.e. wheat)

Assisting in the harvesting, quantifying, and evaluating of field crops/vegetables in relation to herbicide treatment.

- WHMIS training


*     Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre:

May – August of 2002, 2003 and 2004; Summer Student

Harrow, Ontario

Vegetable Crops Production

- Planting, harvesting and grading of vegetables; measuring tomato soluble solids using a refractometer.      

-WHMIS training


*     University of Windsor:

September 2003 – April 2004; Research Assistant/Student worker

Windsor, Ontario

Plant metapopulations: wetlands, invaders, and rarities    

- Collecting, quantifying and sorting samples, as well as acquiring journal articles through multiple electronic sources.


Canadian Forces:

November 1997 – January 2001; Army Reservist

-Military Band, CPR and First Aid training



Research Experience:

*     Ph.D. Dissertation, Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge Louisiana, 2007 – May 2013

Research focused on the characterization of the DedA membrane protein family in Escherichia coli. Work consisted of generating multiple mutants of E. coli, in which there are eight DedA protein family members. I created many mutants to aide in the functional characterization of the DedA protein family, as well as a mutant that no longer retains a chromosomal copy of any DedA protein member. Generation of such a mutant was only possible with the inclusion of an inducible cloned DedA member, indicating that the family is essential in E. coli1, as was previously found in, the single DedA member organism, Borrelia burgdorferri2. The main focus of my dissertation work was to narrow in on the essential function of the DedA protein family in E. coli, results suggest that the essential role of the DedA membrane protein family may be to play a role in the initiation of genomic replication and physiological maintenance of the nucleoid3 (manuscript in preparation). Also, through my work, I’ve identified two functional groupings within the DedA protein family of E. coli1, and generated a series of sub-family mutants (mutants deleted for three and four DedA members). This sub-family mutant series may aide in ‘weeding’ out other functions of the DedA protein family.


*     Undergrad Thesis, Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor Ontario, 2004-2005

Briefly, my undergraduate research project examined whether the fluctuations of a Minnesotan Reservoir, i.e. the varying levels of mono-methyl mercury (MeHg), affected the bacterial diversity in peat sediments. The concentration of MeHg was thought to increase through microbial methylation of inorganic mercury (Hg). MeHg is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates and biomagnifies through the trophic levels. Microbial DNA was extracted from a control peat sediment site with a low ratio of MeHg:Hg, and from two sites with higher ratios. The DNA was then PCR amplified, inserted into a cloning vector and sequenced for genetic analysis. The identified bacterial species supported this hypothesis, however, the quantity of identified species was not sufficient for substantiation.



Teaching Experience:

*     Louisiana State University:
2012/2013; Laboratory Instructor

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

General Microbiology Laboratory, BIOL 2051

Instruction in the field of microbiology, aseptic techniques, culturing and identification of microorganisms.


*     Louisiana State University:
2007, 2009/2010; Laboratory Instructor

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Introductory Biology Laboratory, BIOL 1208/1209

Instruction of first year biology students: lecture preps, writing/grading quizzes and final exams, as well as aiding students in scientific writing.





Boughner, L. A., & Singh, P. (2016). Microbial Ecology: Where are we now? Postdoc J, 4(11), 3-17. PMID: 27975077


Boughner, L. A. (2016). Preparing Postdocs for the Future through Mentorship: A Profile of Shannon Manning. POSTDOCket, Spring, 10.


Song, Y., Li, Y., Zhang, W., Wang, F., Bian, Y., Boughner, L. A., & Jiang, X. (2016). Novel Biochar-Plant Tandem Approach for Remediating Hexachlorobenzene Contaminated Soils: Proof-of-Concept and New Insight into the Rhizosphere. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 64(27), 5464-5471. PMID: 27327363


Jia, M., Wang, F., Jin, X., Song, Y., Bian, Y., Boughner, L. A., Yang, X., Gu, C., Jiang, X., Zhao, Q. (2016). Metal ion–oxytetracycline interactions on maize straw biochar pyrolyzed at different temperatures. Chemical Engineering Journal, 304, 934-940. DOI


Chen, Z., Zhang, B., Zhang, J., Lei, X., Zhang, H., Li, Y., Yang, L., Zheng, W., Tian, Y., Boughner, L. A., Xu, H., & Zheng, T. (2015). A lytic bacterium's potential application in biofuel production through directly lysing the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum cell. Algal Research, 12, 197-205. DOI


1Boughner, L. A. & Doerrler, W. T. (2012). Multiple deletions reveal the essentiality of the DedA membrane protein family in Escherichia coli. Microbiology 158, 1162-1171. PubMed 22301910


2Liang, F. T., Xu, Q. L., Sikdar, R., Xiao, Y., Cox, J. S. & Doerrler, W. T. (2010). BB0250 of Borrelia burgdorferi Is a Conserved and Essential Inner Membrane Protein Required for Cell Division. Journal of Bacteriology 192, 6105-6115. PubMed 20870761


Doerrler, W. T., Sikdar, R., Kumar, S., & Boughner, L. A. (2013). New Functions for the Ancient DedA Membrane Protein Family. Journal of Bacteriology, 195(1), 3-11. PubMed 23086209


3Boughner, L. A. (2013). Investigations on the essentiality of the Escherichia coli DedA membrane protein family. PhD Dissertation, Louisiana State University.   (etd-04032013-120222)


Poster presentation:

Bell, L.E., Brazeau, A.M., Chai, B., Tsoi, T., Tiedje, J.M., and Boughner, L.A. (2015). Sphingomonas wittichii RW1 Metabolism of Dioxin. In University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UUFAF). East Lansing, MI.


Ghimire, A., Tiedje, J.M., and Boughner L.A. (2015). Bioremediation of dioxin through the expression of dioxin metabolic genes in dibenzofuran degrading organisms. In University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UUFAF). East Lansing, MI.


Boughner, L. A. & Doerrler, W. T. (2011). Multiple deletions reveal the essentiality of the dedA gene family in Escherichia coli. In American Society of Microbiology. New Orleans, LA.


Contributed to textbook review (two chapters):

Slonczewski, J. L. & Foster, J. W. (2010). Microbiology: An Evolving Science, 2nd edn. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.




*     Michigan State University Postdoctoral Association (MSU-PDA), Co-chair, May 2015 – Present.

o   Implement and oversee numerous subcommittees; plan and organize annual (networking/resource fair, picnic) and monthly (seminars, recreational) events.


*     National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), Meetings Committee, Keynote and Plenary Speakers subcommittee member, March 2016 – Present.


*     National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), Meetings Committee, Innovations in action subcommittee member, March 2015 – February 2016.


*     Michigan State University Postdoctoral Association (MSU-PDA), Committee member at large, May 2014 – April 2015.


*     Science Fair Mentorship Program, Kenilworth Science and Technology middle school, Baton Rouge Louisiana, Fall 2012.

-Aided seventh grade student in the scientific method, as well as the understanding of an advanced science project. The student was responsible for testing the efficiency of various lithium ion batteries, a collaborative LSU professor provided resources for test. Student received first place out of all seventh grade students.


Last updated March 2017.