Irina Makarevitch received a BS in Molecular Biology from Novosibirsk State University in Russia and a MS and PhD in Plant Breeding/ Molecular Genetics from the University of Minnesota. She worked on understanding the process of transgene integration in oats and in Arabidopsis. Currently, Irina is a maize geneticist. She collaborates with Dr. Nathan Springer from the University of Minnesota on understanding epigenetic mechanisms in regulation of stress response in maize. In collaboration with Hamline students, Professor Makarevitch develops novel inquiry-driven and research-based laboratory exercises for undergraduate students.
Professor Makarevich approaches biology with the guiding principal that it is a subject relevant to all students, regardless of their background or future career plans. Biology can be found in many of the hot issues of the day, from environmental pollution to genetically modified organisms. By becoming more aware of issues facing the world, students can become more actively involved in shaping it. In her classroom, students are expected to do more then just memorize facts, but learn how scientific theories came to be. They will learn research skills, how to critically analyze facts, and form their own opinions, backed by scientific evidence. These skills will continue to aide them in their future professional and social lives.
"In one of the popular Russian movies, the motto of the main characters is: 'to fight and to seek, to find and not to give up'. I want to encourage my students to follow these words in science and in their future lives. I hope to continue to fascinate students with biology because seeing a sparkle of interest in eyes of students and knowing that it exists because I helped them see the wonders of living world is the best reward a teacher could get."
Makarevitch I, Waters AJ, West PT, Stitzer M, Hirsch CN, Ross-Ibarra J, Springer NM. (2015) Transposable Elements Contribute to Activation of Maize Genes in Response to Abiotic Stress PLoS Genet 11: e1004915.
Makarevitch I, Eichten SR, Briskine R, Waters AJ, Danilevskaya ON, Meeley RB, Myers CL, Vaughn MW, Springer NM. (2013) Genomic distribution of maize facultative heterochromatin marked by trimethylation of H3K27. Plant Cell. 3:780-93.
Eichten SR, Ellis NA, Makarevitch I, Yeh CT, Gent JI, Guo L, McGinnis KM, Zhang X, Schnable PS, Vaughn MW, Dawe RK, Springer NM. (2012) Spreading of heterochromatin is limited to specific families of maize retrotransposons. PLoS Genetics 8(12):e1003127.
Makarevitch I, Thompson A, Muehlbauer GJ, Springer NM. (2012)
Brd1 gene in maize encodes a brassinosteroid C-6 oxidase. PLoS One. 7(1):e30798.
Waters AJ, Makarevitch I, Eichten SR, Swanson-Wagner RA, Yeh CT, Xu W, Schnable PS, Vaughn MW, Gehring M, Springer NM. (2011) Parent-of-origin effects on gene expression and DNA methylation in the maize endosperm. Plant Cell. 23:4221-33.
Makarevitch I, Kralich E* (2011) Mapping maize genes: A series of research-based laboratory exercises. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.
Makarevitch I, Harris C* (2010) Aneuploidy causes tissue-specific qualitative changes in global gene expression patterns in maize. Plant Physiology.
Betsy M. Martinez-Vaz, Irina Makarevitch , Shane Stensland (2010) Studying Gene Expression: Database Searches and Promoter Fusions to Investigate Transcriptional Regulation in Bacteria Journal of microbiology and biology education.