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Lakshmi Atchison, Ph.D.

Lakshmi Atchison, Ph.D.

Laksmi's Headshot
Professor of Biology
St. Joseph Hall, 4th flr., West Wing, SJ478

Lakshmi Atchison earned her Ph.D. in Biology and did postdoctoral research at the New York University School of Medicine. Her area of expertise is cell and molecular biology. She joined Fox Chase Cancer Center and did human genome research and gene mapping in small cell lung cancer. She is a Professor of Biology and Director of the Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series at Chestnut Hill College. The lecture series includes three Nobel Laureates in Medicine, six elected members of the National Academy of Sciences, and three Lasker Award Winners, and many highly acclaimed professionals of extraordinary caliber.

Dr. Atchison is the recipient of the 2009 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She teaches many biological and biomedical subjects and encourages her students to think outside the box. Under Dr. Atchison’s directorship, the Biomedical Lecture Series exposes students to highly acclaimed professionals in science and medicine. She has many publications in cell biology, human genome research, and is an author of the textbook Cancer Biology Basics (McGraw Hill). She has a deep passion to educate all undergraduate students on cancer prevention and to provide practical information on eight cancers that can affect young adults. Dr. Atchison has developed several education models including a human skin model, “Think Inside the Box,” as a hands-on lab activity (the first-ever for the integumentary system), a model to understand osteoporosis (winner of the Best Poster Award at the 2019 Human Anatomy & Physiology Society National Conference), and a visual blood cell model to study leukemia and blood cell disorders for which she was awarded a Patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Educational Background: 
  • B.A., Mysore University
  • M.S., Bangalore University
  • Ph.D., New York University
Courses Taught: 
  • Endocrinology (Medical Perspective)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Recombinant DNA Technology
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • The Biology of Cancer
  • General Biology
  • Genetics
  • Senior Seminar
  • Zoology
  • Special Topics in Biology (Diseases)
  • Essentials of Human Cancer - ACCELERATED Division
Scholarly Interests: 
  • Biology
  • Cell
  • Molecular Biology (Human Cancer & Human Genome research)
  • Published six full papers in peer-reviewed scholarly journals
  • Published several scientific abstracts
  • Participated in national meetings and workshops.
  • Won best scientific abstract in the Human Genome Project
  • Received American Association for Cancer research AACR-Merit Upjohn Travel/grant award


  • as the Chair of the Biology Department and Division of Natural Sciences
  • on College Committees
  • as the Biomedical Seminar series organizer
  • as advisor and as mentor for internship contacts
  • and served as the 2003 National Conference Coordinator and Chair of Speakers for the 17th Annual Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) Conference at Wyndham, Philadelphia. Chestnut Hill College was the host institution.
Selected Publications: 
  • Atchison, L., Cannizzaro, L.A., Caamano, J., Atchison, m.L. and R.L. Comis Assignment of 34 single-copy and 17 repetitive sequence DNA clones to human chromosome 3; site specific mapping of 7 clones by in situ hybridization. Geonomics, 6: 441-450, 1990.
  • LaForgia, S., Lasota, J., Latif, F., Boghosian-Sell, L., Kastury, K., Ohta, M., Druck, T., Atchison, L., et al. “Detailed genetic and Physical Map of the 3p Chromosome Region Surrounding the Familiar Renal Cell Carcinoma Chromosome Translocation” t(3;8)(p14.2;q24.1). Cancer Res. 53: 3118-3124, 1993.
  • Atchison, L., Comis, R.L., and M. L. Atchison. “Construction of Human Chromosome 3-specific Radiation Hybrids and Characterization by Alu PCR” Gene. 151: 321-324, 1994.
  • Atchison, L., Comis, R.L. and M.L. Atchison. “Construction of Rare-Restriction Site (Not I, Sac II and Cla I) Linking Libraries and Sequence-tagged Site Analysis of Single Copy Clones from Human Chromosome 3-specific Library” Gene. 151: 324-328, 1994.
  • Atchison, L., Atchison, M.L., and L.A. Cannizzaro. “High Resolution Mapping of Ten Unique DNA Sequences to Human Chromosome 3 Subregions by in Situ Hybridization” Cytogenet and Cell Genetics. 71: 136-138, 1995.
  • Atchison, Lakshmi: Sabbatical Research Project: Presented to the Chestnut Hill College’s Board members: Construction of 13 Transgenic Drosophila strains containing a human transcription factor YY1: Research collaborators, Drs. Nancy Bonini and Michael Atchison, 2000
  • Atchison, L., Ghias, A., Wilkinson, F., Bonini, N., and Atchison, M.L. Transcription factor YY1 functions as a PcG protein in vivo. EMBO Journal Vol. 22. No. 6, pp.1347-1358, 2003. (This full paper is an extension of my previous sabbatical research projects and shows new functions for a human protein YY1 that controls gene expression during development)
Relevant Experience: 
Biomedical Seminar Series (1994 - )

The biomedical seminar series started in 1994. The goal of this series is to bring prominent professionals to our institution, to foster meaningful interaction among our neighboring institutions, and to promote research contacts and internships for our students pursuing careers in basic research, health and medicine. Thus far, many prominent speakers have graciously accepted invitations and have given seminars in their fields of expertise in biomedical and basic research. They have been very gracious and have given their professional time without an honorarium. Through these seminars our students are able to make personal contacts with these professionals leading to opportunities for hands-on research in many state-of-the-art research laboratories. For more information on the Biomedical Seminar Series, contact: latchiso@chc.edu 

Student Awards and Recognition for Chestnut Hill College during 1999-2000

Student: Ayesha Ghias, Senior Seminar and Honors Research in collaboration and in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Atchison, The University of Pennsylvania.

Received five research awards for the research presentations at intercollegiate contests. 

Second Annual SEPCHE Honors Conference Award at Chestnut Hill College.
Sigma XI Scientific Research Society, Thomas Jefferson University.
American Institute of Chemists Award for Achievement in Biochemistry.
American Women in Science Award, First Prize at Rowen University.
Association for Women in Science-Philadelphia Chapter, First Place.