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Dr. Andrew Hockert
Assistant Professor of Biology

A. Hockert

Dr. Andrew Hockert graduated from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas in 2000 with a BS in Biology. He received his PhD in 2007 in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center graduate school of Biomedical sciences in Lubbock, Texas. While completing his doctorate he worked as an adjunct professor of Biology at Wayland Baptist University in Lubbock Texas in 2006 and 2007. Dr. Hockert joined the University of the Cumberlands faculty in the fall of 2007 as an assistant professor of Biology.

Dr. Hockert’s area of expertise involves three distinct areas: regulation of gene expression, cancer, and RNA processessing. Regulation of gene expression involves understanding primarily how genes are controlled through proteins called transcription factors and how the various transcription factors all work together in order to ensure the correct levels and times for gene expression. His cancer research has been mainly into how cancer cells break away from their normal genetic controls and how cancer develops.

The main focus of Dr. Hockert’s research is in the area of RNA processing. RNA processing is a series of three essential events that must occur in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells for a pre-mRNA to become fully mature and to be released into the cytoplasm. The three events are 5’ capping, splicing, and polyadenylation. Dr. Hockert focuses on the polyadenylation event in RNA processing, which is the addition of 250-300 adenine nucleotides to the 3’ end of the messenger RNA. The protein that his research focuses on is called CstF-64 and is involved with clipping off a portion of the pre-mRNA (called the cleavage step) before the poly-A tail is added.

Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 134. Introduction to Cellular Biology
  • BIOL 114. Introduction to Cellular Biology laboratory
  • BIOL 340. Genetics
  • BIOL 445. Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 495. Senior Seminar

Publications, Presentations, and Research

Hockert, J. A., Hsiang-Jui Y.,  and MacDonald, C. C. “The Hinge Domain of the Cleavage Stimulation Factor Protein CstF-64 Is Essential for CstF-77 Interaction, Nuclear Localization, and Polyadenylation.” Journal of Biological Chemistry. January 1, 2010

Paper of the Week, Journal of Biological Chemistry (2010)

Summer Immersion Grant for integration of Biotechnology into Genetics and Molecular Biology courses ($5000), University of the Cumberlands (2009)