Dr. Rebecca Pollet received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Tulsa before obtaining her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan, focusing on polysaccharide degradation by the human gut microbe Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. Dr. Pollet gained teaching experience as faculty in the Citizen Science program at Bard College and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College. She joined the Vassar Chemistry Department in 2021. Dr. Pollet commonly teaches CHEM 121: Chemical Fundamentals, BIOL/CHEM 272: Biochemistry, and BIOC 356: Biochemistry Senior Seminar.
Dr. Pollet’s research focuses on mechanisms of nutrient transport and transcriptional regulation in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a dominant member of the human gut microbiota. Her research lies at the interface of protein biochemistry and microbiology, often using techniques from both fields to understand the function of proteins at the molecular level and how that function contributes to bacterial growth. The protein biochemistry portion of the lab uses x-ray protein crystallography to investigate protein structure and function. The microbiology portion of the lab uses molecular genetics to manipulate protein expression.
Dr. Pollet is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and an advocate for Indigenous scientists and students. She is the coordinator of Diversify Microbiology.
BIOL/CHEM 272 Biochemistry
CHEM 121 Chemical Fundamentals