James Madison University
PHOTO: Stephanie Stockwell

Stephanie Stockwell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, ISAT

  • Office: ISAT/CS 320, office hours and class schedule posted.
  • Phone: 540-568-8980
  • Email: stockwsb@jmu.edu
  • Mailing Address:
    MSC 4102
    701 Carrier Drive
    Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807


  • Ph. D. in Biological Sciences/Microbiology (Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; 2001-2008)
  • B. S. in Bacteriology (University of Wisconsin-Madison; 1997-2001)


  • Visiting Professor, Citizen Science Program, Bard College (January 2011 and 2012)
  • Assistant Professor, ISAT (2010 to present)
  • Teaching and Research Post-Doctoral Fellow (James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA; 2008-2010)


JMU Courses Taught:

  • GISAT 113(H): Issues in Science and Technology
  • ISAT 305: Instrumentation and Measurement in Biotechnology
  • HON 300: Viral Discovery and Genomics
  • ISAT 351: Biotechnology in the New Millennium II
  • HON 200: Scientific Research
  • ISAT 452: Medical Biotechnology

Professional Workshops Facilitated:

  • NSF-sponsored “Microarray for Teaching” workshop; 2010-11
  • JMU CFI-sponsored “Ins and Outs of Team Learning”
  • JMU CFI-sponsored “Designing Effective Team Activities that Engage Everyone”
  • JMU CFI-sponsored “Integrating Honors into Your Courses”
  • JMU CFI-sponsored “Writing Effective Application Exercises: A Means to Modeling Habits of Mind”
  • “Leaving a Trail of Breadcrumbs: How to write Data-rich Team Activities For Novice Learners”; 2012 Team Based Learning Collaborative Annual Meeting; St. Petersburg, FL
  • “Leaving a Trail of Breadcrumbs: How to write Data-rich Team Activities For Novice Learners”; 2012 Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at Virginia Tech; Blacksburg, VA

Other Activities:

  • Dr. Stockwell strongly believes in the power of active learning with an emphasis on self-guided discovery.  Because of this, she incorporates various aspects of team-based learning into all of her courses.  In doing so, students learn to work collaboratively in the application of course concepts to solve “real world” inspired problems.
  • Dr. Stockwell supports inquiry-based learning at the K-12 level through a variety of ongoing activities:
    • Science education outreach to Page County Middle School:  Activities include leading 7th grade biology students in inquiry-based microbiology experiments and hosting 8th graders for a day of hands-on science activities at JMU. 
    • Visiting instructor for the annual Shenandoah Biotechnology Symposium hosted by Eastern Mennonite High School.
    • Judge for the Biochemistry and Microbiology Divisions of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Science Fair and the Virginia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

      PHOTO: Stockwell with students

      Dr. Stockwell demonstrates a sterile swab technique to Page County Middle School 7th graders.

  • Together with Dr. Louise Temple (JMU, ISAT), Dr. Stockwell leads an NSF-CCLI funded summer workshop for regional small four-year undergraduate colleges community college, and high school faculty members.  Focused on the use of microarray technology in teaching fundamentals of molecular biology and discovery-based science, this week-long workshop involves performing and analyzing the result of microarray experiments, developing teaching and assessment materials, and creating important relationships between regional faculty members.  More information about this workshop and the JMU Microarray Project as a whole can be found at: http://microarray.cisat.jmu.edu/
  • Visiting faculty for the inaugural 2011 Citizen Science Program at Bard College, NY
  • JMU Honors Faculty Fellow; College of Integrated Science and Engineering (2011-present)
  • ISAT and Biotechnology Degree Program Honors Liaison (2012-present)
  • JMU Center for Faculty Innovation Faculty Associate (2014-present)

Scholarly Interests/Research Topics

  • Dr. Stockwell pursues her interest in host-bacterial interactions through two main avenues of research—Bordetella avium/turkey pathogenicity and Bradyrhizobium japonicum/soybean symbiosis.  In understanding how microbes attach, adapt, and impact their eukaryotic hosts (for better or worse), much can be learned about pathogenesis and symbiosis as a whole.   This information can be ultimately used to block or transform harmful host relationships and enhance beneficial ones.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Work to understand the molecular and genetic requirements for B. avium pathogenicity is done in close collaboration with Dr. Louise Temple (JMU, ISAT).   B. avium, in the genus of bacterial pathogens that cause diseases such as whooping cough and kennel cough in various mammals, is an economically important pathogen of birds.  Together with undergraduate researchers (approximately 7-10 each semester), Dr. Stockwell and Temple work to identify and characterize various B. avium genes involved in turkey tracheal attachment and host cell toxicity.  Such studies are guiding the development of B. avium live-attenuated vaccines for use in the poultry industry.
  • Stephanie Stockwell maintains a research program involving the molecular characterization of the B. japonicum/soybean symbiosis. As an extension of work done in the laboratory of Mary Lou Guerinot, Ph. D. (Dartmouth College), this program is focused on the genetic and molecular characterization of the symbiotic interaction between Gram negative soil bacterium, Bradyrhizobium japonicum, and it leguminous host plant, soybean.  During the symbiosis, the bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen for use by the plant, thereby decreasing the need for supplemental nitrogen fertilizers in large-scale agriculture.  Work in the Stockwell lab includes creating mutant B. japonicum strains lacking iron uptake and signal transduction genes, critical for the adaptation to and survival within the host environment.  These mutant strains serve as tools for identifying in planta specific signaling networks required for a functional symbiosis.  The role of the dual-function ferrichrome uptake receptor, FegA, is of particular interest in both iron uptake and symbiosis.PHOTO: Research Description

Senior Projects Advised


Ashworth, J., Cooke, E., Way, G., "Construction of a live-attenuated B. avium vaccine with implications for agriculture and human health." ISAT Senior Symposium, 2011.

PHOTO: Stockwell with students

Graduating seniors, Grayson Way, J.C. Ashworth, and Libby Cooke pose in front of their project poster during the 2011 ISAT Senior Symposium.


PHOTO: Stockwell with students

ISAT senior Brandon Hope prepares DNA from bacterial cells.

Hope, B., "Isolation and genotyping of endogenous Bradyrhizobium japonicum strains from Shenandoah Valley soils." 2013 Winter ISAT Senior Symposium.


Heyn, N., Hoy, B., Wong, S. “Isolation and genotyping of endogenous Bradyrhizobium japonicum strains from Shenandoah Valley soils”  ISAT Senior Symposium, 2015

Research Students Mentored

  • James Ashworth, Elizabeth Cooke, & Grayson Way (2010-11)
  • Katy Cain (2010-11)
  • Christopher Romeo (2012-13)
  • Christophe Langouet (2012-13)
  • Brandon Hope (2012-13)
  • Laurel Owens (2013)
  • Christopher Diachok (2014)
  • Allie Casto (2014-present)
  • Andrew Hoy (2014-present)
  • Serena Wong (2014-present)
  • Nathan Heyn (2014-present)

Current and Recent Support

  • Jeffress Memorial Trust Research Grant entitled "Structure/function analysis of TonB-dependent receptor protein, FegA" (Principal investigator: Stephanie Batchelet Stockwell)
  • JMU CISE mini-grant entitled “Analysis of the Bradyrhizobium japonicum symbiosis-associated transcription factor, EcfS, and its gene targets: a student research project” (Principal Investigator: Stephanie Stockwell)
  • JMU CISE mini-grant entitled “A translational field-to-lab project to foster meaningful student engagement in applied biotechnology research” (Principal Investigator: Stephanie Stockwell)
  • NSF-CCLI grant entitled “CCLI: Establishing a Microarray Teaching and Learning Center in the Shenandoah Valley in Support of Science Education” (Principal investigator: Louise M. Temple, Co-Principal Investigators: Ronald Kander, Amy White, and Stephanie Stockwell).  

Select Publications and Presentations

Names of undergraduate contributing authors are shown in italics.

  • Stockwell, S. B. (2014). Big Problems: A solution to teaching microbiology in the age of “omics” and systems biology.  Microbrew session at the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Undergraduate Education. Danvers, MA.
  • Stockwell, S. B., Kuzmiak-Ngiam, H., Beach, N.M., Temple-Rosebrook, L. (2011). The autotransporter protein from Bordetella avium, Baa1, is involved in host cell attachment. Microbiol Res. 2011 May 30 [Epub ahead of print]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21632225
  • Miyamoto, D., Masters, I. R., Stockwell, S. B., Temple-Rosebrook, L. (2011). Bordetella avium Causes Induction of Apoptosis and Nitric Oxide Synthase in Turkey Tracheal Explant Cultures. Microbes Infect. 2011 Sep;13(10):871-9. [Epub ahead of print].  May 12.
  • Stockwell SB, Reutimann L, Guerinot ML (2012). A role for Bradyrhizobium japonicum ECF16 sigma factor, EcfS, in the formation of a functional symbiosis with soybean.  Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2012 Jan;25(1):119-28.
  • Beach NM, Thompson S, Mutnick R, Brown L, Kettig G, Puffenbarger R, Stockwell SB, Miyamoto D, Temple L (2012). Bordetella avium antibiotic resistance, novel enrichment culture, and antigenic characterization. Veterinary Microbiology. 2012 [Epub ahead of print], July.


  • Summer Hours
    May 6 - August 19
    Mon-Thurs 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12 noon
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