Mary Sevigny, PhD

Dr. Sevigny has been teaching Biology at Dominican University since 2006.


Associate Professor 

Office: Science Center #200
Lab: Science Center #205
[email protected]


About Professor Sevigny

Prior to Dominican, Professor Sevigny was an adjunct instructor at Napa Valley College and a postdoctoral researcher at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. Her strong desire to carry out cancer research began when she was in elementary school (5th grade, to be precise). However, over the years she has grown equally passionate about the plethora of fascinating and vital microbes that envelope us all, and she tries to ignite in her students that same passion for both microbes and research.

Academic Area


Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Microbiology, University of California, Davis (1998)
  • B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology, emphasis in Microbiology, University of California, Berkeley (1992)

Teaching and Research

Teaching: Advanced Microbiology (BIO 3610/3615), Medical Microbiology (BIO 3620/3625), Molecular Diagnostics Lab I (CLS 5410), & Research Methodology (BIO 2990/4990/4991/4993).

Research: Primarily focuses on basic cancer research. Much of this research has delved into studying particular enzymes/receptors and their role in the development of certain kinds of cancers. Current research includes studying the pro-inflammatory enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its role in breast and prostate cancer. Specifically, this project focuses on how the natural modification of COX-2 with carbohydrate groups (glycosylation) may affect downstream cellular events that promote cancer progression. These studies may help to further establish and refine the use of COX-2 as a prognostic marker in cancer and may aid in the development of more effective therapies.

Honors and Awards

      • School of Health and Natural Sciences Summer Competitive Research Grant, awarded every year from 2013 to 2018.
      • ASBMB Travel Fellowship for the Experimental Biology 2003 meeting (San Diego, CA), 4/03
      • Member of Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, Gamma Delta Chapter, since 5/98.

Recent Publications

      • Fallatah, M.M., Liu, S., Sevigny, M.B., Zou, H., and Louie, M.C. 2017. Novel flexible heteroarotinoid, SL-1-18, promotes ERα degradation to inhibit breast cancer cell growth. Cancer Letters, 408: 82-91.
      • Louie, M.C. and Sevigny, M.B. 2017. Steroid Hormone Receptors as Prognostic Markers in Breast Cancer. American Journal of Cancer Research, 7(8): 1617-1636.
      • Carranza, M.G., Sevigny, M.B., Banerjee, D., and Fox-Cubley, L. 2015. Antibacterial activity of native California medicinal plant extracts isolated from Rhamnus californica and Umbellularia californica. The Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, DOI: 10.1186/s12941-015-0086-0.
      • Ponce, E., Louie, M.C., and Sevigny, M.B. 2014. Acute and Chronic Cadmium Exposure Promotes E-Cadherin Degradation in MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis, DOI: 10.1002/mc.22170.
      • Aquino, N.B., Sevigny, M.B., Sabangan, J., and Louie, M.C. 2012. The Role of Cadmium and Nickel in Estrogen Receptor Signaling and Breast Cancer: Metalloestrogens or Not? Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part C: Environmental Carcinogenesis and Ecotoxicology Review, 30: 1-36.
      • Sevigny, M.B., Graham, K., Ponce, E., Louie, M.C., and Mitchell, K. 2012. Glycosylation of human cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) decreases the efficacy of certain COX-2 inhibitors. Pharmacological Research, 65: 445-450.
      • Sevigny, M.B., Li, C.-F., Alas, M., and Hughes-Fulford, M. 2006. Glycosylation regulates turnover of cyclooxygenase-2. FEBS Letters, 580: 6533-6536.

Recent Presentations

    • Effect of Glycosylation on Cyclooxygenase-2’s Role in Prostate Cancer Progression, April 20, 2017 at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
    • Effect of Cadmium on the Prostaglandin Pathway in Breast Cancer Cells, May 7,2015 at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
    • Effect of Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) Glycosylation on the Prostaglandin Pathway in Cancer Cells, December 1, 2015 at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
    • Understanding the Role of Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in Cancer Progression, December 3, 2013 at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
    • When a Good Enzyme Goes Bad: The Role of COX-2 in Health and Disease. September 2008 at The Marin Science Seminar, Terra Linda High School, San Rafael, CA.