Professor Jonathan Snow


On November 11, 2021, Jonathan Snow, associate professor of biological sciences, alongside Prof. Allison Lopatkin, Samantha R. Shih ’20, Dunay M. Bach ’20, Nicole C. Rondeau ’18, Jessica Sam ’14, and Natalie L. Lovinger ’22, published new research in Nature - Scientific Reports, titled “Honey bee sHSP are responsive to diverse proteostatic stresses and potentially promising biomarkers of honey bee stress.” The research, led by Professor Snow, evaluated specific common cellular processes and stress responses impacted by multiple key stressors in an attempt to understand the increased rate of die-off among honey bee colonies in the United States. 

The study investigates small heat shock proteins of the expanded “lethal essential for life gene family,” which appear to be a part of a core stress response that could result in a useful biomarker for cellular stress in honey bees. The researchers designed and tested a RT-LAMP to detect increased gene expression in response to heat stress. This study provides a powerful proof of principle, but more work will still need to be done to determine colony-level outcomes.