Dean Rodney J. Brown of the Brigham Young University College of Life Sciences has announced that Laura C. Bridgewater will assume responsibilities as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology Department effective Monday, Aug. 1.

Bridgewater replaces Brent M. Nielsen, who served as chair since 2005 and has returned to full-time teaching and research.

Bridgewater is a graduate of BYU and received her doctorate in genetics from George Washington University. Since returning to BYU in 1999, she has led students in research in the genetics of bone cartilage and joint tissue. 

She has made important discoveries about specific genes that could help cure arthritic pain and joint stiffness. Her work has been published in prominent scientific journals such as BMC Cell Biology and Matrix Biology.

Bridgewater was the recipient of BYU’s 2004 Young Scholar Award and received the College of Life Sciences’ Outstanding Mentor Award in 2008. In 2009, she was recognized with a Scholarship Award by the BYU Faculty Women’s Association.

For more information, contact Laura Bridgewater at (801) 422-2434 or laura_bridgewater@byu.edu.