Mollie Sorrell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Programs: Biology

Phone: 419-783-2494


Mollie Sorrell


Human anatomy and physiology, comparative vertebrate anatomy, vertebrate physiology, neuroscience, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology.


Examining the effects of decreased Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) expression on the brain, behavior, and immune system. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited mental retardation and is the primary monogenetic cause of autism spectrum disorders. FXS is caused by a mutation in the regulatory region of the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) gene, which ultimately leads to loss of the gene product Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). Patients with FXS experience a number of symptoms including: craniofacial abnormalities, growth abnormalities, deficits in learning and cognition, hyperactivity, anxiety, shyness, social and language deficits, repetitive body movements and behaviors, motor incoordination, and impaired sensory processing.
Since FXS is a neurodevelopmental disorder, most studies have focused on the role of FMRP during development. However, a few studies have shown that the loss of FMRP during adulthood can impact learning, cognition, and behavior. I am interested in determining how decreased FMRP during adulthood effects the brain and behavior, as well as immune function in both males and females. My research makes use of a novel insect model, the house cricket Acheta domesticus.


Sorrell, M.R.J., Wyatt, E.G. and Killian, K.A. Examining the effects of decreased Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein on the innate immune system of the house cricket, Acheta domesticus. Submitted to Journal of Insect Physiology.

Sorrell, M.R.J., Dohn, T.E., D'Aniello, E. and Waxman, J.S. (2013) Tcf7l1 proteins cell autonomously restrict cardiomyocyte and promote endothelial specification in zebrafish. Developmental Biology 380(2): 199-210.

Mandal, A., Rydeen, A., Anderson, J., Sorrell, M.R.J., Zygmunt, T., Torres-Vazquez, J. and Waxman, J.S. (2013) Transgenic Retinoic Acid Sensor Lines in Zebrafish Indicate Regions of Available Embryonic Retinoic Acid. Developmental Dynamics 242(8): 989-1000.

Sorrell, M.R.J., Waxman, J.S. (2011) Restraint of Fgf8 signaling by retinoic acid signaling is required for proper heart and forelimb formation. Developmental Biology 358: 44-55.


Miami University Graduate Student Teaching Award (2019)
Best Poster Award: Ohio Miami Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Neuroscience Symposium, University of Cincinnati Medical Center (2016)


Ph.D. in Biology, Miami University (2019)
M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, Western Kentucky University (2008)
B.A. in Biology, Lindsey Wilson College (2006)