Brenda Rushing, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (emphasis in molecular microbiology)
B.S Microbiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Assistant Professional Track

SciTech 311-M
(210) 784-2212 
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Brenda Rushing, Ph.D.


Dr. Brenda Rushing is an Aggie, having graduated from Texas A&M University-College Station with a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. She completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University in the Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in molecular microbiology. Her career has spanned both academia and industry.  After her graduate studies, she was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellow at Indiana University-Bloomington in the Department of Biology. Following her postdoctoral studies, she obtained a faculty position at Trinity University in San Antonio, teaching courses in Cellular/Molecular Biology and Microbiology while conducting research on the phototaxis response of the photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodospirillum centenum. Her next academic position was in the Microbiology Department of the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio where she conducted research in a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) laboratory on the pathogenic fungus Coccidioides immitis. Her career shifted to industry where she was a Senior Research & Development Scientist and project manager, developing medical diagnostics using molecular biology methods. Dr. Rushing then returned to academia and is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, continuing her research on R. centenum. She is also conducting collaborative research projects with faculty at A&M-San Antonio on soil microbiome analysis in response to native versus invasive plant species (with Dr. Valdez, Biology) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of the Mu opioid receptor (with Dr. Daniel, Psychology). In addition, she has a collaboration with Dr. Alan Lambowitz at UT-Austin to develop a diagnostic method for Lyme Disease using RNA-Seq methods. Dr. Rushing is also a strong proponent for undergraduate research opportunities and directed the FIRE UP (Fostering Interdisciplinary Research Experiences for Undergraduate Potential) at A&M-San Antonio in summer 2018.

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Bacteriology
  • Undergraduate Research in Biology (3 credit hr)
  • Research Experience in Biology (1 credit hr)

Research and Scholarly Interests:

  • Photosynthetic bacteria
  • Phototaxis
  • Bacterial gene regulation
  • Soil microbiome analysis
  • SNP analysis in the MU opioid receptor
  • Identification of Lyme Disease biomarkers