Sciences Spotlight inside logo

Nidhi Gadura Professor Nidhi Gadura received her PhD in Biology in 2004, working in the laboratory of Professor Corinne Michels at Queens College, CUNY.  Professor Gadura is currently the Chairwoman of the Department of Biological Sciences and Geology at Queensborough Community College (QCC) where she not only does research but also devotes much of her time to mentoring QCC undergraduates.
Professor Gadura’s research focus is on the antimicrobial properties of copper and copper alloys, with the goal of understanding the molecular basis behind copper-induced bacterial cell death. Nearly 100,000 people die in the United States each year due to infections acquired during hospital stays.  Professor Gadura’s research could lead to strategies that reduce the incidence of such infections. In this regard, her team has found that copper damages membrane lipids, leading to rapid necrotic death of bacterial cells.
Professor Gadura received her undergraduate degree from York College, CUNY and taught classes there before she joined the CUNY Biology Ph.D. Program. She believes that to honor the time and care that CUNY and her mentors gave her, she must pay that favor forward to as many students as possible.   With that in mind, she carries out her research projects in the molecular biology classroom at QCC, which she equipped with funds awarded to her through a New York State Department of Education Perkins grant.  This grant is meant to foster research and to increase the retention rate of underserved students. Professor Gadura’s research papers always include student co-authors and are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Besides the Perkins Grant, Professor Gadura has received many prestigious awards from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Copper Development Organization, Professional Staff Congress-CUNY, and the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program, U.S. Department of Education.
Though Professor Gadura’s personal research career has been exciting and eventful, she is most proud of the work she has done to introduce science and research to her students. Since joining the faculty at QCC, she has designed and implemented a dual AS/BS in Biotechnology that incorporates conventional classroom components as well as intensive and engaging laboratory components. Many students in her classes are also members of the STEM research club that she established and that brings guest lecturers to campus, as well as hosts academic workshops on various STEM topics. 
In summary, Professor Gadura can be described as one of CUNY’s most caring and devoted alumna, integrating her research and her love of science into the classroom and championing the careers of her students as they graduate and take on new opportunities afforded them because of her mentorship.
Reporters: CUNY Biology doctoral students Jyoti Panta and Joseph Verdi.