Lisa Olson

Assoc Professor, Biology

Degrees: Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2003; Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, 2003; B.S. in Biology with Chemistry minor, Baylor Univer

Office: Biology, Hedco Hall #108

Phone: 909/748-8524



Areas of Expertise

Phenotypic analysis of Down syndrome mouse models: MRI quantitation of brain structure volumes; solid tumor incidence and metastasis; bone density and growth

Effect of the chromosome 21 gene product CBR1 on doxorubicin: Prevention of cardiac toxicity induced by the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin in Cbr1 knockout mice; effect of Cbr1 null allele on doxorubicin efficacy in a mouse model of breast cancer

Professional Background Highlights

Dr. Lisa Olson has a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a B.S. from Baylor University. At Johns Hopkins, her Ph.D. program included the first two years of medical school. Her teaching includes Medical Genetics and Neuroscience. She is a pre-health advisor, and has recently served on the Academic Review Board and chaired the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Dr. Olson's main academic interests are human genetic disorders. Dr. Olson’s research uses mice to model human diseases, including cancer and Down syndrome. She has been published in journals such as Science, Cancer Research, and Human Molecular Genetics.

Courses Offered at Redlands

Principles of Biology, Introduction to Neuroscience, Neuroscience, Medical Genetics, Research Topics in Biology, and all associated laboratories

Awards, Honors and Grants

  • Outstanding Faculty Research, University of Redlands, 2007
  • Pardee Foundation Grant, 2005-2008
  • Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellow, 1998 - 2003
  • Goldwater National Science and Engineering Scholar, 1996 - 1998
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1998 - present


Gordon Research Conference: Human Genetics and Genomics, Biddeford, ME, 2009. Olson L.E., Bentley J., *Angulo J., *Davis A., *Flook A., *Garcia B., *King N., *Koster S., *Paul K., *Sata N. Improved efficacy of doxorubicin chemotherapy in Cbr1+/- mice.

Olson L.E., Roper R.J., *Sengstaken C.L., *Peterson E.A., Aquino V., Galdzicki Z.,Siarey R., Pletnikov M., Moran T.H., and Reeves R.H. 2007. Trisomy for the Down syndrome “critical region” is necessary but not sufficient for brain phenotypes of trisomic mice. Human Molecular Genetics 16 (7), 774-782.

Aldridge K., Reeves R.H., Olson L.E., and Richtsmeier J.T. 2007. Differential effects of trisomy on brain shape and volume in related aneuploid mouse models. American Journal of Medical Genetics 143 (10), 1060-1070.

Hurst T., Olson T.H., Olson L.E., and Appleton C.P. 2006. Cardiac syndrome X and endothelial dysfunction: new concepts in prognosis and treatment. American Journal of Medicine 119 (7), 560-566.

Olson L.E., *Tien J., South S., and Reeves R.H. 2005. Long-range chromosomal engineering is more efficient in vitro than in vivo. Transgenic Research 14 (3), 325-332.

Olson L.E., Richtsmeier J.T., Leszl J., and Reeves R.H. 2004. A chromosome 21 critical region does not cause specific Down syndrome phenotypes. Science 306 (5696), 687-690.

Olson L.E., Roper R.J., Baxter L.L., Carlson E.J., Epstein C.J., and Reeves R.H. 2004. Down syndrome mouse models Ts65Dn, Ts1Cje, and Ms1Cje/Ts65Dn exhibit variable severity of cerebellar phenotypes. Developmental Dynamics 230 (3), 581-589.

Olson L.E., Bedja D., Alvey S.J., Cardounel A.J., Gabrielson K.L., and Reeves R.H. 2003. Protection from doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in mice with a null allele of carbonyl reductase 1 (Cbr1). Cancer Research 63 (20), 6602 - 6606.

Cabin D.E., Olson L.E., and Reeves R.H. 2002. Meeting report: 15(th) International Mouse Genome Conference. Mammalian Genome 13 (5), 229-233.

*denotes undergraduate coauthor

Professional Affiliations

  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
  • American Society for Human Genetics
  • National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions

Lisa Olson is a Faculty Sponsor for College Democrats, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Pre-Health Club and Praxis.


The Sustainable University of Redlands Farm (SURF) is a natural farm in its beginning stages, but already grows and sells fresh vegetables to Bon Appetit, the food management company on campus.

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