Melissa Book McAlexanderMelissa Book McAlexander, Ph.D.

Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs
Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Interim Director, Gellert Library


  • Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology. Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, 2000.
    • Advisor: Li-yuan Yu-Lee, Ph.D.
    • Dissertation: Transcriptional Regulation of IRF-1 by Prolactin: The Role of STAT1, SP1, and Chromatin Remodeling
  • BS, cum laude. Biology. Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama, 1994.
    • Minors: Chemistry, Philosophy

Courses Frequently Taught

  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Immunology Laboratory

Research and Interests

  • Incorporating the Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Institution into coursework
  • Developing active learning curriculum and teaching approaches for teaching chemistry
  • Research in student retention of chemistry content from active learning classroom environment


  • Sister Catherine Julie Cunningham Teaching Project Award, NDNU, 2011.
  • GIS Curriculum Integration Grant, NDNU, with Dr. Monica GuhaMajumdar, Native and Invasive Plant Species, 2009.
  • GIS Curriculum Integration Grant, NDNU, Belmont Tree Inventory, 2008.
  • WOW Award, The Tech Museum of Innovation, 2004.
  • AWIS Gulf Coast/Houston (TX) Graduate Student Scholarship, 1999.
  • Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Birmingham-Southern College, 1994.

Professional Affiliations

  • Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE), 2014 – present
  • American Educational Research Association, 2011 – present
  • American Chemical Society (ACS), 2010 – present
  • California Science Teachers Association (CSTA), 2010 – present
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW), 2008 – present


  • Article in NDNU Today: Science Stars or Scientific Illiterates: The Choice Is Ours!
  • McAlexander, M.B. and Yu-Lee, L.-y. (2001).  Sp1 is required for prolactin induction of the Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 gene. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 184:135-141.
  • McAlexander, M.B. and Yu-Lee, L.-y. (2001).  Prolactin activation of IRF-1 transcription involves changes in histone acetylation.  FEBS Letters, 488:91-94.
  • Dogusan, Z., Book, M.L., Verdood, P., Yu-Lee, L.-y., and Hooghe-Peters, E.L. (2000). Prolactin activates Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 expression in normal lympho-hemopoietic cells. European Cytokine Network, 11:435-442.
  • McAveney*, K.M., Book*, M.L., Ling, P., Horvath, G., Chebath, J., and Yu-Lee, L.-y.  (2000). Association of 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase with the prolactin receptor:  Alteration in PRL-inducible Stat1 signaling to the IRF-1 promoter.  Molecular Endocrinology, 4:295-306. * Co-first authors
  • Yu-Lee, L.-y., Luo, G., Book, M.L., and Morris, S.M. (1998).  Lactogenic hormone signal transduction. Biology of Reproduction, 58:295-301.


  • “The Instructor Never Lectures:  The Ups and Downs of Student-Centered Learning in Chemistry.” Poster co-authored with Dr. Isabelle Haithcox.  CIRCLE Conference 2014 (Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education). Washington University, St. Louis, MO. 2014.
  • “The Instructor Never Lectures:  The Ups and Downs of Student-Centered Learning in Chemistry.”  Poster co-authored with Dr. Isabelle Haithcox.  American Chemical Society 248th National Meeting, San Francisco, CA.  Accepted for both Chemical Education General Soster session and SciMix Poster Session (Poster #100). 2014.
  • “Creating a Textbook Lending Program: Not All by the Book.” Presentation with Dr. Isabelle G. Haithcox.  Alliance for HSI Educators Best Practices Conference, LaVerne, CA. 2014.
  • “Leaving Lecture Behind: Lessons Learned from Implementing POGIL in High School and College Chemistry Courses.” Poster co-authored with Arlene Laurison, POGIL Southwest Regional Conference, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT. 2012.
  • “Catholic Social Teaching for Non-Catholics: My Experience in a Catholic Social Teaching Book Study.” Notre Dame Learning Communities Hallmarks Convocation, Belmont, CA. 2012.
  • “Science in Action—Undergraduates Collaborating with Elementary School Teachers”.  Presentation co-authored with Isabelle G. Haithcox, American Chemical Society 239th National Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 2010.
  • “Creating Context: Inspiring Life-Long Learning at The Tech.”  Discussion and Museum Tour, Western Association of Schools and Colleges Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA. 2007.
  • “Connecting the Campus with the Cultural Community.”  Panel Discussion, Western Association of Schools and Colleges Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA. 2007.
  • “Bridging the Gap: Partnership Activities to Engage Underserved Communities.” Panel Discussion, Association of Science and Technology Centers Annual Meeting, Richmond, VA. 2005.
  • “Outreach Live.” Workshop and Panel Discussion.  Association of Science and Technology Centers Annual Meeting, Richmond, VA. 2005.
  • “Building Partnerships to Expand Your Reach (Or: How to be everywhere at once).” EdCom Marketplace of Ideas, Poster Presentation, American Association of Museums Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA. 2004.
  • “Prolactin Signaling to the IRF-1 Gene: Transcriptional Regulation and Chromatin Remodeling” Gordon Research Conference on Prolactin, Ventura, CA. 2000.