Pamela Hanson

Pamela Hanson

Professor, Biology

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Dr. Pamela Hanson graduated cum laude from Rhodes College in 1996, earning a B.S. in the biochemistry track of the chemistry major. In 2001 she completed her graduate work in Emory University's Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology program, using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to study the transbilayer and intracellular transport of membrane phospholipids. This work was supported by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health. In addition to her more traditional scientific work, Dr. Hanson spent her final summer as a graduate student writing for the Chicago Tribune. This opportunity to focus on scientific communication was made possible through a generous American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mass Media Fellowship award.

In 2001, Dr. Hanson joined the faculty of Birmingham-Southern College. During her time in Birmingham, she was awarded National Science Foundation funding to integrate molecular modeling and authentic research into several courses. The quality of Dr. Hanson's teaching was recognized via the Bob Whetstone Faculty Development Award and the Omicron Delta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2015-2016, she was awarded an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship which allowed her to spend a year working at the National Science Foundation.

As a member of the Furman faculty, Dr. Hanson will continue her research on anticancer ruthenium complexes as well as regulation of membrane physiology by both RNA binding proteins and lipid biosynthesis.


  • Ph.D., Emory University
  • B.S., Rhodes College


Although platinum-based anticancer drugs are used to treat a wide range of malignancies, including ovarian and testicular cancer, the efficacy of these chemotherapies is limited by their toxicity to healthy tissues and by development of drug resistance. The anticancer ruthenium complex KP1019 may be able to overcome these limitations, yet this drug’s mechanism of action is not well characterized.

Dr. Hanson’s research examines how budding yeast, a model for cancer cells, responds to KP1019. Areas of particular interest include the effects of KP1019 on expression of evolutionarily conserved transport proteins found in the plasma membrane and how these changes in expression make cells more or less resistant to the drug.


  • Stultz, L.K., Hunsucker, A., Middleton, S., Grovenstein, E., O’Leary, J., Blatt, E., Miller, M., Mobley, J. and P.K. Hanson (2020) Proteomic analysis of the S. cerevisiae response to the anticancer ruthenium complex KP1019. Metallomics 12: 876-890
  • Hanson, P.K. (2018) Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A unicellular model genetic organism of enduring importance. Curr Protoc Essent Lab Tech. 16: e21
  • Bierle, L.A., Reich, K.L., Taylor, B.E., Blatt, E.B., Middleton, S.M., Burke, S.D., Stultz, L.K., Hanson, P.K., Partridge, J.F. and M.E Miller. (2015) DNA damage response checkpoint activation drives KP1019 dependent pre-anaphase cell cycle delay in S. cerevisiae. PLoS One. 10: e0138085
  • Hanson, P.K. and L.K. Stultz (2015) Collaboration-focused workshop for interdisciplinary, inter-institutional teams of college science faculty. J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 44: 30-37
  • Stevens, S.K., Strehle, A.P., Miller, R.L, Gammons, S.H., McCarty, J.T., Miller, M.E., Stultz, L.K. and P.K. Hanson. (2013) The anticancer ruthenium complex KP1019 induces DNA damage, leading to cell cycle delay and cell death in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Pharmacol. 83:225-34
  • Johnson, S.S., Hanson, P.K., Manoharlal, R., Brice, S.E., Cowart, L. A., and W.S. Moye-Rowley. (2010) Regulation of yeast nutrient permease endocytosis by ATP-binding cassette transporters and a seven transmembrane protein, RSB1. J. Biol. Chem. 285: 35792-802
  • Berger, A.C., Hanson, P.K., Nichols, W.N. and A.H. Corbett. (2005) A yeast model system for functional analysis of the Niemann-Pick type C protein 1 homolog, Ncr1p. Traffic. 6: 907-17.
  • Hanson, P.K., Malone, L., Birchmore, J.L. and J.W. Nichols. (2003) Lem3p is essential for the uptake and potency of alkylphosphocholine drugs, edelfosine and miltefosine. J. Biol. Chem. 278: 36041-50
  • Hanson, P.K., Grant, A.M. and J.W. Nichols. (2002) NBD-labeled phosphatidylcholine enters the yeast vacuole via the pre-vacuolar compartment. J. Cell Sci. 115: 2725-33
  • Hanson, P.K. and J. W. Nichols. (2001) Energy-dependent flip of fluorescence-labeled phospholipids is regulated by nutrient starvation and transcription factors, PDR1 and PDR3. J. Biol. Chem. 276: 9861-7
  • Grant, A.M., Hanson, P.K., Malone, L.M. and J. W. Nichols. (2001) NBD-labeled phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine are internalized by transbilayer transport across the yeast plasma membrane. Traffic 2: 37-50.