Erin Friedman, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biology

Erin Friedman

Degrees and Certifications

  • PhD, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011
  • BS, Biology, Trinity University, 2002


  • Assistant Professor of Biology: Lynchburg College, 2013-present
  • Visiting Lecturer of Biology: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011-2013
  • Adjunct Professor of Biology: William Peace University, 2012
  • Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004-2011
  • Research Technician: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2002-2004

Teaching Areas

  • Introductory Biology
  • Cell Diversity
  • Cell Communication

Professional Interests/Research

I am interested in the mechanisms by which plant cells communicate with one another. Specifically, my research focuses on cell signaling and protein-protein interactions in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. My research seeks to identify protein components of signaling networks, to characterize the functions of these proteins, to identify factors that regulate gene and protein expression, and to elucidate protein-protein interactions between these proteins and their signaling network counterparts. Plants are a great system in which to study cell signaling because they are exposed to a wide array of environmental conditions (without the ability to move away) and must coordinate responses to these conditions among all of their cells. Our findings from these experiments can be applied to plant-specific fields, such as agriculture.

Additionally, due to the high similarity between plant and mammalian signaling networks, our findings can also be applied to mammalian systems. Although much of my research focuses on cellular, molecular, and genetic components, I am also interested in evolutionary biology. Specifically, I have investigated the co-evolution of protein surfaces involved in protein-protein interactions, and I am involved in a collaborative research project involving the evolution of tiger beetles in response to infection with a common endocellular bacterium. This project will not only identify species that commonly harbor the bacteria, but it will elucidate evolutionary relationships between the host and microbe.

Selected examples of my work:

  • Friedman E. J., Wang H., Perovic I., Deshpadne A., Pochapsky T.C., Temple B.R.S., Hicks S.N., Harden T.K., Jones A.M. 2011. Aci-reductone dioxygenase 1 (ARD1) is an effector of the heterotrimeric G protein beta subunit in Arabidopsis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286(34):30107-18.
  • Friedman E.J., Temple B.R.S., Hicks S.N., Sondek J., Jones C.D., Jones A.M. 2009. Prediction of protein-protein interfaces on G-protein beta subunits reveals a novel phospholipase C beta2 binding domain. Journal of Molecular Biology 392(4):1044-54.
  • Klopffleisch K., Phan N., Augustin K., Bayne R.S., Booker K.S., Botella J.R., Carpita N.C., Carr T., Chen J.G., Cooke T.R., Frick-Cheng A., Friedman E.J., Fulk B., Hahn M.G., Jiang K., Jorda L., Kruppe L., Liu C., Lorek J., McCann M.C., Molina A., Moriyama E.N., Mukhtar M.S., Mudgil Y., Pattathil S., Schwarz J., Seta S., Tan M., Temp U., Trusov Y., Urano D., Welter B., Yang J., Panstruga R., Uhrig J.F., Jones A.M. 2011. Arabidopsis G-protein interactome reveals connections to cell wall carbohydrates and morphogenesis. Molecular Systems Biology 7:532.
  • Chen Z., Hartmann H.A., Wu M.J., Friedman E.J., Chen J.G., Pulley M., Schulze-Lefert P., Panstruga R., Jones A.M. 2006. Expression analysis of the AtMLO gene family encoding plant-specific seven-transmembrane domain proteins. Plant Molecular Biology 60(4):583-97.

Professional Associations and Affiliations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society of Plant Biology: Education committee member
  • National Association of Biology Teachers