Dr. McDonald is an Instructor in the Department of Pathology.  She attended Texas A&M University in College Station, TX as an undergraduate and received a B.S. degree in Zoology.  She continued into the Ph.D. program at Texas A&M where she completed her doctoral dissertation under Dr. Ira Greenbaum in the Department of Biology. The focus of her research centered on chromosomal fragility in populations of deer mice and humans.

Following graduate school, Dr. McDonald accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in the Department of Pathology. During her tenure at the Mayo Clinic, she participated in the molecular characterization of well-known human fragile sites.

In 2002, Dr. McDonald was sponsored as a visiting scientist in the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Her research activities focused on the development of new technologies for use in human identification.

Currently, Dr. McDonald is the Deputy Chief of Physical Evidence at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences. As the Deputy Chief, she assists with the oversight of the Firearms and Toolmarks, Trace Evidence, and Forensic Biology Laboratories.She continues to perform independent DNA analysis and serves as the autosomal STR DNA Technical Leader for the Institute.


Texas A & M University , Zoology
Graduate School
Texas A & M University (1999)


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Parkin gene alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma
Wang F, Denison S, Lai JP, Phillips LA, Montoya D, Kock N, Schule B, Klein C, Shridhar V, Roberts LR, and Smith DI Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 2004 40 85-96
Alterations in the common fragile site gene Parkin in ovarian and other cancers
Denison SR, Wang F, Becker NA, Schule B, Kock N, Phillips LA, Klein C, and Smith DI Oncogene 2003 22 8370-8378
How common are common fragile sites in humans: Interidividual variation in the distribution of aphidicolin-induced fragile sites
Denison SR, Simper RK, and Greenbaum IF Cytogenet Genome Research 2003 101 8-16
Characterization of FRA6E and its potential role in autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism and ovarian cancer
Denison SR, Callahan G, Becker NA, Phillips LA, and Smith DI Genes, Chromosomes, and Cancer 2003 38 40-52
Characterization of the common fragile site FRA9E and its potential role in ovarian cancer
Callahan G, Denison SR, Phillips LA, Shridhar V, and Smith DI Oncogene 2003 22 590-601
Evidence that instability within the FRA3B region extends four megabases.
Becker NA, Thorland EC, Denison SR, Phillips LA, Smith DI Oncogene 2002 Dec 21 57 8713-22
Transcriptional profiling reveals that several common fragile-site genes are downregulated in ovarian cancer.
Denison SR, Becker NA, Ferber MJ, Phillips LA, Kalli KR, Lee J, Lillie J, Smith DI, Shridhar V Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2002 Aug 34 4 406-15
The common fragile site FRA16D and its associated gene WWOX are highly conserved in the mouse at Fra8E1.
Krummel KA, Denison SR, Calhoun E, Phillips LA, Smith DI Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2002 Jun 34 2 154-67
Fragility in the 14q21q translocation region
Denison SR, Multani AS, Pathak S, Greenbaum IF. Genetics and Molecular Biology 2002 25 3 271-276

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Dallas Area Sexual Assault Response Team
  • Organization of Scientific Area Committees
  • Texas Association of Crime Laboratory Directors