Penn State Harrisburg

Susannah Gal, Ph.D.

· Associate Dean for Research and Outreach; Office of Research and Outreach
· Professor of Biology; Science, Engineering, and Technology


Dr. Gal earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD and her A.B. in biochemistry/chemistry from Smith College, Northampton, MA. She started a faculty position at Binghamton University in 1994 in the Department of Biological Sciences and continued there until 2015. Her research involved studies of plant proteases using molecular and biochemical tools, evaluation of different molecular tools for DNA computing, developing methods for measuring DNA binding activity and evaluation of changes in DNA binding in different cancer cells. She was involved in campus activities such as the Fulbright student review program to help students apply to do research or teaching abroad. Dr. Gal spent sabbaticals at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; University of Coimbra, Portugal; Stanford University; and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.

For two years, she was a program officer with the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences and with the Division of Graduate Education at the National Science Foundation (2012-2014). Dr. Gal was interim dean of libraries at Binghamton University prior to arriving at Penn State Harrisburg in July 2015.


Publications and Research

  • Gal, S., Willingham, M. C. & Gottesman, M. M.: Processing and Lysosomal Localization of a Glycoprotein whose Secretion is Transformation Stimulated. (1985) Journal of Cell Biology 100: 535-­‐544.
  • Doherty, P. J., Hua, L., Liau, G., Gal, S., Graham, D. E., Sobel, M. E. & Gottesman, M. M.: Malignant Transformation   and Tumor Promoter Treatment Increase the Levels of a Transcript for a Secreted Glycoprotein. (1985) Molecular and Cellular Biology, 5: 466-­‐473.
  • Gal, S. & Gottesman, M. M.: The Major Excreted Protein of Transformed Fibroblasts (MEP) is an Activable Acid-­‐ Protease. (1986) Journal of Biological Chemistry, 261: 1760-­‐1765.
  • Gal, S. & Gottesman, M. M.: The Major Excreted Protein of Transformed Mouse Cells (MEP) and Cathepsin L Have Similar Protease Specificity. (1986) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 139: 156-­‐162.
  • Troen, B. R., Gal, S. & Gottesman, M. M.: Sequence and Expression of the cDNA for MEP (major excreted protein), a Transformation-­‐Regulated Secreted Cathepsin. (1987) Biochemical Journal, 246: 731-­‐735.
  • Mason, R. W., Gal, S. & Gottesman, M. M.: The Identification of the Major Excreted Protein (MEP) from a Transformed Mouse Fibroblast cell line as a Catalytically Active Precursor form of Cathepsin L. (1987) Biochemical Journal, 248: 449-­‐454.
  • Gal, S.: Replica Plating for Detection of Antigen Variants. (1987) Methods in Enzymology, 151: 704-­‐712.
  • Gal, S. & Gottesman, M. M.: Isolation and Sequence of a cDNA for Human pro-­‐Cathepsin L. (1988) Biochemical Journal, 253: 303-­‐306.
  • Kane, S. E., Troen, B. R., Gal, S., Ueda, K., Pastan, I. & Gottesman, M. M.: Use of a Cloned Multidrug Resistance Gene for Co-­‐Amplification and Overproduction of MEP, a Transformation-­‐Regulated Secreted Acid Protease. (1988) Molecular and Cellular Biology, 8: 3316-­‐3321.
  • McCoy, K., Gal, S., Schwartz, R. H. & Gottesman, M. M.: An Acid Protease Secreted by Transformed Cells Interferes with Antigen Processing. (1988) Journal of Cell Biology, 106: 1879-­‐1884.
  • Smith, S. M., Kane, S. E., Gal, S., Mason, R. W. & Gottesman, M. M.: Glycosylation of procathepsin L does not account for species molecular weight differences and is not required for proteolytic activity. (1989) Biochemical Journal, 262: 931-­‐938.
  • Gal, S. & Hohn, B.: Direct Sequencing of double-­‐stranded DNA PCR products via removing the complementary strand with single-­‐stranded DNA of an M13 clone. (1990) Nucleic Acids Research, 18: 1076.
  • Bakkeren, G., Gal, S., & Hohn, B.: Involvement of Agrobacterium tumefaciens Virulence E and C proteins in T-­‐DNA transfer. (1990) Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms, 809-­‐817.
  • Gal, S., Pisan, B., Hohn, T., Grimsley, N. & Hohn, B.: Genomic Homologous Recombination in planta. (1991) European Molecular Biology Organization Journal, 10: 1571-­‐1578.
  • Gal, S., Pisan, B., Hohn, T., Grimsley, N. & Hohn, B.: Agroinfection of transgenic plants leads to viable cauliflower mosaic virus via intermolecular recombination, (1992) Virology, 187: 525-­‐533.
  • Swoboda, P., Hohn, B. & Gal, S.: Somatic homologous recombination in planta: The recombination frequency is dependent on the allelic state of recombining sequences and maybe influenced by genomic position effects. (1993) Molecular and General Genetics, 237: 33-­‐40.
  • Gal, S. & Raikhel, N.V.: Protein sorting in the endomembrane system of plant cells. (1993) Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 5: 636-­‐640.
  • Lee, H.-­‐i., Gal, S., Newman, T.C. & Raikhel, N.V.: The Arabidopsis endoplasmic reticulum retention receptor functions in yeast.  (1993) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA), 90: 11433-­‐11437.
  • Gal, S.: Sequencing of double-­‐stranded PCR products. (1993) DNA Sequencing: Laboratory Protocols, Humana Press, New Jersey, 183-­‐190.
  • Swoboda, P., Gal, S., Hohn, B. & Puchta, H.: Intrachromosomal homologous recombination in whole plants-­‐ developmental implications. (1994) EMBO Journal, 13: 484-­‐489.
  • Runeberg-­‐Roos, P., Kervinen, J., Kovaleva, V., Raikhel, N.V. & Gal, S.: The aspartic proteinase of barley is a vacuolar enzyme that processes probarley lectin in vitro. (1994) Plant Physiology, 105: 321-­‐329.
  • Gal, S. & Raikhel, N.V.: A carboxy-­‐terminal plant vacuolar targeting signal is not recognized by yeast. (1994) Plant Journal, 6: 235-­‐240.
  • Puchta, H., Swoboda, P., Gal, S., Blot, M. & Hohn, B.: Somatic intrachromosomal homologous recombination events in populations of plant siblings. (1995) Plant Molecular Biology, 28: 281-­‐292.
  • Bassham, D., Gal, S., da Silva Conceição, A. & Raikhel, N.V.: An Arabidopsis syntaxin homologue isolated by functional complementation of a yeast pep12 mutant. (1995) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci (USA), 92: 7262-­‐7266.
  • Zijlstra, C., Schaerer-­‐Hernández, N., Gal, S. & Hohn, T.: Arabidopsis thaliana expressing the cauliflower mosaic virus ORF VI transgene has a late flowering phenotype. (1996) Virus Genes, 13: 5-­‐17.
  • Gal, S.: Sequencing of double-­‐stranded PCR products. (1996) Molecular Biotechnology, 5:159-­‐164.
  • D'Hondt, K., Stack, S., Gutteridge, S., Vandekerckhove, J., Krebbers, E. & Gal, S.: Aspartic proteinase genes in the Brassicaceae Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus. (1997) Plant Molecular Biology, 33: 187-­‐192.
  • Menges, D., Ternullo, D.*, Tan-­‐Wilson, A.L. & Gal, S.: Continuous assay of proteases using a microtiter plate fluorescence reader. (1997) Analytical Biochemistry, 254: 144-­‐147.
  • Mutlu, A., Pfeil, J.E. & Gal, S.: A probarley lectin processing enzyme purified from Arabidopsis thaliana seeds. (1998)Phytochemistry, 47: 1453-­‐1459.
  • Gal, S.: The secretory system and machinery for protein targeting. (1998) In Arabidopsis, M Anderson and JA Roberts, editors, Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield, England, pp.151-­‐180.
  • Mutlu, A. & Gal, S.: Plant aspartic proteinases: Enzymes on the road to a function. (1999) Physiologia Plantarum, 105: 569-­‐576.
  • Mutlu, A., Chen, X., Reddy, S. & Gal, S.: The aspartic proteinase of Arabidopsis thaliana is expressed in seeds and localized in the protein bodies. (1999) Seed Science Research,9: 75-­‐84.
  • Head, T., Yamamura, M. & Gal, S.: Aqueous computation: Writing on molecules. (1999) Proceedings of the 1999 Congress on Evolutionary Computation, 2: 1006-­‐1010.
  • Sargent, A. , Loi, T.*, Gal, S. & Sadik, O.A.: The electrochemistry of antibody-­‐modified conducting polymer electrodes. (1999) Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 470: 144-­‐156.
  • Amidon, W.L., Pfeil, J.E. & Gal, S.: Modification of luciferase to be a plant aspartic proteinase substrate. (1999) Biochemical Journal, 343: 425-­‐433.
  • Gal, S. & Klein, J.W.: A case for college molecular biology classes: A Right to her Genes. (2000) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 28: 267-­‐271.
  • Yamamura, M., Head, T. & Gal, S.: Aqueous Computing -­‐ Mathematical Principle of Molecular Memory and its Biomolecular Implementation. (2000) In Genetic Altorithms 4, H. Kitano editor, Sangyo Tosho Publishers, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, pp. 49-­‐73 (in Japanese).
  • Head, T. & Gal, S.: Aqueous Computing: Writing into Fluid Memory (2001) European Association for Theoretical Computer Science Bulletin. 75: 190-­‐198.
  • Head, T., Chen, X., Nichols, M.J., Yamamura, M., & Gal, S.: Aqueous solutions of algorithmic problems:  emphasizing knights on a 3X3. (2002) In DNA computing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, N. Jonoska and N.C. Seeman, Eds, Springer Verlag publishers, Berlin, pp. 191-­‐202.
  • Head, T., Chen, X., Yamamura, M. & Gal, S.: Aqueous Computing: a Survey with an Invitation to Participate (2002) Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 17: 672-­‐681.
  • Chen, X., Pfeil, J.E. & Gal, S.: The three typical aspartic proteinases of Arabidopsis are differentially expressed (2002) European Journal of Biochemistry, 269: 4675-­‐ 4684.
  • Payie, K.G., Tanaka, T., Gal, S. & Yada, R.Y.: Construction, expression and characterization of a chimaeric mammalian-­‐plant aspartic proteinase (2003) Biochemical Journal, 372: 671-­‐678.
  • Head, T. & Gal, S.: Aqueous Computing: Writing into Fluid Memory (2004) Current Trends in Theoretical Computer Science. Algorithms and Complexity. Volume 1. , G. Paun, G. Rozenberg, and A. Salomaa, Eds, World Scientific, Singapore, 49-­‐503.
  • Faro, C.J. & Gal, S.: The aspartic proteinase gene content of the Arabidopsis genome (2005) Current Protein and Peptide Science, 6: 493-­‐500.
  • Head, T., & Gal, S.: Aqueous computing: Writing on molecules dissolved in water (2006) In Nanotechnology: Science and Computation, J. Chen and N. Jonoska, Eds., Springer-­‐Verlag publishers, Berlin, pp. 321-­‐334..
  • Gal, S., Cook, J.R., & Howells, L.: Scintillation proximity assay (SPA) for DNA binding by human p53 (2006) BioTechniques 41: 303-­‐308 (also in About Authors, p. 293).
  • Dimitrova, N., & Gal, S.: MethyLogic: Implementation of Boolean Logic using DNA Methylation (2006) Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4287: 404-­‐417.
  • Gal, S., Monteith, N., Shkalim, S.*, Huang, H.* & Head, T.: Methylation of DNA may be useful as a computational  tool: Experimental evidence (2007) Current Developments in Mathematical Biology, Ed. by K. Mahdavi, R. Culshaw & J. Boucher, Series in Knots and Everything Vol. 38, World Scientific, Hackensack, NJ, pp. 1-­‐14.
  • Pagano, A. & Gal, S.: An approach for using modified nucleotides in aqueous DNA computing. (2008) Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4848:161-­‐169.
  • Lim, I-­‐I S., Wang, L., Chandrachud, U., Gal, S., & Zhong, C.J.: Assembly-­‐Disassembly of DNA-­‐Au Nanoparticles: A Strategy of Intervention. (2008) Research Letters in Nanotechnology, published on-­‐line, Article ID 527294, 4 pages.
  • Pagano, A.M., Pishanider, S.D.* & Gal, S. Incorporation and use of modified nucleotides in aqueous DNA computing (2008) Natural Computing, 7: 423-­‐438..
  • Lim, I-­‐I S., Wang, L., Chandrachud, U., Gal, S., & Zhong, C.J.: Assembly-­‐Disassembly of DNA-­‐Au Nanoparticles: A strategy of intervention based on oligonucleotides and restriction enzymes (2008) Analytical Chemistry 80: 6038-­‐6044.
  • Gal, S., Monteith, N. & Macula, A.J.: Successful preparation and analysis of a 5-­‐site 2-­‐variable DNA library (2009) Natural Computing, 8:333-­‐347.
  • Macula, A.J., Gal, S., Andam, C., Bishop, M.A, & Renz, T.E. PCR nonadaptive group testing of DNA libraries for biomolecular computing and taggant applications. (2009) Discrete Mathematics Algorithms and Applications 1: 59-­‐69.
  • Chandrachud, U. & Gal, S.: Three DNA binding assays show differences in the interaction of wild-­‐type and mutant p53 proteins from human cell lines with unique gene sequences, (2009) Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment 8: 445-­‐454.
  • Brennan, D., Cavagnetto, A., Gal, S., Jones, W., McGrann, R., O’Brien, R.: Go Green – Using sustainability Engineering in a Middle School Summer Program. (2010) Proceedings of the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Louisville, KY, 20-­‐23 June 2010.
  • Banerjee, A., Panosian, T.*, Mukherjee, K., Ravindra, R. Gal, S., Sackett, D.L., & Bane, S.E.: Site specific orthogonal labeling of the carboxy terminus of a-­‐tubulin, (2010) ACS Chemical Biology 5: 715-­‐798 (cover photo).
  • Oberlander, S.*, Xie, T., Chandrachud, U. & Gal, S.: Scintillation proximity assay (SPA) for total p53 protein as an alternative to ELISA. (2010) Journal of Immunological Methods 360: 173-­‐7.
  • Andam, C., Driscoll, J.R.*, DiCesare, J.A., Enke, T.N., Macula, A.J., & Gal, S.: Comparison of different  methods to analyze a DNA computing library using the polymerase chain reaction, (2012) Natural Computing, 11: 339-­‐349.
  • Ray, D., Balmer, M. & Gal, S.: The functionality of p53 in thyroid cancer, (2012) In Updates in the Understanding and Management of Thyroid Cancer, Fahey, T.J. [Ed], Intech Publishers, Rijeka, Croatia, pp. 33-­‐52.
  • Ray, D., Murphy, K.R.* & Gal, S.: The DNA binding and accumulation of p53 from breast cancer cell lines and the link with the serine 15 phosphorylation, (2012) Cancer Biology and Therapy, 13: 848-­‐857.
  • Merzouki, A., Buschmann, M.D., Jean, M., Young, R.S., Liao, S.*, Gal, S., Li, Z. & Slilaty, S.N., Adva-­‐27a, A Novel Podophyllotoxin Derivative Found To Be Effective Against Multidrug Resistant Human Cancer Cells (2012) Anticancer Research, 32: 4423-­‐4432.
  • Crew, E., Yan, H., Lin, L., Yin, J., Skeete, Z., Kotlyar, T., Tchah, N., Lee, J., Bellavia, M., Goodshaw, I., Joseph, P., Luo, J., Gal, S. & Zhong, C-­‐J.: DNA assembly and enzymatic cutting in solutions: a gold nanoparticle based SERS detection strategy (2013) Analyst 138: 4941-­‐4949.
  • Balmer, M.T., Katz, R.D., Liao, S.*, Goodwine, J.S.*, & Gal, S.: Doxorubicin and 5-­‐fluorouracil induced accumulation and transcriptional activity of p53 are independent of phosphorylation at serine 15 in MCF-­‐7 breast cancer cells (2014)  Cancer Biology and Therapy, 15: 1000-­‐1012.

Book and Meeting Reviews

  • Gal, S. (1996) of book entitled Plant growth and development: A molecular approach, author D.E. Fosket, published in Quarterly Review of Biology 71: 412-­‐413.
  • Gal, S. & Head, T.: (2001) Report on the 7th International Workshop on DNA Based Computers, European Association for Theoretical Computer Science Bulletin. 75:: 237-­‐238.

Education Publications on the Web

  • Gal, S. Klein, J.E.: “A right to her genes” (2000) peer reviewed case study for the University of Buffalo web site on case studies in Science. 
  • Morris, T.E. and Gal, S.: ”A recipe for invention: Scientist biographies” (2003) peer reviewed case study for the University of Buffalo web site on case studies in Science. 

External Grant Support

01/17/11 - 01/16/14
Sunshine Biopharma
Principle Investigator (PI)
“Development of Adva-­‐27a through phase I clinical trials for breast and prostate cancer”; ($58,000)
08/19/11 - 08/18/13
The Bella Fund
“Analysis of the functional status of the p53 tumor suppressor and correlation with response to treatment”; ($7500)
04/01/10 - 03/31/12
NIH R15 program
Co-­‐PI, Susan Bane (Dept of Chemistry) PI
“Tubulin Tyrosine Ligase: Target and Tool”; ($300,000) (Biology 50%)
03/01/10 - 10/15/10
Chemung-­‐Schulyer-­‐Steuben Workforce New York (CSSWFNY)
Co-­‐PI, Wayne Jones (Dept of Chemistry) PI
“Broome Tioga Go Green Institute Technical Proposal”; ($39,255)
09/01/08 - 08/31/10
UNYCHRQ and UNYTRN Pilot Research Collaboratives Program
PI, sub-­‐contract Gokul Das, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
“Determining the effect of estrogen receptor on binding of tumor suppressor p53 to target gene promoters” ($59,957  Binghamton share $41,957)
01/01/10 - 06/01/10
NSF SBIR Phase I grant submitted through JEANSEE Corp.
“Covert Combinatorial DNA Taggants for Authentication, Tracking and Trace-­‐Back”; consultant on project activities
10/31/08 - 11/02/08
Funds to support a conference titled “Biomathematical computing conference: past, present and prospects”; SUNY Conversations in the Discipline ($5000) and US Army conference funds ($5612)
11/17/05 - 08/07/08
Air Force Research Laboratory
Subcontract through SUNY-­‐Geneseo, Anthony Macula PI
“A Two-­‐Dimensional DNA Matrix Based Biomolecular Computing and Memory Architecture” (subcontract $120,000)
05/01/08 - 10/31/08
New York State Department of Education
co-­‐PI; Wayne Jones PI
“Excelsior Scholars-­‐ Go Green Institute” ($71,537)
09/30/06 - 03/29/08
Federal appropriations grant from DOE sub-­‐contract through SUNY-­‐IT 
“New technologies to measure human cancer proteins (subcontract $60.000)
07/01/04 - 06/30/07
National Institutes of Health-­‐ R15 Program
“New developments for diagnostic assays of p53 DNA binding activity” ($225,500)
02/01/04 - 01/31/07
NSF –CNRS international program
Nadine Paris, French collaborator
“US-­‐France cooperative research: Biosensors of protease activity and endomembrane traffic in plants” ($20,659)
03/01/05 - 05/15/06
Air Force Research Laboratory
Subcontract through SUNY-­‐Geneseo, Anthony Macula PI
“Network analysis and knowledge discovery through DNA computing” (subcontract  $63,310)
01/01/06 - 06/30/06
Philips Research Laboratory
“Graduate student funding for molecular biology course” ($13,575) 
07/01/03 - 06/30/06
NSF-­‐ Major Research Instrumentation grant
Co-­‐PI, Dennis McGee, PI
“Acquisition of a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope for Multidisciplinary Research and Training” ($288,346)
08/01/04 - 04/30/05
Army STIR program
Co-­‐PI, Tom Head, PI,
“Testing DNA methylation for DNA computing” ($38,515) 
10/01/05 - 12/30/05
Philips Research laboratory
“Molecular biology course expenses” ($3411)
11/15/01 - 12/14/03
US Department of Agriculture-­‐ Research Career Enhancement Award
“Substrates for in vivo analysis of plant proteases”  ($72,941)
12/01/01 - 02/28/02
Council for International Exchange of Scholars -­‐ Fulbright Scholars Program
“Expression of the cardoon aspartic proteinase in Arabidopsis” ($10,500)
07/01/95 - 06/30/01
NSF Career Program
“The role of protease activities in Arabidopsis thaliana plants ($449,770) 
09/01/97 - 04/30/01
NSF/ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Co-­‐PI, Tom Head, PI,
“Prototyping Biomolecular Computations” ($150,000) 
05/01/99 - 11/30/00
Amersham Pharmacia Biotech
“Developing a p53 DNA binding SPA” ($17,000)
11/01/96 - 10/31/98
US Department of Agriculture-­‐ Plant Growth and Development
“The role of aspartic proteases in processing propeptides in plants” ($87,366) 
06/01/96 - 05/31/98
NSF-­‐ Instructional and Laboratory Improvement
“Bringing DNA sequencing technology to undergraduate laboratories” ($28,225)