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Cathy Santanello, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of Instructional Strategies

Phone: 618-650-5165
Fax: 618-650-5145

Biomedical Sciences
B.S., 1979, Eastern Illinois University
M.S., 1983, Stephen F. Austin State University
Ph.D., 1989, St. Louis University


Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been at SIUE since 1993. Before joining the School of Pharmacy, she served as Program Director of the Excellence in Learning and Teaching Initiative and instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences at SIUE, and as a microbiologist and histologist in industry prior to that. She received her BS degree in zoology from Eastern Illinois University in 1979, her MS in biology from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1983, and a PhD in biology in 1989 from St. Louis University. Cathy’s research interests are in medical entomology (tick and flea-borne diseases) as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Research: Science and Pedagogy

My research interests have varied over the course of my career in the sciences. My Master's thesis, A Histological and Ultrastructural Study of the Nephrons of Perognathus hispidus, with Comparisons to Reithrodontomys fulvescens, was a project that entailed comparing the reabsorptive capabilities of the proximal convoluted tubules via the density of microvilli of the kidneys of two rodent species (one mesic and one xeric) of the southwestern U.S. The continued pursuit of my graduate work allowed me to study The Incidence of Pathogens of Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Eastern Missouri. As a result of this research, I was able to identify and isolate the pathogenic Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, from two tick species in this region of the Midwest, and report the frequency of infectivity of local ticks with the Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever pathogens. Currently, the foci of my research projects have been on the prevalence of a newly discovered bacterium, Rickettsia amblyommii, in local tick vectors and well as Rickettsia felis in local cat fleas, both of which cause diseases in humans with variable pathogenicity. Additionally, the range of the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum, borders the St. Louis region so attempts to collect this tick vector and isolate its pathogens would add to the list of known vectors and pathogenic diseases with which medical practitioners should be aware.

Another area of interest is pedagogical research, also known as the scholarship of teaching and learning. More specifically, how do we construct teaching and learning activities in science classrooms that optimize student learning outcomes? My main areas of interest include, but are not limited to, case study writing and teaching, learning outcomes of study abroad experiences, the implementation of classroom assessment techniques, and teaching large classes more effectively.

Selected Publications

Weiler, M., Santanello, C., Isaacs, D., Rahman, A., O’Donnell, P., & Peters, G. 2015. Pharmacy Students’ Attitudes about Social Media Use at Five Schools of Pharmacy. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, Vol. 7 (6).

Santanello, C, & Pannirselvam, G. 2015. Student Profiles and Student-Professor Interactions. Book chapter, Sound Instruction, Vol. 6.

Flanigan, C. & Santanello, C. 2014. Education Outreach: Raising Awareness of Diabetes and Pharmacy Careers. Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Vol. 5 (10).

Santanello, C., Dow, A.C., & Bergman, S.J. 2014. Active Learning Strategies: Student Perceptions. Academic Exchange Quarterly, Vol. 18:1.

Santanello, C. & Bergman, S.J. 2014. Sarah’s Sickness: The Diagnosis and Treatment of an Infectious Disease. The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at State University of New York at Buffalo.


Immunofluorescent micrograph of the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, isolated from the gut of a lone star tick.


Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) collected in the St. Louis area.


Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) common in the St. Louis area.

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