Pamela Sandstrom, Ph.D.

Teaching Associate Professor
Pamela Sandstrom

Contact Information


  • University of Nevada, Reno, Ph.D., Biochemistry 2002-2007
  • University of California, Davis, Bachelor of Science in Physiology 1994-1998


My position as an undergraduate Biology instructor and academic advisor fulfills my desire to educate and help others. I began my academic and professional career as an ophthalmology technician after completing a degree in Physiology at the University of California, Davis. In 2002, I returned to graduate school and earned a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno for my research on cytochrome P450 enzymes in bark beetles. Since 2007, I have become focused on teaching with an emphasis on educational research. I have taught almost 7,000 undergraduate students in a variety of classes: non-majors Biology, Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Genetics, as well as laboratories in Microbiology, Cell Biology, and Molecular Biology. I have also served as an advisor for both Biology and Neuroscience majors.

Teaching and advising are intricate endeavors that require the commitment of both the instructor/ advisor and students or advisees. I continually strive to be approachable and maintain a safe, cooperative environment both in my classrooms and when helping advise students with their educational and professional goals. I encourage students to be proactive about their education and take advantage of the provided learning opportunities. My hybrid and online Introductory Biology and Genetics classes offer students multiple pathways for success. Integrating technology, including online videos and assessments, has facilitated the establishment of classes that are more student-centered and promote active learning. I have also mentored more than 300 high achieving students serving in an excess of 700 leadership positions. Peer-led mandatory discussion groups and having undergraduate Learning Assistants (LAs) help with challenging in-class assessments have not only fostered student engagement, but have created a community of learners.


  • P. Sandstrom, M.D. Ginzel, J. C. Bearfield, W. H. Welch, G. J. Blomquist and C. Tittiger (2008). Myrcene hydroxylases do not determine enantiomeric composition of pheromonal ipsdienol in Ips spp. J. Chem. Ecol. 34, 1584-1592.
  • P. Sandstrom (2007). Monoterpenoid Metabolism by Bark Beetle Cytochromes P450
    Dissertation. 230 pages.
  • P. Sandstrom, W. H. Welch, G. J. Blomquist and C. Tittiger (2006). Functional expression of a bark beetle cytochrome P450 that hydroxylates myrcene to ipsdienol. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 36, 835-845.

Selected Professional Presentations

  • Sandstrom, P. and E. Pravosudova. "Peer-led Discussion Groups and Active Learning Enhance Student Involvement and Success." Pearson Learning Makes Us Webinar, October 2016
  • Pravosudova, E. and P. Sandstrom. "Active learning approach enhances student involvement and success in high-enrollment biology courses." STEM Teaching and Education Conference, April 2016, Reno, NV
  • P. Sandstrom. "Practical Tips for Teaching Genetics: Engaging Students and Improving Performance." Pearson Learning Makes Us Webinars, February 2016 and October 2015