karla hernandez

Karla Hernández

Teaching Assistant Professor, Director of Biotechnology Program


Dr. Karla Hernández graduated from the University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biotechnology. She then earned a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University. After, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the pharmacology department of the University’s School of Medicine. During her tenure, Hernández was involved in various research areas: nutritional intervention in cancer therapy, materials science and engineering, developmental genetics, neuroscience, and epigenetic regulation of asthma and allergic inflammation.

Subsequently, she served as research scientist and program coordinator for the Nevada Learn and Earn Advanced-Career Pathway (LEAP) Program. The LEAP Program is a collaborative effort between the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the University, Washoe County School District, and local industry partners. Before accepting the position as the director of biotechnology, Hernández served as associate director for the federally funded McNair Scholars Program at the First-Generation Student Center, where she mentored students from all majors, for their entire undergraduate careers and into their graduate training.


  • B.S./M.S. Biotechnology, University of Nevada, Reno 2010
  • Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno 2015


Scientific articles

  • Dscam1 overexpression impairs the function of the gut nervous system in Drosophila
    2023 Developmental Dynamics. 252(1): 156-171. Hernández, K., Godoy, L., Newquist, G., Kellermeyer, R., Alavi, M., Mathew, D., and Kidd, T. DOI: 10.1002/dvdy.554
  • Transgenic overexpression of α7 integrin in smooth muscle attenuates allergen-induced airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma. 2022. FASEB BioAdvances. 2022; 4: 724-740.  Aiyuk, A., Ba, M., Hernández, K., Wuebbles, R., Burkin, D.J., and Singer, C.A. DOI: 10.1096/fba.2022-00050
  • Genetic tools for the analysis of Drosophila stomatogastric nervous system development. 
    2015 PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0128290. Hernández, K., Myers, L.G., Bowser, M., and Kidd, T. (2015). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128290 
  • Docosahexaenoic acid alters epidermal growth factor receptor-related signaling by disrupting its lipid raft association.
    2010 Carcinogenesis, 31(9): 1523-1530. Rogers, K.R., Kikawa, K.D., Mouradian, M., Hernandez, K., McKinnon, K.M., Ahwah, S.M. and Pardini, R.S. DOI: 10.1093/carcin/bgq111

Book Chapters

  • The McNair Scholars Program: Augmenting Undergraduate Research Involvement and Graduate School Preparedness.
    2020 In M. Choroszy, T. Meek, J. Beattie, & R. Naik (Eds.), Success for All: Programs to Support Students Throughout Their College Experience (pp. 146–159). University of Nevada Press. Williams, H., & Hernández, K.