Koren Lipsett





Campus Box 0393


Science Center
Room 245
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


BA Skidmore College, 1985
PhD The University of Maryland at College Park, 1990
NIH Postdoctoral Research - The Johns Hopkins University, 1992

Dr. Lipsett arrived at Gettysburg College in 1992 and began working with colleague Dr. Steve James, to develop the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program with the help of the first HHMI grant secured by the Chemistry and Biology departments.  For this new major, she developed two Biochemistry courses as part of the foundation courses along with Dr. James’ Molecular Genetics course.  She has taught introductory chemistry, Biochemistry I and II and associated laboratories, and Introduction to Forensic Sciences throughout the years.  With Dr. Mike Wedlock, she developed an alternative track introductory chemistry class and associated theme-based laboratory called “Fundamental Chemistry: Down on the Farm.”  In addition, she taught “The Ways of the Medicine Man” as a first year seminar.  

Over 25 years, Dr. Lipsett has worked with 101 students on various independent research projects.  These students participated in 61 summer research opportunities and 89 semester research opportunities!

Her research utilizes genome sequence variations to understand human disease.  The first focus area is the human mitochondrial DNA and understanding the distribution of mutations in relationship to human mitochondrial diseases.  Her second focus utilizes large mammal models to understand human diseases including blindness in cats, deafness in horses and abnormal hair growth in cattle.  This research has resulted in seven peer-reviewed research articles, two review articles, one book chapter and is the first author of the US Patent awarded to Gettysburg College, and remains the only Patent assigned to Gettysburg College.  The patent was awarded for developing a method using (laser) optical tweezers to isolate a single mitochondrion for subsequent analysis.

Dr. Lipsett has been active in college governance in FPC, IRB and even the ol’ Women’s Commission and Nominating Committee from the 1990’s!  In addition, because her research expertise is related to forensic DNA analysis, Dr. Lipsett has regularly been a peer reviewer of forensic DNA grants though the National Institute of Justice for the last decade.  Koren has also been active within the community.  She worked with the local Girl Scouts to develop a two-day “who-done-it” camp called “CSI Girl Scouts – The case of the cyanide cocktail”, in addition she developed LEAP programs (Lincoln Elementary After-school Program), and has worked with SCAAP as a trained volunteer to complete Federal and State Income tax forms for low-income families.