​​​Steven W. Gorsich​, M.S. Ph.D.


Specialty: stress biology, spore development, mitochondrial morphology and disease, and lignocellulose fermentation.

Brooks Hall 230A (Office)
Brooks Hall 230 (Lab)
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
Phone: 989-774-1865

Dr. Gorsich earned his B.S. and M.S. from Eastern Kentucky University and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. His MS thesis involved the characterization of glycolytic enzymes and his doctoral disserataion focused on yeast mitochondrial morphology during spore development. Uplon completeing his Ph.D., Dr. Gorsich worked for the USDA from 2003-2006 as a Research Molecular Biologist. His lab at the USDA focused on understanding cellular stresses linked to fermentation and the development of robust fermentation yeast strains. Dr. Gorsich has been at Central Michigan University since 2006 and is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department where he teaches a variety of classes including Introductory Biology, Genetics, Human Genetics, and Cellular Dynamics. He also serves as one of the deparments Pre-Medical Advisors. Dr. Gorsich has worked with the College of Medicine since 2010 where he helped develop the Foundational Sciences course, Chairs the Admissions Committee, and is a Co-director for the Reproduction and Human Development course. Dr. Gorsich’s research program in the Biology Department investigates the biological problems of cellular stress using the model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Dr. Gorsich’s students use a variety of genetic, cell biology, microbiology, microscopy, and molecular biology tools. His research projects in the Biology Department include:

  • How oxidative stress and mitochondrial morphology affects spore viability and fitness, and how it relates to gamete development. /li>
  • How oxidative stress is linked to mitochondrial based diseases.
  • The development of robust yeast strains that are tolerant to the environmental stresses found during industrial fermentation​

Education & Fellowships:
  • Doctorate
    • University of Utah
      Ph.D. Biology
      Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Graduate
    • Eastern Kentucky University
      M.S. Biology
      Richmond, Kentucky
  • Undergraduate
    • Eastern Kentucky University
      B.S. Biology
      Richmond, Kentucky
Awards & Honors:
  • College of Science and Technology Outstanding Teaching Award, 2011
  • CMU College of Medicine​ Faculty Award, 2014
  • Former President for the Michigan Branch of the American Society for Microbiology
  • Genetics Society of America
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Michigan Branch American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society of Cell Biology
Specialty in diseases and conditions
Mitochondrial and Infertility

Research Fields

Stress Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Molecular Biology

Current Research Projects

My lab investigates the biological problem of cellular stress using the model organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as budding yeast. Using cell biology, genetic, molecular biology, and microscopy techniques we investigate the following:
  • How oxidative stress and mitochondrial morphology influences spore viability and fitness,
  • Understanding how fermentation inhibitors affect the basic biology of yeast in order to engineer robust yeast strains.
  • How oxidative stress is linked to mitochondrial based diseases.
Selected Publications

Nichols, N.N., M.P. Szynkarek, C.D. Skory, S.W. Gorsich, M.J. Lopez, G.M. Guisado, W.A. Nichols. 2011. Transformation and electrophoretic karyotyping of Coniochaeta ligniaria NRRL30616. Curr. Genet. 57:169-75. 

Allen, S*, W. Clark*, J.M. McCaffery, Z. Cai*, A. Lanctot*, P.J. Slininger, Z.L. Liu, S.W. Gorsich. 2010. Furfural induces reactive oxygen species accumulation and cellular damage in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biotechnol. Biofuels. 3:2. 

Almeida, J.R., M. Bertilsson, M-F. Gorwa-Grauslund, S. Gorsich, G. Liden. 2009. Metabolic effects of furaldehydes and impacts on biotechnological processes. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 82: 625-38 (Review). 

Slininger, P.J., S.W. Gorsich, Z.L. Liu. 2008. Culture nutrition and physiology impact the inhibitor tolerance of the yeast Pichia stipitis NRRL Y-7124. Biotechnol. Bioengineer. 102: 778-90. 

Gorsich, S.W., B.S. Dien, N.N. Nichols, P.J. Slininger, Z.L. Liu, C. Skory. 2006. Tolerance to furfural-induced stress is associated with pentose phosphate pathway genes ZWF1, GND1, RPE1, and TKL1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 71: 339-349. 

Gorsich, S.W. J.M. Shaw. 2004. Importance of mitochondrial dynamics during meiosis and sporulation. Mol. Biol. Cell 15: 4369-81. 

[* student] 

Languages Spoken