Danielle Orozco-Nunnelly

Assistant Professor of Biology

Neils Science Center, Room 211


Ph.D. in Biological Sciences – University of Illinois at Chicago (2015)
B.S. in Biology and Chemistry – Valparaiso University (2007)

Research Interests

Subjects of Interest: Molecular and cellular biology, medicinal phytochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, microbiology, plants and human health

Danielle Orozco-Nunnelly and her students are working to characterize the antimicrobial and anticancer properties of Argemone mexicana, a stress-resistant member of the poppy family of flowering plants that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Additionally, the Nunnelly lab is genetically screening the model plant organism, Arabidopsis thaliana, to identify novel antimicrobial genes. Some of the techniques used in these studies include cell (microbial and human) culture and preservation, plant growth and maintenance, phytochemical extraction, Kirby-Bauer antimicrobial testing, tetrazolium dye (MTT) colorimetric assay, normal-phase column chromatography and various forms of mass spectrometry.


  • D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, J. Pruet, C. P. Rios-Ibarra, E. L. Bocangel Gamarra*, T. Lefeber* & T. Najdeska*. (2021). “Characterizing the cytotoxic effects and several antimicrobial phytocompounds of Argemone mexicana.” PLoS ONE, 16(4):e0249704. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0249704
  • D. Díaz-Vázquez, D. Carrillo-Nieves, D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, C. Senés-Guerrero & M. S. Gradilla-Hernández. (2021). “An integrated approach for the assessment of environmental sustainability in agro-industrial waste management practices: The case of the tequila industry.” Front. Environ. Sci. 9:682093. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2021.682093
  • O. Díaz-Torres, J. de Anda, O. Y. Lugo-Melchor, A. Pacheco, D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, H. Shear, C. Senés-Guerrero and M. S. Gradilla-Hernández. (2021). “Rapid Changes in the Phytoplankton Community of a Subtropical, Shallow, Hypereutrophic Lake During the Rainy Season.” Front. Microbiol., 12:617151. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.617151
  • A. Para, D. Muhammad, D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, R. Memishi, S. Alvarez, M. J. Naldrett & K. M. Warpeha. (2016). “The dehydratase ADT3 affects ROS homeostasis and cotyledon development.” Plant Physiology, pp.00464. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.16.00464
  • D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly. (2015). “Determining the role of Pirin1 in light-regulated growth and cellular responses in Arabidopsis thaliana.” UIC Indigo: Dissertations and Theses. http://hdl.handle.net/10027/19577
  • D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, D. Muhammad, V. Liakaite, S. J. Green & K. M. Warpeha. (2014). “Pirin1 Is a Non-Circadian Regulated Transcript and Protein, but Highly Responsive to Light/Dark Periods in the Seed-to-Seedling Transition in Arabidopsis thaliana.” Molecular Biology Reporter, 1-13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11105-014-0826-x
  • D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, D. Muhammad, R. Mezzich, B.-S. Lee, L. Jayathilaka, L. S. Kaufman & K. M. Warpeha. (2014). “Pirin1 (PRN1) Is a Multifunctional Protein that Regulates Quercetin, and Impacts Specific Light and UV Responses in the Seed-to-Seedling Transition of Arabidopsis thaliana.” PLoS ONE, 9(4):e93371. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093371
  • D. A. Orozco-Nunnelly, L. S. Kaufman & K. M. Warpeha. (2013). “G protein signaling in UV protection: methods for understanding the signals in young etiolated seedlings.” In G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling in Plants: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology (1043:89-101). New York, NY: Humana Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-62703-532-3_10

* Denotes a Valpo undergraduate author

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