Biological Sciences

Nina Bernstein

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

PhD (Alberta), B.Sc. (Alberta)

6-118K, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB


After completing her B.Sc. in Honours chemistry at the University of Alberta, Dr. Bernstein developed and interest in applying her knowledge to understanding biological problems, and went on to graduate studies in biochemistry. Her PhD research with Dr. Michael James at the University of Alberta focused on structural biology of malarial proteinases. Dr. Bernstein continued to do post-doctoral research with Dr. Mark Glover (University of Alberta), where she worked on the structural and biochemical characterization of DNA repair enzymes. Dr. Bernstein's teaching and research interests are in the field of biochemistry, with particular emphases on structural and molecular biology, DNA repair, enzyme mechanisms and intermediary metabolism in health and disease.

Available to supervise senior students' independent study.

Biochemistry, structural biology, DNA repair, enzymes, metabolism

Teaching and Research Interests

  • BIOL 107 Introductory Cell Biology
  • BICM 200 Introductory Biochemistry
  • BICM 320 Structure and Catalysis
  • BICM 330 Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 498 Independent Research

Current research interests include structural and functional characterization of DNA repair enzymes in C. elegans and D. melanogaster, and development of glycerol biosensors.

Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers

  • Coquelle N, Havali-Shahriari Z, Bernstein N, Green R, Glover JN. (2011) Structural basis for the phosphatase activity of polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase on single- and double-stranded DNA substrates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 27;108(52):21022-7.
  • Siribal S, Weinfeld M, Karimi-Busheri F, Glover JNM, Bernstein NK, Aceytuno D, Chavalitshewinkoon-Petmitr P. (2011) Molecular characterization of Plasmodium falciparum putative polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. Nov;180(1):1-7
  • Bernstein NK, Hammel M, Mani RS, Weinfeld M, Pelikan M, Tainer JA and Glover JNM. (2009) Mechanism of DNA substrate recognition by the mammalian DNA repair enzyme, polynucleotide kinase. Nucleic Acids Res. 37(18):6161-6173.
  • Bernstein NK, Karimi-Busheri F, Rasouli-Nia A, Mani R, Dianov G, Glover JNM, Weinfeld M. Polynucleotide kinase as a potential target for enhancing cytotoxicity by ionizing radiation and topoisomerase I inhibitors.  (2008) Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry.  8:358-67.
  • Alberta Genomic Instability and Aging Conference presentation, Calgary, AB: “Mechanistic insights into DNA recognition by the PNKP phosphatase domain”, May 2011.

Awards / Grants / Fellowships

  • MacEwan University, Professional Development Additional Fund awards (2012, 2013)
  • MacEwan University Faculty of Arts and Science Fund award (2012)
  • MacEwan University Research, Scholarly Activity and Creative Achievement Fund (2011-2012)