PhD, Biomedical Sciences, Neurobiology of Disease, Mayo Graduate School, 2012

BS, Biology, North Park University, 2004

Courses Taught

Emerging Diseases

Cell Biology


Cancer Biology

Research Interests

Epilepsy - Seizure and spike detection and classification

Pedagogy - The role of group work in the STEM classroom, Developing a Science Identity as an undergraduate STEM student


Bergstrom RA, 2018. Motion sickness as metaphor: engaging with diversity in STEM. Advances in Physiology Education 43(1):1-6. Online publication 12 Dec 2018. Open access:

Pfammatter JA, Bergstrom RA, Wallace EP, Maganti RK, Jones MV, 2018. A predictive epilepsy index based on probabilistic classification of interictal spike waveforms. PLoS ONE 13(11):e0207158. Open access:

Bergstrom RA, 2018. A new model of civic engagement: Translational research at the undergraduate level. Science Education & Civic Engagement: An International Journal 10(1):14-20. Open access:

Bergstrom RA, Field Fass M, 2015. Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIOL 215). SENCER Model Course. Available at:

Bergstrom RA, Choi JH, Manduca A, Shin HS, Worrell GA, Howe CL, 2013. Automated identification of multiple seizure-related and interictal epileptiform event types in the EEG of mice. Scientific Reports 3:1483. Open access:

Howe CL, Bergstrom RA, Horazovsky BF, 2009. Subcutaneous IGF-1 is not beneficial in 2-year ALS trial. Neurology 73:1247.

Bergstrom RA, Sinjoanu RC, Ferreira A, 2007. Agrin induced morphological and structural changes in growth cones of cultured hippocampal neurons. Neuroscience 149:527-36.

Tournell CE, Bergstrom RA, Ferreira A, 2007. Progesterone-induced agrin expression in astrocytes modulates glia-neuron interactions leading to synapse formation. Neuroscience 141:1327-38.

Rachel A. Bergstrom

Associate Professor of Biology
Director of the School of Health Sciences

 Pronouns: she/her/hers  Email:  Phone: 608-363-2367  Schedule an Appointment  Office: Room 336, Sanger Center for the Sciences

I am a neuroscientist who studies epilepsy through analysis of electroencephalograms, or EEGs. I use computational methods to detect and analyze electrical events related to epilepsy, with the goal of ultimately predicting (and preventing!) seizures. 

I teach biology courses that focus on the cellular and molecular aspects of biology, including cell biology, neuroscience, cancer biology, and emerging infectious diseases. I love how Beloit students dig into these classes and build new knowledge and skills through active inquiry and thoughtful engagement with complicated concepts.  And I love that students at Beloit love to connect their lives across courses and experiences as they learn more about our world and its people.

I love to learn about my students, to understand who they are and where they are coming from, to help them build context for the work we do in our classes. I am often inspired by conversations with students during office hours to create new activities in the classroom or to check out a new bingeable TV show. I enjoy helping students find their way through their Beloit Experience, whether it is to help them connect the dots between where they are now and that perfect career they’ve known they’re headed for since they were 5 or to support them as they explore and try out a number of different things to find what may come next. In either case, it’s one of the many joys of my work to see students grow and learn who they are to themselves and the world. 

In addition to a deep and abiding love for building excitement in 8 AM biology classes, I love to run, knit, garden, and watch sci-fi tv shows. I live in (and love) the community of Beloit, and I am a member of the Rock County Board of Health.

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