Sarah Bacon

  • Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Sarah Bacon

A 1987 graduate of Mount Holyoke, Bacon went on to earn a Ph.D. in organismal biology at the University of Chicago; after a one-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, she returned to Mount Holyoke as an assistant professor of biological sciences in 1998.

Bacon credits her undergraduate education with having a positive impact on her career. "There is an important way in which being here shaped how I went about my research," she says. "I consciously sought out female mentors, and it worked out very well for me." She chose a female adviser at the University of Chicago, who "modeled family life in combination with professional life in a way I did not see men doing," Bacon remembers. "I learned a huge amount from her." Bacon says the caring attention she was given by her professors at MHC also made a difference. "It can make you realize you have potentials that maybe you didn't suspect," she says. "There are people in this department who did that for me, and now I get to teach with them." In 2002, Bacon was awarded $110,480 by the National Institutes of Health AREA program for her project "Maternal-Fetal Immune Interaction and Pregnancy Success."

Areas of Expertise

Physiological interaction between mother and fetus in mammalian pregnancy, particularly how early placental development affects pregnancy success


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • A.B., Mount Holyoke College

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent Campus News

Master of Arts in Teaching student Justin Griffin ’25 paints an inspiring and empowering mural at a middle school in Holyoke to celebrate women of color.

Ligia Bouton, associate professor of art studio at Mount Holyoke College, has made a Greater Boston subway stop a more pleasant place to linger with “25 Variable Stars,” her art installation celebrating astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt.

Kenneth Colodner, associate professor and chair of neuroscience and behavior at Mount Holyoke College, is the co-recipient of a collaborative center grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Recent Publications

de Mestre A.M., Bacon S.J., Costa C.C., Leadbeater J.C., Noronha L.E., Stewart F, Antczak D.F. 2008. Modeling Trophoblast Differentiation using Equine Chorionic Girdle Vesicles. Placenta. 29(2):158-69.

Bacon, S.J., Ellis, S.A., and Antczak, D.F. 2002. Control of Expression of Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes in Horse Trophoblast. Biology of Reproduction. 66:1612-1620.

Carpenter, S., Baker, J.M., Bacon, S.J., Hopman, T., Maher, J., Ellis, S. and Antczak, D.F. 2001. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Genes Encoding Horse MHC Class I Antigens. Immunogenetics. 53(9):802-9.

Bacon, S.J. and McClintock, M.K. 1999. Sex Ratio Bias in Postpartum-Conceived Norway Rat Litters is Produced by Embryonic Loss in Midpregnancy. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 117(2):403-411.

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