Return to: College of Science

2.112 Biosciences Building

The Department of Biological Sciences offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Biological Sciences and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biological Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, and Microbiology. The BS degrees in Biological Sciences have four concentrations:  Biomedical Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 7-12 Life Science Secondary Certificate, and 7-12 Science Secondary Certification.  The Department of Biological Sciences also offers several Fast Track programs:  BS Biology to MS Biology, BS Biology to MS Bioinformatics, BS Biology with Biomedical Science Concentration to MBA. BS Biology with Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration to MBA, BS Microbiology to MBA

Biology as a Minor Field for Other Majors

Advising and Placement

All majors in the Department of Biological Sciences must have been advised prior to registration. 

Pre-Health Professional Advice The College of Science offers a Pre-Health Professions Undergraduate Certificate which prepares students to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, physician’s assistant, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy schools.  Students pursuing any major at UTEP can prepare for these professional school.  Information about the certificate and entrance requirements to these professional schools can be obtained from the College of Science Advising Center.  Contact Associate Dean Dr. Tina Garza.


Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science


CHAIR: Dr. Bruce Cushing


Renato Aguilera
Contact Information:; 915-747-6852
Education: BS, University of Texas at El Paso; MS, University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, University of California at Berkeley; POSTD, University of California at Berkeley, 2018
Research Interests: Cancer Research, Immunology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, see homepage for details.

Stephen Aley
Contact Information:; 915-747-8813
Education: BS, California Institute of Technology; Post-Bac Watson Fellowship, John Curtin School for Medical Research; Ph D, The Rockefeller University, 2018
Research Interests: Human parasitic protists, Proteomics and Genomics. STEM Education and pedagogy

Igor Almeida
Contact Information:; 915-747-6086
Education: Pharm B, Universidade Regional do Nordeste (currently UEPb); MS, Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM),Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP); Ph D, Escola Paulista de Medicina-EPM (currently UNIFESP); Post-Doctoral, University of Dundee, 2018

Marc Cox
Contact Information:; 915-747-5429
Education: BS, University of Missouri; MSPH, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Ph D, Tulane University; Postdoctoral Fellowship NRSA (NIH/NIDDK), Mayo Clinic, 2018

Bruce Cushing
Contact Information:; 915-747-5844
Education: Ph D, Michigan State University, 2018
Research Interests: Organizational Effects of Early Social Environment, Social Support on resilience and addiction, Transgenerational Epigenetic Regulation of Social Behavior, Multifactoral regulation of high levels of prosocial behavior, Neural Mechanism underlying Cultural Differences in Social Behavior

Siddhartha Das
Contact Information:; 915-747-6896
Education: BS, University of Calcutta; MS, University of Calcutta; Ph D, University of Calcutta; Post-doctoral researcher, University of Pittsburgh; Post-doctoral researcher, University of California at San Diego (UCSD), 2018
Research Interests: Cellular and molecular biology of lipids of parasitic and cancer cells. Designing and developing drugs targeting lipid metabolic pathways against Giardia.

Joanne Ellzey
Contact Information:; 915-747-6880
Education: BA, Randolph-Macon Woman's College; MA, University of North Carolina; Ph D, The University of Texas at Austin, 2018

Paul Goldstein
Contact Information:; 915-747-6999
Education: Ph D, York University, 2018
Research Interests: See "Statement of Research" above

Kyung-An Han
Contact Information:; 915-747-8950
Education: BS, Yonsei University; Ph D, State University of New York at Buffalo Roswell Park Cancer Institute, 2018
Research Interests: Research interest: Neuromodulatory mechanisms underlying behavioral plasticity and reproduction Overarching goals: The molecular, cellular and neural mechanisms that monoamines regulate behavioral plasticity, motivation, attention, inhibitory control and reproduction. a. Natural stimuli-induced learning/memory processes: aversive and appetitive olfactory conditioning (classical conditioning), aversive and appetitive visual conditioning (classical conditioning), conditioned courtship (operant conditioning) b. Alcohol-induced behavioral adaptation: behavioral disinhibition (cognitive and motor impulsivity), behavioral sensitization, initial sensitivity and tolerance to the sedative effect c. Response inhibition and impulsivity d. Courtship and copulation behaviors e. Ovulation/egg laying

Jerry Johnson
Contact Information:; 915-747-6984
Education: BS, Fort Hays Kansas State Univeristy; MS, the University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, Texas A&M University, 2018
Research Interests: Vertebrate Zoology, Evolutionary Theory, Herpetology, Biogeography, Ecology, Conservation of Natural Respources.

Michael Kenney
Contact Information:; 915-747-7540
Education: Ph D, Michigan State University, 2018

Robert Kirken
Contact Information:; 915-747-5536
Education: BA, Olivet College; Ph D, Wright State University; Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, 2018

Carl Lieb
Contact Information:; 915-747-6987
Education: BS, Texas A&M University; MS, Texas A&M University; Ph D, University of California at Los Angeles, 2018
Research Interests: Herpetology, Conservation Biology, Biodiversity Informatics, Chihuahuan Desert Biodiversity

Vanessa Lougheed
Contact Information:; 915-747-6887
Education: BS, McMaster University; Ph D, McMaster University, 2018
Research Interests: aquatic ecosystem ecology, ecology of extreme environments in the Chihuahuan Desert and the Arctic

William Mackay
Contact Information:; 915-747-6991
Education: BA, California State University, Fullerton; MA, California State University, Fullerton; Ph D, University of California, Riverside; Postdoctoral Fellow, New Mexico State University, 2018

Markus Peterson
Contact Information:; 915-747-5354
Education: BS, University of Idaho; DVM, Washington State University; MS, Texas A&M University; Ph D, Texas A&M University, 2018
Research Interests: conservation, environmental policy, environmental management, wildlife disease, wildlife ecology, upland birds, wildlife management

Craig Tweedie
Contact Information:; 915-747-8448
Education: BS, The University of Queensland; BSc Honors, The University of Queensland; Ph D, The University of Queensland; Postdoc, Michigan State University, 2018
Research Interests: plant ecology, geographic information systems, remote sensing, cyberinfrastructure, minority education, arctic science, desert ecology, biogeochemical cycling, sensors, sensor networks, environmental observatories

Elizabeth Walsh
Contact Information:; 915-747-5421
Education: BS, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Ph D, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018

Jianying Zhang
Contact Information:; 915-747-6995
Education: MD, Zhengzhou University School of medicine (Former Henan Medical University); MPH, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Medicine (Former Xi'an Medical University); Ph D, Xia'men University; POSTD, The Scripps Research Institute, 2018
Research Interests: cancer biomarker development, cancer immunology, cancer epidemiology, cancer biology

Associate Professor

Giulio Francia
Contact Information:; 915-747-8025
Education: BS, University of Bristol; Ph D, ICRF/Kings College London, 2018

Kristine Garza
Contact Information:; 915-747-6562
Education: BS, St. Mary's University; Ph D, University of Virginia, 2018

Eli Greenbaum
Contact Information:; 915-747-5553
Education: High School Diploma, City Honors High School; BS, Binghamton University; MS, University of Louisiana at Monroe; Ph D, University of Kansas, 2018

Kyle Johnson
Contact Information:; 915-747-6889
Education: BS, University of Washington; Ph D, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 2018
Research Interests: Virology, positive-strand RNA viruses, RNA replication, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, mitochondria, mitochondrial dynamics, RNA secondary structure, vaccine development, vector development

Arshad Khan
Contact Information:; 915-747-8436
Education: BS, University of California at Riverside; MS, University of California at Riverside; Ph D, University of California at Riverside, 2018
Research Interests: systems neuroscience, functional neuroanatomy, signal transduction, feeding control systems, glucosensing networks, diabetes, obesity, hypothalamic function, excitatory amino acid neurotransmission, neurochemistry, history of neuroscience, neuroinformatics, computer vision

Manuel Llano
Contact Information:; 915-747-6885
Education: MD, Universidad de La Habana; MS, Universidad de La Habana; Ph D, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2018

Rosa Maldonado
Contact Information:; 915-747-6891
Education: BS, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Ciencias; Ph D, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Institute of Biophysics Carlos Chagas Filho; International Research Fellow, University of Dundee, 2018
Research Interests: Vaccine development for Chagas diease (CD) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), to validate a immune-chemotherapy approach to cure chronic CD, To validadte methionine aminopeptidase as drug target for CD and LC, To validadte PPDK as drug target for CD, Detection of Chagas Disease and identification of the vector triatomine specie in El Paso region/TX .

Luis Martinez
Contact Information:; 915-747-6537
Education: Ph D, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2018

Manuel Miranda
Contact Information:;
Education: MSN, University of Texas at el Paso; DNP, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 2018

Manuel Miranda-Arango
Contact Information:; 915-747-6645
Education: BS, Biology School, at the National University of Mexico (UNAM); MS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Ph D, National University of Mexico (UNAM), 2018

Michael Moody
Contact Information:; 915-747-5087
Education: BA, University of Redlands; BS, University of Arizona; MS, Washington State University; Ph D, University of Connecticut, 2018
Research Interests: Plant Evolution, Plant Systematics, Plant Invasion, Molecular Ecology, Population Genomics, Phylogeography, Australian flora, Chihuahuan Desert Flora

Hugues Ouellet
Contact Information:; 915-747-6607
Education: BS, Laval University; Ph D, Laval University, 2018
Research Interests: Role of cholesterol and nitrogen metabolism for infection and persistence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, hemeproteins, oxidoreductases

Adam Perry
Contact Information:; 915-747-8927
Education: Ph D, University of Illinois, 2018

German Rosas-Acosta
Contact Information:; 915-747-5122
Education: BS, Universidad de los Andes; MS, New York University - NYU Medical Center - Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences; Ph D, New York University - NYU Medical Center - Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, 2018
Research Interests: Virology, influenza, SUMO, Interactions established between viruses and the cellular SUMOylation system, mechanisms regulating global cellular SUMOylation

Charles Spencer
Contact Information:; 915-747-8776
Education: BA, Washington University in St. Louis; Ph D, Saint Louis University, 2018
Research Interests: Immune response to zoonotic, emerging and neglected diseases

Assistant Professor

Anthony Darrouzet-Nardi
Contact Information:; 915-747-6994
Education: BA, University of California, Berkeley; Ph D, University of Colorado, 2018
Research Interests: biogeochemistry, plant physiological ecology, global change biology, soil ecology, nitrogen cycling, scientific visualization

Camilo Khatchikian
Contact Information:; 915-747-8640
Education: Ph D, Clark University, 2018

Philip Lavretsky
Contact Information:; 915-747-6424
Education: BA, University of California-Davis; Ph D, Wright State University, 2018

Vicente Mata-Silva
Contact Information:; 915-747-5959
Education: Ph D, The University of Texas at El Paso, 2018

Jennie McLaren
Contact Information:; 915-747-8903
Education: BS, University of Regina; MS, University of Toronto; Ph D, The University of British Columbia, 2018
Research Interests: Plant community ecology, Ecosystem ecology, Arctic ecology, Litter decomposition, Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, Long-term ecological research

Jeffrey Olimpo
Contact Information:; 915-747-6923
Education: BS, Ursinus College; MA, University of Maryland; MS, University of Maryland; Ph D, University of Maryland, 2018
Research Interests: Cognitive and affective outcomes associated with student engagement in Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs), Undergraduate teaching assistants' development of pedagogical content knowledge and teaching self-efficacy, Quantitative reasoning in the biological sciences

Anita Quintana
Contact Information:; 915-747-8988
Education: BS, New Mexico State University; Ph D, University of New Mexico, 2018
Research Interests: genetics, developmental biology

Jianjun Sun
Contact Information:; 915-747-8905
Education: BS, China Agriculture University; MS, China Agriculture University; Ph D, Medical College of Wisconsin; Postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard Medical School, 2018
Research Interests: My research focuses on how bacterial pathogens cause human diseases. I am particularly interested in understanding the roles of bacterial toxins and other virulent factors in bacterial pathogenesis, and using them as model systems to understand fundamental processes of biological sciences including protein-membrane interaction, protein pore formation and membrane translocation. Current research projects: 1. Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESX-1 secreted proteins 2. Structure and function of the anthrax toxin receptors

Charlotte Vines
Contact Information:; 915-747-8127
Education: Ph D, Harvard University, 2018
Research Interests: G protein-coupled receptors, Chemokines, Cell signaling, T cells, Immune responses, Molecular biology.

Research Assistant Professor

Colin Bill
Contact Information:; 915-747-5589
Education: Ph D, Aston University, 2018

Laura Diaz-Martinez
Contact Information:; 915-747-5676
Education: BS, Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes; Ph D, University of Minnesota, 2018