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
Research Interests: Cancer Research, Immunology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, see homepage for details.

Bruce Cushing
Contact Information:; 915-747-5844
Education: Ph D, Michigan State University
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

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

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

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

June Kan-Mitchell
Contact Information:; 915-747-5581
Education: BA, Smith College; Ph D, Yale University
Research Interests: human T cell immune responses to infections and cancers, vaccine development

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

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

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

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
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
Research Interests: plant ecology, geographic information systems, remote sensing, cyberinfrastructure, minority education, arctic science, desert ecology, biogeochemical cycling, sensors, sensor networks, environmental observatories

Associate Professors

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

Kristin Gosselink
Contact Information:; 915-747-6877
Education: BA, Luther College; MS, University of California at Los Angeles; Ph D, University of California at Los Angeles; Postdoc, Salk Institute
Research Interests: Depression, addiction, diabetes, cognitive decline, neurodegeneration, stroke, prostate cancer, sex and age differences, SoTL

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

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
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

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
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

Manuel Llano
Contact Information:; 915-747-6885
Education: M.D., Universidad de La Habana, Cuba; MS, Universidad de La Habana, Cuba; Ph D, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

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
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

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

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

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
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
Research Interests: Role of cholesterol and nitrogen metabolism for infection and persistence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, hemeproteins, oxidoreductases

Adam Perry
Contact Information:

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
Research Interests: Virology, influenza, SUMO, Interactions established between viruses and the cellular SUMOylation system, mechanisms regulating global cellular SUMOylation

Assistant Professors

Anthony Darrouzet-Nardi
Contact Information:; 915-747-6994
Education: BA, University of California, Berkeley; Ph D, University of Colorado

Karine Fenelon
Contact Information:; 915-747-8757
Education: Ph D, Universite de Montreal
Research Interests: Electrophysiology, optogenetics, synaptic connections, intrinsic properties, neuropsychiatric diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, anxiety, attention-deficits

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

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

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

Jennie McLaren
Contact Information:; 915-747-8903
Education: BS, University of Regina; MS, University of Toronto; Ph D, The University of British Columbia
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
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
Research Interests: genetics, developmental biology

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

Jianjun Sun
Contact Information:; 915-747-8905
Education: BS, China Agriculture University; MS, China Agriculture University; Ph D, Medical College of Wisconsin; Postdoctoral fellowship, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School
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
Research Interests: G protein-coupled receptors, Chemokines, Cell signaling, T cells, Immune responses, Molecular biology.

Adjunct Professor

Michael Kolitsky
Contact Information:; 609-399-2431
Education: Ph D, Temple University
Research Interests: I am interested in expanding tactile learning opportunities especially for students who are blind or visually impaired or are kinesthetic learners who learn better when they can touch what they learn.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Murilo Bueno
Contact Information:
Education: Ph D, University of Texas at El Paso

Christina D'Arcy
Contact Information:
Education: BS, University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, University of Texas at El Paso

Trevor Duarte
Contact Information:; 915-747-6504
Education: Ph D, University of Texas at El Paso

Armando Estrada
Contact Information:

Adelina Holguin
Contact Information:; 915-747-8825
Education: BS, University of Texas at El Paso; MA, University of Colorado, Boulder; Ph D, University of Colorado, Boulder; Ph D, University of Colorado, Boulder

Lynnsay Marsan
Contact Information:
Education: Ph D, Penn State University College of Medicine
Research Interests: Active learning, Mentoring, Science Education, Neuroscience of learning, Cultural competency, Scientific identity, Scientific literacy

Research Assistant

Atasi Chatterjee
Contact Information:
Education: Ph D, Jadavpur University

Research Assistant Professors

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

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

Nathan VerBerkmoes
Contact Information:
Education: Ph D, The University of Tennessee Knoxville

Research Associate Professors

Sukla Roychowdhury
Contact Information:; 915-747-5943
Education: Ph D, University of Calcutta

Gudmundur Thordarson
Contact Information:; 915-747-8927
Education: Ph D, University of Reading