Department overview

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As a department, our mission is founded on the premise that excellence in teaching and excellence in research complement each other. We have an exciting diverse faculty whose expertise encompasses Biology as a whole and it is our aim to be able to provide our students with training in all major sub-disciplines of Biology. We encourage students to participate in faculty directed research through independent study, often leading to a co-authored publication. We recognize that a large number of our students enter professional programs (Medical Technology and Nursing) or pursue professional degrees (MD, DDS, DPM and DPT etc.) as well as entering CSI graduate programs (Masters degree) in Biology, Neuroscience and Environmental Science and the CUNY Ph.D. program. Many of our faculty hold Dual appointments with the Graduate Center.

In conjunction with the mission of the college, the Biology Department embraces the strength of our diversity, fosters civic mindedness and nurtures responsible citizens for city, country and the world.

View all courses here

Programs in this department

Study of the biological sciences is a major requirement for students who wish to specialize in such fields as plant or animal research, and for students who plan to enter various health professions, such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, medical technology, physician assistant, and physical therapy. The Department offers a varied and balanced program for biology and health profession majors, and three options in the BS degree program in Biology: Biology major, biology/adolescence education, and bioinformatics.

Summer 2019 Research Minicourses in Cell/Molecular Biology or Metagenomics  

GET A HEAD START ON YOUR PATH TO A CAREER IN BIOLOGY AND THE HEALTH SCIENCES with this invitation to participate in a Research Minicourse in Cell/Molecular Biology, Physiology, and Microscopy OR a Minicourse in Metagenomics at CSI/CUNY.

What You Will Learn: 

Cell/Molecular Biology

This unique pre-college summer research program provides students with the rare opportunity to learn about pre-medical education and explore different aspects of life as a researcher. Students will learn the newest developments in molecular cell biology, microscopy, human anatomy and medical terminology, as well as physiological mechanisms at the molecular and cellular level. Practical activities include preparing plasmid DNA, introducing the DNA into eukaryotic cells, and analyzing expression via confocal microscopy and immunostaining on the cells. In addition, students will perform frog dissection and use the Biopac Student Lab system to record data from their own bodies, animals, and prepared tissue samples. Tutorials will accompany the laboratory activities. 


  • Grozdena Yilmaz, MPAS, PA-C; Full-time Biology Faculty and Chair of Pre-Health Committee
  • Greg R. Phillips, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Deputy Chair, Department of Biology; Center for Developmental Neuroscience,  CUNY Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Biology
  • Chang-Hui Shen, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Biology Department; CUNY Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Biology; Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, CUNY


The exciting, new biological field of “Metagenomics” is the study of genetic material (DNA) and gene sequencing of material recovered from the environment (soil, seawater, and desert) and human body without culturing microbes (microscopic organisms) in the laboratory. Metagenomics is used to understand the evolution and metabolism of the microbes present in an ecological niche as well as to investigate the interplay between microbes. In the coming years scientists expect exciting and major breakthroughs in the field of metagenomics and its applications.

This is a great opportunity to become part of a growing field!


  • Chang-Hui Shen, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Biology Department; CUNY Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Biology; Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, CUNY
  • Faiza Peetz, MD, Assistant Professor in Biology


  • Attend(ed) an accredited high school.
  • Meet minimum academic standards (85.00 Grade Point Average, or higher, unweighted).
  • Completed one year of high school Biology.

Size of Program:

  • 20 seats available in both programs. 
  • Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
  • Students who attend a Biology/MDT Infosesssion and Lab Tour will be given special consideration. 
  • Accepted participants are expected to promptly respond to our offer.

Cost: Cell/Molecular Biology Minicourse: $300.00, to cover materials, payable by check to College of Staten Island Biology Department.
The Minicourse in Metagenomics is free of charge during its inaugural year.

Stay at Dolphin Cove, Our High-End Residence Halls:
Participants will have the opportunity/option of living on campus (for any part or all of the workshop), at a cost of $65 per day/night.

Dates/When: Cell/Molecular Biology Minicourse : June 17 ─ 28, 2019, M ─ F 3:30pm ─ 6:30pm
Minicourse in Metagenomics: July 8 ─ 18, M ─ Th, 3:00 – 6:00pm. 1 hour lecture, 2-hour lab.

For any questions regarding the 2019 research minicourse program in Cell/Molecular Biology, Physiology, and Microscopy, please contact: 

Apply Online: 

Please submit the application by Friday, May 24, 2019:  (Please scroll down to bottom of page to find the information on the minicourse).

The Department of Biology at the College of Staten Island offers graduate degrees in Biology.  The degrees are designed to provide research training in a variety of disciplines in biology, as well as prepare secondary education teachers with coursework and projects to prepare the scientists of the future.


PhD Programs


Pre-Medical and Pre-Professions Preparation

Full Time Faculty


  • Caputo, Josephine
  • Heron, Cecilia

College Laboratory Technicians

  • Brown, Emmel T.
  • Camillo, Cassandra C.
  • D'aversa, Ileana
  • Elassad, Natalie L.
  • Ghigliotti, Lisa M.
  • Keating, Kinnea

Department Facilities

Other programs you may be interested in

Biological and Chemical Sciences
Willowbrook Campus

Department Contact

Chang-Hui Shen, PhD
Chairperson and Professor
Phone : 718.982.3998
Contact Via Email
Contact Information: Biology PhD Program
Dr. Lisa Manne
Phone : 718.982.3855
Contact Via Email
Contact Information: Biochemistry PhD Program
Dr. Krishnaswami Raja
Phone : 718.982.4091
Contact Via Email
Contact Information:Deputy Chair
Shaibal Mitra, Phd
Phone : 718.982.3858
Contact Via Email
Contact Information: MS in Biology / Biotechnology Coordinator
Jianying Gu, PhD
Phone : 718.982.4123
Contact Via Email
Contact Information: Pre-Professional Preparation in Medicine
Grozdena Yilmaz
Phone : 718.982.3831
Contact Via Email