Biology Faculty

Accelerated Pathway to Earn Both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in
Biology (MS-BS)

Accelerated Pathway to Earn Both Bachelor’s in Biology and Master’s in
Neuroscience (MS-BS)

Read More About the Guidelines for Biology 4 + 1 Programs

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Biology Department Overview

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 Laboratory Science 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.

Graduate Program

View all courses in College Catalog

A representative from the College of Staten Island will be attending events and will be available to meet with you to answer questions about the program. Click here to view a list of events.

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

Biology Department Activities


Research Interest


Dr. Alejandra Alonso

Dr. Alonso investigates neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases using molecular biology techniques to study the effects of pseudo-phosphorylated proteins on cytoskeletal dynamics.


Dr. Cesar Arenas-Mena

Dr. Arenas-Mena focuses on developmental gene regulatory networks in marine invertebrate embryos, transcriptional multipotency mediated by histone variants, and evolution of gene regulation, using molecular biology, microscopy, and bioinformatics.


Dr. Robert Corin

Dr. Corin studies mechanisms of growth regulation in cancer cells, including the role of histone acetylation and mast cell differentiation, and investigates neuro-inflammation in ALS pathology using in vitro and in vivo mouse models.


Dr. Margaret Dooley

Dr. Dooley studies molecular genetics, focusing on plasmid cloning and restriction enzymes. Her work involves understanding plasmids like pBR325 and using them with restriction enzymes for DNA analysis.


Dr. Aris Efting

Dr. Efting investigates the environmental factors leading to freshwater harmful algal blooms, the connection between chronic low-dose exposure to algal toxins and neurodegenerative diseases, and efforts in lake, stream, and forest restoration.


Dr. Michelle Esposito

Dr. Esposito explores the impact of the microbiome on human health and the environment, and the challenges biofilms pose in medical and dental fields.


Dr. Ann Nancy Etsey

Dr. Etsey focuses on diabetes, male reproductive disorders, the role of oxidative stress and antioxidants, cancer research, and medical education research.


Dr. Jimmie Fata

Dr. Fata research focuses on breast cancer and breast biology, focusing on the development and differentiation of the mouse mammary gland and cellular behavior signaling modules. He also studies Phytochemicals and Machine Learning Applications.


Dr. Jianying Gu

Dr. Gu specializes in comparative evolutionary genomics, functional genomics, and the systems biology of infectious diseases, with a focus on malaria.


Dr. Abdeslem El Idrissi

Dr. El Idrissi’s research focuses on the development of the GABAergic system, its link to developmental disorders like fragile X syndrome and autism, and the effects of environmental toxins on neurodevelopment. It also includes studies on the role of taurine in the brain and other organs.


Dr. William L'Amoreaux

Dr. L’Amoreaux works in the fields of cell biology, microscopy, and neurobiology.


Dr. Nancy Liu-Sullivan

Dr. Liu-Sullivan identifies cytokine genes from cancer-associated fibroblasts that influence breast cancer cell proliferation and migration and utilizes 3D tumor-stromal co-culture model systems and RNAi screening.


Dr. Lisa Manne

Dr. Manne studies biogeography and conservation, with a focus on testing models of abundance across large geographic areas for bird and plant species.


Dr. Shaibal Mitra

Dr. Mitra studies avian ecology, evolution, and conservation, with a specific interest in migration, host-parasite interactions, and mating systems.


Prof. Adrienne Paez

Prof. Paez’s research is centered on Medical Laboratory Sciences and Microbiology.


Dr. Faiza Peetz

Dr. Peetz’s research encompasses gut-brain axis research, the study of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties, cancer research, and metagenomics.


Dr. Greg Phillips

Dr. Phillips focuses on the role of cell adhesion molecules in neurodevelopment, particularly the function of clustered proto-cadherins in mediating dendritic and synaptic cell adhesion.


Dr. Chang-Hui Shen

Dr. Shen investigates the mechanism of gene expression, including the role of chromatin structure in gene activation and functional analysis of chromatin remodeling complexes.


Dr. Shiryn Sukhram

Dr. Sukhram focuses on public health, examining chronic disease risk factor epidemiology with emphasis on psychosocial risk factors, health-related risk behaviors, and sociodemographic factors.


Dr. Richard Veit

Dr. Veit studies the foraging ecology and behavior of seabirds, especially in the Antarctic, and the conservation, ecology, and behavior of vertebrate animals, primarily in field research.


Dr. William Wallace

Dr. Wallace researches the toxicity of pollutants to aquatic invertebrates, the transfer of pollutants up food chains, and factors influencing metal detoxification.


Prof. Grozdena Yilmaz

Prof. Yilmaz research focuses on health science, physiology, women's health, urology, and the study of electrophysiology and urodynamics.


Dr. Muhammad Zia

Dr. Zia focuses on diabetes and its complications, cardiovascular health and diseases, and medical education research.


Research Opportunities

  1. Serhat Akin (Cesar Arenas-Menas)
  2. Marlen Acosta Alamo (Lisa Manne)
  3. Christine Bruno ( William Wallace)
  4. Samantha Monier (Dick Veit)
  5. Robert Candia (Alejandra Alonso)
  6. Nourel Houda El-Amrani (Chang-Hui Shen)









  • Aly, Ezra


  • Brown, Emmel T.


  • Camillo, Cassandra C.



  • Elassad, Natalie L.


  • Ghigliotti, Lisa M.





Biology Events

Jul 23, 2024 - 3:00pm to Aug 2, 2024 - 1:00pm
Aug 5, 2024 - 3:30pm to Aug 15, 2024 - 6:30pm
Image of a Cell observed at Imaging Facility by a Biochemistry Student

Advanced Imaging Facility

The AIF is a shared core facility under the Division of Science and Technology at CSI that houses advanced imaging systems

Anti-Microbial Agents As Viewed Under a Microscope by Biochemistry Students

CUNY High Performance Computing Center

The HPCC has a central role in the support of initiatives in economic development and provides assistance with sustaining intellectual growth

Health wellness female lab student with laptop image
  • Animal facility
  • Aquarium
  • Green house

Other programs you may be interested in

Biological and Chemical Sciences Building
Willowbrook Campus

Biology Department Contact

Dr. Chang-Hui Shen

Chairperson and Professor

Email Dr. Chang-Hui Shen

Josephine Caputo

Administrative Assistant

Email Josephine Caputo

Deputy Chair

Biology PhD Program

Biochemistry PhD Program

MS in Biology / Biotechnology Coordinator

MS in Neuroscience and Developmental Biology Coordinator

Medical Laboratory Science Program

Pre-Professional Preparation in Healthcare