Department of Biology

College of Science and Mathematics


Department of Biology
College of Science and Mathematics
Houston Baptist University
7502 Fondren Road
Houston TX 77074-3298
Jackie P. Horn, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Biology

Campus address: S223

Phone (281) 649-3497

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Department of Biology Faculty:

Jacqueline Peltier Horn, PhD
Chair, Department of Biology; Professor of Biology; Athletics Certification Officer; Program Coordinator, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Composite Science Major (4-8) and (7-12), and Life Science (7-12)
Avin Brownlee, PhD
Professor of Biology
Brenda Whaley, PhD
Professor of Biology; Administrative SACSCOC Officer; Program Coordinator, Life Science Major (7-12)
Curtis Henderson, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology
Hannah Wingate, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology
Lisa Ellis, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Kari Savannah, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Agnieszka Czopik, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology

(L to R) Brownlee, Horn, Ellis, Czopik, Savannah, Henderson, Wingate, Whaley

A Higher Education in Biology

The Department of Biology offers majors in Biology and Biochemistry-Molecular Biology (BCMB). Students may also choose a minor in Biology or choose to work on the requirements for HBU’s pre-professional programs in pre-medicine and pre-dentistry. Our department also offers course work that supports Houston Baptist University’s nursing program as well as the pre-pharmacy, pre-optometry, pre-physical therapy, and pre-physician’s assistant programs.

The faculty members of the Biology Department (pictured above, Don't they look happy?) have all earned Ph.D.s in different areas of biology.  So, lecture and lab courses are taught by experts in biology who enjoy teaching and helping students learn. HBU’s small classes facilitate mentoring by beginning a rapport during the course with the students that continues later outside of the classroom.

Curricula Offered by the Biology Department:

Houston Baptist University has an established history of a successful pre-med program, while remaining strong in the general biology field.

Biology majors take a core of biology classes, but also choose upper level courses from a variety of electives. The Biology Core consists of General Biology I and II, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Research in Biology, and Integrating the Biological Concepts, a class designed to ensure that you graduate with a cohesive and broad understanding of the field of biology.

The biology electives include a wide variety of courses in rapidly-expanding areas, including endocrinology, neuroscience, pharmacology, advanced cellular biology, virology, immunology, and even tissue engineering.

A Cain Foundation Grant of $250,000 has helped to fund laboratories for the expanding biology curriculum. The new equipment allows the biology teaching labs to include molecular biology methodologies in the curriculum such as gel electrophoresis, chromatography, spectophotometry, and PCR technology.

The Biology department also offers a Biochemistry-Molecular Biology (or BCMB) major. This major incorporates the pre-requisite training needed for you to compete for spaces in medical school, dental school, and graduate programs in the biological sciences. In addition, students may seek entry-level employment in biomedical research at academic institutions and in the biotechnology industry.

BCMB students are encouraged to apply for summer positions in research institutions. Numerous students from the Houston Baptist University College of Science and Mathematics have been accepted into summer research programs at University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Houston, and Rice University.

In addition to our pre-med, general biology, and BCMB programs, HBU trains a number of science education majors each year. The Biology department contributes to the Composite Science major to meet the increasing demand in Texas for science teachers who are trained to teach multiple sciences. The Biology department offers Composite Science major for both middle school and secondary school teachers. These majors prepare education majors to teach physics, chemistry, and biology at the middle or secondary school level.

Student Research and Involvement:

We in the Biology Department feel that learning through research is an outstanding tool to develop scientific minds.  All Biology and BCMB majors will participate in undergraduate research in their Microbiology and Research in Biology classes that are required for the majors.

We offer an Honors in Biology or Honors in BCMB designation for majors. This involves the completion of a major independent research project conducted over multiple semesters under the guidance of the Biology faculty. Contact Dr. Jackie Horn ( for more information.

There are also active student groups for you to join.

The Biology Club provides the opportunity for all biology students to come together and participate in research, community service, and other biologically relevant activities, such as field trips.

The Biology Club is run by the members of the Biological Honor Society, TriBeta.  Members of TriBeta have the opportunity to compete for scholarships, perform research and have their research published as an abstract that is presented at an annual convention.  Contact Dr. Hannah Wingate ( for more information.

Because the city of Houston offers a unique research environment, we have made short field trips to explore the Houston Medical Center and to attend talks given by Nobel Prize-winning scientists.

Life Here:

In order to be a true community, the Biology Department embraces a spirit of collegiality among its faculty and students.

We have celebrations throughout the year to celebrate holidays and important Biology events like National DNA Day or Arbor Day.

We also host friendly competitions so that the students may learn to work as a team.

You are always welcome in our Cullen Science Center and we have made every effort to provide the students with amenities to help them feel at home.  The lounges, located in areas surrounded by faculty offices, are routinely filled with students laughing, talking and studying. 
We know our students and they know their teachers.

Get to know us better on our HBU Biology Facebook page

We can't wait to work and learn with you at HBU. Read more about our majors (Biology or Biochemistry-Molecular Biology) to see which is right for you, and then please apply.