Lisa Felzien , Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology, Division Chair of Natural, Applied and Quantitative Sciences Biochemistry


Office: St. Ignatius Science Center 220F

Courses: Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology and General Biology I

Research Interests:

My primary research interest is in understanding the development, function, and regulation of the immune system. To pursue this interest, I typically use a biological model, the zebrafish. This model is commonly used to understand complex aspects of cellular and molecular biology due to the genetic and cellular similarities it shares with humans. The zebrafish immune system is similar in composition and function to the human immune system, and researchers can study cellular responses in real time due to the transparent nature of developing zebrafish. The zebrafish model is accessible to undergraduate students, because they can watch development take place through basic microscopy techniques and can utilize ample online resources and databases. My current projects in this area include examining genes that are regulated during development, determining the effects of a stress hormone, cortisol, on development and gene expression, and examining the inflammatory response during tail fin injury. Below are some examples of poster presentations that show my students’ accomplishments.

  1. Findley, J., Sowadski, M., Sheth, J., Felzien, L. The Effect of Resveratrol on Drosophila melanogaster.  National Conference for Undergraduate Research, April 11-13, 2013.
  2. Riepe, J.J., N.R. Wilson, and L.K. Felzien. Effects of Glucocorticoid exposure on the Phenotype and Expression of Genes involved in Innate Immunity in Zebrafish. Missouri Academy of Science meeting, April 15-16, 2010.
  3. Montano M.A., A. Nugent, and L.K. Felzien. Analysis of Conserved Amino Acid Sequences in Zebrafish Progesterone and Growth Hormone Pathways. Missouri Academy of Science meeting, April 15-16, 2010.
  4. Kelli L. Baalman and Lee R. Cavedine (Lisa Felzien), Expression of Genes FAK, ERK2, and SRC during Embryonic Development in Zebrafish. National Conference for Undergraduate Research, 2008. 

My second area of research is focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning. This area of research gives me the opportunity to examine how well my students are learning from my teaching approaches. I am especially interested in assessing learning and retention in my freshman class, general biology I, and determining the impact of integrated research projects on learning my junior/senior level course, molecular biology. Below are selected presentations and publications of my work in this area.

Oral presentations:

  1. Felzien, L. Assessing the impact of integrated research in a molecular biology course. 58th Annual ACUBE meeting, October 17-18, 2014.
  2.  Felzien, L., Wills, C., Evans, E., Scholes, C. Assessment of learning and retention in a first year general biology sequence, 56th Annual ACUBE meeting, Sheboygan, WI, October 19-20, 2012.
  3. Felzien, L.  Integration of zebrafish research projects in an upper level molecular biology course. 51st Annual ACUBE meeting, October 4-7, 2007.


  1. Felzien, L and Salem, L. Development and Assessment of Service Learning Projects in General Biology.  Bioscene 34 (1): 6-12, 2008.
  2. Felzien, LK. and Cooper, JL. Modeling the research process. Journal of College Science Teaching 34 (6): 42-46, 2005.