May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Biological Sciences Department

Professor: Fernando Nieto
Associate Professors: Patrick Cadet, William Gillis, Manya Mascareno, Chair
Assistant Professors: Jillian Nissen, Christos Noutsos, Maria Zulema Cabail, Kinning Poon

Laboratory Manager: Eric Doucet
Laboratory Technicians: Jonnine Douglas, John Fan
Lecturers: Patricia Enmore, Coby Klein, Sangeeta Nischal

Mission Statement

The Biological Sciences program of study provides a comprehensive education with the goal of training the next generation of biological researchers, health professionals, educators, and the scientific workforce. At all levels of curriculum from introductory through Senior capstone courses, this program engages students in the creative and investigative process of science and fosters the development of critical and analytical skills. The Department’s teaching philosophy and facilities support a rich educational experience through a commitment to small class sizes, hands-on laboratory experience, engaged faculty that interact actively with students, and abundant opportunities for undergraduate research experiences. The mission of the Biological Sciences Department is to promote diversity among its faculty, staff, and students, with the goal of training a workforce that is representative of the population that it serves. Upon completion of their degree, graduates will have an interdisciplinary training in cell and molecular biology, organismic biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology with a strong background in mathematics, chemistry and physics that will prepare them to solve the major global problems that threaten our local communities, human health, and the planet.

The Biological Sciences program of study leads to either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Biology, or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. This program offers the basic courses for students whose career plans include the biological sciences, pre-medical/pre-health professional training and secondary education (B.S. in Biology), public policy or environmental studies (B.A. in Biology). Students interested in secondary education should refer to the certification requirements in the teacher education program. The department also offers an MAT in Biology. The Biological Sciences offers excellent preparation for professional and research careers concerned with the educational needs of the entire Long Island community.

Liberal Education Curriculum

Students who are not majors in Biological Sciences may select biology to fulfill the science domain in Liberal Education Curriculum. This domain requires students to take at least one laboratory based course. The designated course for this purpose is Biology for Non-Majors (BS 2100 ).

Evening Students

The department currently offers selected lower- division and upper- division required courses in the evening.

Transfer Students

To be accepted in the department, all transfer students must provide a transcript to their advisor before enrolling in any course. Transfer students who will be majoring in Biology must have earned a minimum grade of C in each Basic Biology course in order to register for upper division classes. If students have satisfactorily completed basic and area course requirements elsewhere, they must, in consultation with an advisor, select an appropriate program of study and complete a minimum of 5 upper division electives, which includes at least one course in each of the three required areas of study. (See degree requirements.)

Requirements for Entry into Basic Biology I and II (BS2400-2410)

In order to register for BS 2400  - BS 2410  a student must have completed the following prerequisites: EC II placement and MA 1020 (College Algebra).

Upper Division Requirements

A grade of D may be accepted for graduation in a maximum of two of the courses in a related field. However a grade of C or better is required in both lower and upper division biology courses in order to be credited for graduation. Students should seek advising as soon as they consider majoring in biology. Early advising is especially critical for those planning to progress to graduate or professional schools.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programs

The Biological Sciences Department offers research opportunities for qualified undergraduate students. Students with a strong academic record and an interest in research are encouraged to work with one or more of the biological sciences faculty on selected laboratory projects. The following topics represent the research interest of the Biological Sciences faculty:

Maria Zulema Cabail: Immunometabolism, Cell Signaling, Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Obesity at the Cellular level, Metabolism
Patrick Cadet: Neurobiology, Opioid Neurobiological Mechanisms and Neuroimmunology of invertebrates
William Gillis: Developmental Biology
Manya Mascareno: Cancer Cell Biology, Translational research, Tumor models, Metabolism
Jillian Nissen: Neurobiology, Neuroimmunology, Cancer, Gender Differences in Immune Function
Fernando Nieto: Ecology (Forest Ecology), Microbial Ecology (Microbiome Studies & Phage Biology)
Christos Noutsos: Plant Biology, Plant Ecology, Plant Genomics
Kinning Poon: Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Pathways in Ingestive Behavior, Prenatal Dietary effects on Brain Development, Neuroanatomy and Physiology

Career Opportunities.

The bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences prepares students for employment in a diverse array of fields involving various areas of biology. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science can go on to eventually have careers in research at many levels, i.e. at academic institutions, government agencies or in the private sector. In addition, the Biological Sciences Bachelor’s Degree can lead to jobs in education at the secondary, undergraduate or graduate levels, or in fields as wide ranging as forestry, medical technology, museum curators, marine biology, environmental science, laboratory technicians, the pharmaceutical industry and even biomedical engineering just to name a few.

The bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences also provides excellent training for graduate and professional programs, especially those leading to careers in the Health Professions. Students with these degrees have gone on to careers as Physicians, Dentists, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists. Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Veterinarians, Optometrists, Radiation Technologists, Respiratory Therapists, Cardiovascular Perfusionists, and many other exciting careers in the Health Professions.

Currently, the research programs are supported as follows:

The Old Westbury Neuroscience Research Institute

Director, Patrick Cadet, Ph.D.

The Institute For Cancer Research and Education

Director, Manya Mascareno, Ph.D.

CSTEP Program

Director, Patrick Cadet, Ph.D.

STEP Program

Director, Fernando Nieto, PhD.

Middle Childhood and Adolescence Education Option

Middle childhood and adolescence education degrees are available for students planning a career teaching biology. By completing all requirements listed under Teacher Education in this catalog, students majoring in Biological Sciences satisfy all requirements for New York State initial certification in either middle childhood education (grades 5-9) or adolescence education (grades 7-12). Students must secure an advisor in both Teacher Education and Biological Sciences. (Refer to “Advisement” section under Teacher Education.)


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceMinor