• Lee University

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    Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  •  Biology/ Health Science Faculty



    Dr. Ben Christmann received his PhD
    in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from St. Louis University in
    2009. He joined the Lee University Faculty in 2013 as an Assistant
    Professor of Biology and teaches Microbiology and Immunology.
    Before coming to Lee, Dr. Christmann taught at the University of
    Alabama at Birmingham and worked for the Centers for Disease
    Control and Prevention as a research technician in the respiratory
    disease branch. Dr. Christmann has been published in both the
    Journal of Immunology and the American Journal of

    Dr. Jonathan Cornett received his
    PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University. He is
    an Assistant Professor of Biology and teaches Genetics, Cancer and
    AIDS, Science and Scripture, and Physical Chemistry Research. Dr.
    Cornett served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughs Medical
    Institute at Yale University School of Medicine. During this time,
    Dr. Cornett and his colleagues developed methods for transgenic
    studies and forward genetic screens in mammalian model systems. Dr.
    Cornett is an active member of the Lee community and serves as an
    advisor for the Biology Club Beta Beta Beta.


    Dr. Michael Freake is an Associate
    Professor of Biology. He received his Ph.D. from Flinders
    University of South Australia on lizard homing behavior and
    continued his research on animal navigation in as a post-doctoral
    research fellow at Indiana University. His research has been
    published in Animal Behaviour, Journal of Experimental
    , and Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.
    His current research focuses on eastern hellbenders (giant
    salamanders) and the potential role of pesticides in amphibian
    declines. This is conducted in collaboration with the Great Smoky
    Mountains Institute at Tremont, the National Park Service, and the
    Cherokee National Forest Service. Freake teaches biology courses
    including Environmental Science, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology.
    He sponsors the Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society and
    the Lee University Rugby Club.

    Dr. John Hisey is an Assistant
    Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences and
    Mathematics. He earned his doctorate from the University of
    Memphis. Before coming to Lee, Hisey taught college courses for 10
    years. Seven of those years were spent in China as professor and
    guest lecturer to several national and provincial institutions.
    Hisey helped to found and direct an internationally staffed system
    of private schools in four Chinese provinces and was area
    coordinator for University Language Services, an organization
    placing instructors on Chinese campuses.


    Dr. Sherry Kasper is an Assistant
    Professor of Biology. She has taught classes such as Principles of
    Biology II, Cell Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology. Dr. Kasper
    also participates in research at the University of Tennessee each
    summer. She takes Lee students with her, providing them an
    opportunity to be involved in research as an undergraduate student,
    which strengthens their candidacy for graduate and medical school
    admissions. She was named by the American Physiological Society as
    the 2006 recipient of the Mead Johnson Award in Endocrinology and
    Metabolism. Dr. Kasper holds a PhD from the Wake Forest University
    School of Medicine.

    Dr. Milton Riley received a PhD in
    Biology from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Riley, a professor of
    biology, customarily teaches a wide range of biology classes,
    including Principles of Biology, Parasitology, Histology, and Human
    Physiology. He served as the department's chair from 1994 to 1996
    and was the recipient of Lee's Excellence in Scholarship Award in
    1996. Riley received the honor of System Educator of the Year
    (1999) for Lee University by the Tennessee Science Teachers
    Association. In 2009, he received the Charles W. Conn Servant
    Leadership Award. He is very active in the medical missions program
    and has helped lead 18 teams to various parts of Central and South
    America. Over the past several years, he has developed skills in
    using a Retinomax 3 autorefractor to evaluate vision needs of
    patients, Using this equipment, he has been able to supply
    eyeglasses for hundreds of underserved people in third world


    Dr. Jeri Veenstra is a Professor of
    Health Science. She holds a DDS degree in dentistry from Creighton
    University. Dr. Veenstra's special academic interests include
    public and international health, medical ethics, and health
    profession's research and education. She has been a trip
    coordinator and practicing dentist for the Summer of Studies in
    Medical Missions Program since its inception.

    Dr. Lori West, an Associate
    Professor of Biology, earned her PhD from the University of
    Tennessee at Knoxville in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular
    Biology department. Following her PhD, she conducted post-doctoral
    research in the nutrition department at the University of North
    Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then returned to the University of
    Tennessee to as a visiting Assistant Professor. Dr. West has taught
    Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biotechnology. She
    sponsors Beta Beta Beta, the biology honor society and has also
    participated in the local Science Olympiad as an event

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    Dr. Robert West, Professor of
    Biology, has taught Animal Biology, Microbiology, Health
    Perspectives: Cancer and AIDS, Medical Terminology, and Entomology.
    West also serves as Coordinator for Biology and Health Sciences.
    Dr. West's greatest intellectual interest remains with