Denise Smith

Denise Smith

Denise Smith

Title: Instructor
Office Location: Price Hall Room 223
Phone: (269) 471-3242


BS Biology, Andrews University
MS Biology, Andrews University
PhD Biology, Western Michigan University


My fascination with biology began in early childhood when I would dissect every dead animal that I found.  That fascination with living organisms has continued throughout my life.  My academic career is a very non-traditional one.  I graduated from high school trained as a Respiratory Therapist and worked as one for 11 years in several different hospitals in the Midwest.  I spent many years working in a newborn intensive care unit.  I returned to the academic world at 27 and received my undergraduate degree from Andrews University as well as a Master’s degree.  I worked with Dr. Jim Hayward on a taphonomy project.  I earned my Ph.D. from Western Michigan University working in the lab of Dr. Bruce Bejcek.  My research was centered on cell signaling and gene regulation in the brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme.  I then spent four years at the University of Notre Dame studying the physiology of atherosclerosis.  From my very first undergraduate class, it has always been my goal to return to Andrews University and the department of biology.  

Current Research or Professional Activities

I am currently investigating the role of the oncogene Her2/Neu (erbb2) in breast cancer as well as the role of the transcription factor Nuclear-Factor kappa B (N-FkB) has in cancer when Her2/Neu is inappropriately expressed. I am also working in collaboration with Dr. Desmond Murray in chemistry screening biological molecules that he is creating for anti-cancer properties in breast cancer.