Associate Professor of Biology


BA, Illinois Wesleyan University; PhD, Loyola University of Chicago

Beth Hussa’s main interests, both in teaching and research, involve the most diverse organisms on the planet: the microbes. More specifically, she is focused on the way microbes interact with a wide variety of other organisms, ranging from microscopic worms (called nematodes) to humans. There are a multitude of fascinating scientific questions to ask regarding these relationships. Are the microbes beneficial or harmful? What do the microbes do differently in each case? What does the microbe need to do to maintain these relationships, and how are these factors regulated?

Beth’s passion for teaching arose from the multitude of mentoring opportunities she experienced throughout her own education. She came to realize that there is nothing more satisfying than inspiring students to embrace and explore the wonders of the natural world. Her students get to learn science as science is done: through synthesis and application of concepts both in lecture and laboratory settings.

“If you haven’t guessed, I teach classes about medicine, culture (including classes on the History of Black Markets, of Political Scandals, and of New Orleans), and the French-speaking world. I also teach classes in women’s and gender history.

“When I’m not working, you may find me swimming or paddling a kayak somewhere. I love traveling, and would like to help you do that, too. I also direct an internship at the NIH for history students. If you’re interested in history, shoot me an email and let’s talk.”