Billy Carver
  • Billy Carver
  • Assistant Professor, Dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

  • Email:
  • Phone: 828.898.3542
  • Office: Bowman Building, Office S106A
  • Department: Academics


PhD, Vanderbilt University
BS, University of Tennessee

Common Courses Taught

Introduction to Biology for Majors
Cell Biology
Micro and Immunology
Developmental Biology

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

I earned my PhD in cell and developmental biology studying the mechanisms that govern lung development. Understanding the process and timing of lung formation is incredibly important because infants that are born prematurely most frequently suffer complications associated with poor lung development. My studies helped determine how cells in the growing pulmonary tree decide to branch (expanding the surface area available for gas exchange) or to remain undifferentiated. Future studies could very well develop into methods to encourage lung cells to mature, helping premature babies to survive and thrive after delivery.

Since earning my PhD, I have worked with Dr. Todd Reynolds at the University of Tennessee to investigate how the immune system interacts with pathogenic yeasts, especially Candida albicans. In collaboration with his lab, I helped develop a system to quantify how easily the immune system recognizes key molecules on the surface of the fungal cell walls. Our hope is that these studies will allow for the development of better antifungal drugs or adjuvant drugs that will better treat life-threatening fungal diseases.

Institutional Service and Responsibilities

I serve as dean of the school of natural and behavioral sciences (NBS) at Lees-McRae College. In that capacity I help organize course offerings, faculty development, and the overall missions of our programs in the life sciences and social sciences.

I also serve as program coordinator for the biology program, and work closely with my biologist colleagues to constantly improve and modernize the courses we offer in those programs. 

Personal Interests

I have a red-eared slider turtle named Stevie Nicks... if you come by my office you can hang out with her.