Kelly Collins
  • Kelly Collins
  • Director of Assessment, Program Coordinator for Biology, Associate Professor

  • Email:
  • Phone: 828.898.8796
  • Office: Bowman Building, Office 216
  • Department: Academics


BS, Bethany College
PhD, University of Cincinnati

Common Courses Taught

General Chemistry
Issues in Human Biology
Nutrition Health and Wellness
Skiing and Snowboarding

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

My scientific interests center on molecular biology - specifically protein structure and function. Analyzing protein structure allows us to visualize how proteins interact with other proteins, DNA, RNA, or other macromolecules. This ultimately provides further insight into how different proteins execute their respective functions. My dissertation research focused on understanding how proteins regulate DNA transcription in the context of Notch Signaling - a cell-to-cell signaling pathway that is essential for proper development of multicellular organisms. I am currently finishing up a manuscript from this work. Courses I teach include Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and General Biology for Majors. In all of my courses, we talk about the importance of proteins for basic cell function and physiology as well as how the study of proteins has led to many important scientific advancements in the medical field.  

Institutional Service and Responsibilities

Within the Biology department at Lees-McRae College, I work closely with my fellow professors to insure our students are getting a robust, in-depth scientific education that will prepare our students for their respective careers in scientific research, veterinary medicine, or professional health science degrees. For example, I have developed a rigorous biochemistry lab that mimics an actual scientific laboratory where students have the opportunity to design, perform, and trouble-shoot their own experiments.

I am very active on campus where I serve on many institutional committees, volunteer for student-centered events such as the exam breakfast and Mountain Day, and participate in competitions such as the annual student -faculty volleyball game. I am also active within the High-Country region by setting up networking events with nearby graduate schools and attending local, undergraduate research conferences.

Personal Interests

Although I love to nerd out about science, I have many other passions - one of which is the outdoors. The High Country is a great place for an outdoor enthusiast! I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. I also love to travel and take every chance I get to see new and exciting places, but I love calling the High Country home!