Lauren Wills

Associate Professor of Biology
Lightsey Chapel
P843-863-7383 /

Dr. Lauren Wills is an Assistant Professor of Biology at CSU. She teaches courses in General Biology, Environmental Policy and Law, Environmental Toxicology, and the accompanying labs. Wills earned a Doctor of Philosophy in environmental science and a certificate in toxicology from Duke University. After completing her dissertation, she worked as a Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual National Research Service Award Postdoctoral researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina, and as a research specialist for MitoHealth, Inc. As an industry and an academic researcher, Wills developed a high-throughput respirometric assay to measure mitochondrial function, and successfully completed multiple high-throughput screens that identified novel mitochondrial toxicants as well as potential therapeutics.

Wills’ research interests as a toxicologist overlap between environmental and human health. The misuse of the earth’s resources in agriculture, industrial production, energy consumption, and waste disposal has resulted in alterations in global chemical distributions, and exposure of human populations to dangerous concentrations of both manmade and natural compounds. These exposures can have severe consequences on human health, including cancer, developmental delays, problems in reproduction, failure of the major organ systems, and death. In the words of Rachel Carson, the most basic of human rights is the “right of the citizen to be secure in his own home against the intrusion of poisons applied by other persons.”

One of the goals of CSU is to integrate faith in learning. To that end, Wills is examining how communities of faith address environmental stewardship and creation care. Many scriptures state that Christians have a biblical mandate to protect the environment. In Genesis 1:28 God commanded Adam to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Psalm 24:1 states that “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Christians have a biblical mandate to care for creation; which includes the health of their neighbors. Wills is deeply committed to researching new methods of engaging communities about the intersections between faith, health, and the environment.

Your Purpose. Our Mission.

I encourage class discussion during lecture to provide students an opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives on multiple subjects such as cancer, genetics, pollutant exposure, conservation, and environmental stewardship. When students are given an opportunity to freely communicate and ask questions, they are better able to relate to material and retain the information.

Dr. Lauren Wills