Rachel Hopp, PhD

Rachel Hopp


Office Address: SCI S226
Phone: (281) 649-3193

Professor of Biology
Academic SACSCOC Officer


  • BS in Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
  • PhD in Cellular and Structural Biology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Courses Taught

  • General Biology I & II
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • General Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Senior Seminar: Research in Biology
  • Capstone: Integrating Biological Concepts (Team Taught by the Department)

Teaching Focus

Currently, Dr. Hopp teaches freshman level Biology courses and upper level courses in Physiology and Neuroscience.

Awards and Honors

Dr. Hopp is a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS). Dr. Hopp published an article, “A Success Story: Chemistry before Anatomy & Physiology I” in the Fall 2009 HAPS Educator.  She also presented at the 2006 National HAPS Conference. She has been recognized by Who's Who Among America's Teachers (2003-07 editions). Dr. Hopp was nominated for HBU’s Opal Goolsby Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008.  She received HBU’s Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award in 2010.  Dr. Hopp served as HBU’s nominee for the Piper Professor Award in 2011. The Piper Professor Award is an annual statewide competition in which each university has the opportunity to nominate one professor.

Additional Information

Dr. Hopp's background is in Molecular and Cellular Biology in the area of Programmed Cell Death. She has previously done research on the molecular mechanisms regulating cell death in the retina using transgenic mouse models.  More recently Dr. Hopp has conducted research with her HBU students using the microscopic roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. The students use bioinformatics tools and molecular biology techniques to generate RNAi feeding vectors for C. elegans. With these methods the students are able to target and study the function of specific genes.  For example the students have targeted genes for muscle regulation, diabetes, lipid metabolism, Parkinson’s disease, and dermal tissue formation. The students present their research findings at HBU’s Annual Celebration of Scholarship Symposium. Also, Dr. Hopp presented this research “An Animal Model for Muscular Dystrophy” at HBU’s Annual Faculty Research Symposium, April 2010).
Dr. Hopp serves as chair of the Honors in Biology Program. This competitive program provides qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to complete a rigorous independent research project. Information sessions for the Honors in Biology Program are offered every semester. Please e-mail Dr. Hopp for more details.

Dr. Hopp is the faculty sponsor for the Pre-Dental Society (PDS). The PDS participates in the Texas Mission of Mercy, Star of the South Dental Conference, and hosts speakers and events related to dentistry. 

On several occasions Dr. Hopp has supported HBU’s recruitment and new student orientation activities. She has been a lecturer for “Experience HBU”, an event for prospective students. Dr. Hopp has also been a faculty advisor for new HBU students during Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR). 

Dr. Hopp serves as Chair of the College Science and Mathematics' (CoSM) Electronic Communications Committee and as the CoSM webmaster. She also is a member of the CoSM Curriculum, Faculty Council, and Budget Committees. Additionally, Dr. Hopp serves as HBU’s SACS Academic Assessment Officer.