Unite Faith and Reason

Apply Your Knowledge in Real-World Research Experiences

two students Experimenting

The Franciscan Institute for Science and Health (FISH) is an initiative of Franciscan University of Steubenville with the overarching goal of maximizing student learning by providing bonafide research experiences, mentored by faculty of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences, that unite faith and reason.

This exciting initiative provides our graduates not only an applied skill set but also a thorough understanding of the responsibility of the scientist or engineer as a practicing Catholic.  “Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man’s dominion over creation.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2293).  Education and training are guided by stewardship for God’s creation and respect for the dignity of the human person.

Our graduates are distinguished as Catholic scholars of tremendous integrity that become valuable assets to any medical school, graduate school, or business.

Support the research of our students by giving to the FISH Program Fund.

Explore FISH

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Science and Ethics 2024

student looking through microscope


student doing research in the chemistry lab

Franciscan Institute for World Health

teacher and student working in science lab
Graduate-Level Research Opportunities
Passionate about the Sciences
Uniting Faith with Reason

STEM Programs Built on Faith, Ethics, and Excellence

Tired of hearing science and faith are opposed? So are we.

At Franciscan, you don’t have to choose science over faith or faith over science. Rather, through your classes, your professors, and numerous guest lectures by world-renowned speakers and apologists, you’ll discover that science and faith exist in harmony, supporting each other and helping us come to know God and his creation.

You won’t only learn how science and faith work together, you’ll also work one-on-one with faculty and professional researchers on initiatives that respect human life, from conception to natural death.

Faithful Scholars

If your idea of a professor is a disinterested figure who spends all his or her time in a lab, far removed from students, then think again. Our professors aren’t only research scientists—publishing peer-reviewed papers and making important discoveries across multiple disciplines and fields—they’re also committed to helping you succeed in every area of your personal, professional, and spiritual development.

Dr. Kyle McKenna

Professor of Biology

Director, FISH

View Dr. McKenna’s faculty page

Dr. Kyle McKenna, professor of Biology, Director of FISH, received his Ph. D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  His dissertation focused on malaria vaccine development.  He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in ocular immunology focused on immunoregulatory mechanisms within the eye.  His current research includes projects aimed at understanding how ocular tumors evade immune responses, and why antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 fail to resolve infection.  His team of undergraduate researchers recent published a series of articles describing the development and validation of a COVID-19 antibody test that utilized ethically sourced reagents not derived from aborted fetal cell lines.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Rohde
Dr. Rohde

Professor, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering

Co-Director, FISH, and Director, FIWH

View Dr. Rohde’s faculty page

As a Harvard graduate and medicinal chemist for nearly 13 years, Dr. Jeffrey Rohde came to Franciscan to teach Organic Chemistry in 2009. From the start, he had plans and the idea to also accomplish something else: he wanted to pass on his passion for basic research to his students. Today, after successfully launching the Franciscan Institute for World Health in 2010, he has also helped to found the Franciscan Institute for Science and Health with a broader mission and goal to provide similar real-world and hands-on experiences for all Franciscan science majors and Engineering Dual-Degree students.

All Faculty

Dr. Chris Payne

Assistant Professor

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Dr. Stephen Sammut


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Dr. Pathakamuri

Dr. Joseph Pathakamuri


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Dr. Doroski

Dr. Derek Doroski

Associate Professor

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Dr. John Perozich

Dr. John Perozich

Department Chair

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Dr. Dan Kuebler


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Dr. Kyle Mckenna

Dr. Kyle McKenna


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What Students Have Said
Join FISH By Applying to Franciscan Today!
Support Our Important Research

Support the research our students are doing through FISH by giving to the Science Fund.