Real-world Experience, Hands-on Training
two students Experimenting

The Franciscan Institute for Science and Health (FISH) is an initiative of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a mission to provide real-world experience and hands-on training to every Franciscan undergraduate science major and Engineering Dual-Degree student.

This exciting initiative stems from our desire to more fully prepare our science and engineering students. FISH takes them beyond the educational basics of a traditional college education to a more complete understanding of future career choices and opportunities based on personal experience. This initiative provides a unique educational experience and differentiates our graduates as they head out into the world.

FISH, an institute of Franciscan University launched in the Spring 2013, a not for profit organization, is designed to seek out, to develop, to promote, and to financially help sustain undergraduate internship, research, and professional educational opportunities. The organization is co-directed by Dr. Daniel Kuebler and Dr. Jeffrey J. Rohde and is modeled after the Franciscan Institute for World Health but with a broader mission and scope. FISH is designed to support advanced, undergraduate, educational experiences for Franciscan students across all of the sciences and engineering programs.

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

Explore FISH


student doing research in the chemistry lab

Regenerative Medicine

Student smiling for the camera while working in the science lab


student looking through microscope
Passionate About Research

Whether you’re a biology major who aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon, an engineering student eager to lead innovative national defense projects, or a biopsychology major who plans to advance pro-life policies through in-depth, peer-reviewed studies, Franciscan offers hands-on research opportunities for every science student.

With numerous on-campus, faculty-led research projects and off-campus summer internships, you’ll have a wealth of opportunities and locations to choose from, and professionals to work with, as you develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to uncover new and more effective means of treating disease, understanding addictions, healing the environment, and more!

And, at Franciscan, research is not just reserved for a select few. In fact, nearly 70 percent of Franciscan undergraduate science students participate in scientific research—an essential prerequisite for getting into and excelling in graduate school, medical school, and the scientific workforce.

Recent Off-Campus Internships
  • National Institutes for Health: Washington, D.C.
  • AbbVie Pharmaceutical: Chicago, Illinois
  • AVM Biotechnology: Seattle, Washington
  • Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Duquesne University Computational Chemistry: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Cornell University Engineering: Ithaca, NY
Graduate-Level Research Opportunities
Faculty Mentorship: Doing, Designing, Discovering

At Franciscan, your research experience will be mentored directly by a faculty member. That means you won’t just be getting your hands wet in the lab, but you’ll also get direct guidance in presenting scientific discoveries through local and national scientific conferences—experiences that will help you make professional and academic connections that will last a lifetime.

  • Bioactivity of placental tissues and their efficacy in wound healing
  • Behavioral effects of abortions in rat models
  • The adhesion and migration of adult mesenchymal stem cells
  • The use of mesenchymal stem cell to treat orthopedic injuries
  • Bandages coated in stems cells for wound site healing
  • Synthesis and screening of small molecules for neglected disease treatment
  • Examination of the role of the immune response in cancer
  • Antimicrobial properties of essential oils
  • Neural pattern recognition and visual information processing
  • Process chemistry optimization of development compounds
  • Bioinformatics
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. Whether it’s extracting adult stem cells in our on-campus labs or interning for leading biotech companies committed to ethical pro-life research practices, you’ll come to understand your role as a scientist in a deeper, more profound way.

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. Daniel Kuebler
Dr. Kuebler

Professor and Chair, Biology Department

Co-Director, FISH

View Dr. Keubler’s faculty page

Dr. Daniel Kuebler, professor of Biology, chair of the Department of Biology, and co-director of FISH, has spearheaded the new Regenerative Medicine program at Franciscan. With a PhD in molecular and cell biology, he mentors students every semester wishing to do research in the field of Regenerative Medicine, researching the potential uses of human adipose tissue to harvest adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis. Dr. Kuebler is also conducting research with seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

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. Stephen Sammut

Dr. Stephen Sammut


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Dr. Mark Watry

Dr. Mark Watry

Associate Professor

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Dr. Jeffrey Rohde

Dr. Jeffrey Rohde


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Dr. Pathakamuri

Dr. Joseph Pathakamuri


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Dr. Doroski

Dr. Derek Doroski

Associate Professor

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2 student working with chemical in science lab

Dr. Dan Kuebler


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Dr. Kyle Mckenna

Dr. Kyle McKenna


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Spotlight on Regenerative Medicine

Stem cells hold almost unlimited potential to help the human body heal itself. Yet, the possibility of using embryonic stem cells for research posed a serious ethical concern for anyone concerned with safeguarding human life.

Thanks to the tireless work of many scientists and physicians, the use of adult stem cells has turned out to be a much more viable and attractive option in which to treat disease. Today, Franciscan University undergrad researchers continue to advance the viable medical use of adult stem cells, partnering with regenerative medicine doctors from around the country to test the efficacy of stem cell extractment techniques and equipment. Through their analysis, they’re able to advise medical professionals on the best ways to introduce stem cells into patients’ bodies, helping people live fuller, more active lives.

Preparing You for Grad School and Beyond

In recent years, our graduates have:

Attended medical school at Georgetown University, the University of Chicago, Ohio University, St. Louis University, Temple University, and University of Indiana Begun PhD programs at MIT, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, and University of Colorado at Boulder Completed master’s programs at the University of Notre Dame and Columbia University Taught at Catholic and public high schools Entered doctor of physical therapy programs at St. Francis University and Ohio University Entered master’s in occupational therapy programs at Ohio University, Thomas Jefferson University, and St. Francis University Completed physician assistant programs at Dartmouth College, Wayne State University, and Seton Hill University Attended veterinary school at The Ohio State University Attended optometry school at Indiana University and New England College of Optometry Worked as research assistants at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Colorado

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.