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Stephanie T. Dance-Barnes

Position: Co-Chair, Associate Professor Department: Biological Sciences

Contact Info

Office: Phone: 336-750-3237


Dr. Stephanie Dance-Barnes received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Pre-Medicine at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in 1997. While at ECSU she was an active member of the honors program and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She then went on to complete her Masters in Biology at North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University in 2001, while simultaneously working as a senior research laboratory technician/manager in the Departments of Comparative Medicine and Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She later in 2007 became the first African American female to receive her PhD from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the area of Cancer Biology and Toxicology. During her graduate studies Dr. Dance-Barnes received numerous research, abstract, platform talk, travel, and scholar awards from organizations such as American Association of Cancer Research, Society of Toxicology, and Genetic Environmental Mutagenesis Society. She also received research funding and fellowships from the National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the American Foundation for Aging Research, for her work dealing with lung tumor initiation, promotion, and progression in mouse models.

During the 2006-2007 academic year, she was also awarded the Lucinda Robbins Fellowship from Wake Forest University (WFU) Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in recognition of outstanding academic and research expertise, demonstrated leadership, outstanding interpersonal skills, and commitment to the ideals of excellence in academic research. Only one award per year is given to a single student across all of the biomedical programs at WFU. She then went on to complete her Post-Doctoral work as a research associate in the prestigious laboratory of Dr. Charles Perou of the University North Carolina Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC). It has always been Dr. Dance-Barnes’ desire to return to a historically black college/university similar to her alma mater ECSU in order to pass own her knowledge and expertise in which she has accumulated over her years of study and work, just as it was afforded to her.

Dr. Dance-Barnes is now presently an Associate Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). Since being at WSSU she has been awarded numerous professional and teaching awards for her innovative strategies in the classroom, as well as serving as the Department of Life Sciences Biology Co-coordinator, facilitator of numerous Project Strengthen activities, the University’s General Education Information Literacy Co-Chair, and an active member of the STEM board.

Educational Background

  • PhD, Cancer Biology/Toxicology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • MS, Biology, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • BS, Biology/Pre-Medicine, Elizabeth City State University

Research and Project Interests

  • Research focus is the characterization of the biological diversity of tumors, specifically breast, using genomics, molecular genetics, and cell biology, in order to develop improved and more targeted therapies that are specific for each tumor subtype.