Outstanding Southeastern Faculty & Staff

Teresa Golden

“In the second grade, our teachers brought us to a swamp and had us take water samples and put it on a microscope slide. When I saw there were little invisible stuff I couldn’t see swimming around in the water, that was pretty much it; I was hooked,” laughed Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and associate professor.

After majoring in biology from the State University of New York at Albany, Golden pursued her masters and eventually her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Rochester. While studying there, she worked in the lab of Dr. Animesh Ray with the goal of investigating the SIN1 gene. It was there she was able to clone the gene, leading her to patent the discovery.

After receiving her doctorate, Golden began her post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Richard Honkanen in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of South Alabama, studying phosphates in the development of cancer in humans.

After nearly seven years working on her post-doctoral work, she decided to pursue a career as a professor, something she had considered for some time. Dr. Golden interviewed at several big medical schools, but ultimately decided Southeastern was where she wanted to be. “I was looking for a teaching school so that wherever I went to teach, it would be valued,” she explained.

Joining Southeastern in 2006, Dr. Golden has become a valuable member of the Southeastern faculty. So much so, in 2011 she received both tenure and a promotion to become the department chair for biological sciences.

The department chair position allows Dr. Golden the opportunity to oversee everyone in the department, instead of focusing solely on the students. “It’s never boring” she said.  “It is always busy and there is so much to do.” In addition to her duties as department chair, she teaches a handful of classes, maintains ongoing research, and is an active member of the community.

Currently, Dr. Golden is continuing her work in the cancer field through a tissue culture lab, looking at genes involved in breast cancer. Her research often provides opportunities for student involvement as well. “Some students do it for credit, like an internship, and others simply volunteer to get a feel for what research is really like,” she said.

Recently, Dr. Golden has been working with fellow Southeastern faculty member, Dr. Ning Wu. Just last summer, she and Dr. Wu were able to lead a group of Southeastern students on a trip to China. Students were able to visit hospitals, research labs, and do a bit of sightseeing along the way; an opportunity Dr. Golden hopes to be able to offer again.

When not at work, Dr. Golden is actively involved in the Durant Rotary International club, serving as chapter treasurer. The club is dedicated to helping the community through service projects. Her favorite service project with the Rotary is when they give a dictionary to every third grader in Bryan County.

“Seeing a third grader excited about a book,” said Dr. Golden. “As a professor, I love that.”