Department of Biological Sciences

Dodge Hall Rm 375
118 Library Dr
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3550
fax: (248) 370-4225


Fay M. Hansen
Associate Professor, Ph.D.
301 MSC
(248) 370-3574



  • BIO 1002 Human Biology
  • BIO 3140 Histology
  • BIO 3141 Histology Lab
  • BIO 4900/5900 Special Topics in Biology: Organic Farming Field and Lab Experience
  • BIO 4900/5900 Special Topics in Biology: Organic Farming in Urban Setting
  • BIO 4900/5900 Special Topics in Biology: Permaculture, Theory and Practice
  • BIO 4900/5900 Special Topics in Biology: Biology of Food
  • BIO 4970 Scientific Inquiry and Communication


After more than 18 years of externally funded research on cardiovascular disease, Dr. Hansen elected to close her biomedical research laboratory and “re-tool” in organic farming.  She received her Certificate in Organic Farming from Michigan State University in 2008, returning to campus to establish the Campus Student Organic Farming Program, which she now directs.  Her goal is to help prevent cardiovascular disease and associated pathologies by increasing awareness of linkages between disease and the food system, including how sustainable food is produced and how farming and food production practices affect both environmental and human health. In addition to basic research on plant-soil interactions in organic farming, her scholarly activities currently include using “food” as an overarching theme for academic innovation to enhance community engagement and applied problem-solving in the STEM disciplines.  Her work also involves fostering interdisciplinary and experiential approaches to 21st Century learning, using the Campus Student Organic Farm as a “living laboratory.”  Many of her students have presented their research projects at national and international meetings and/or have been co-authors on her publications.

Selected publications:

Birmingham, J., J. Busik, F. Hansen-Smith, and Fenton, J. (2009). Novel mechanism for obesity-induced colon cancer progression. Carcinogenesis 30: 690-97. DOI: 10.1093/carcin/bgp041

Buchwalter, A., C. Van Dort, S. Schultz, R. Smith, I.P. Le, J. Abbot, E. Oosterhouse, A. Johnson, F. Hansen-Smith, and Burnatowska-Hledin, M. (2008). Expression of VACM-1/cul5 mutant in endothelial cells induceds MAPK phosphorylation and maspin degradation and converts cells to the angiogenic phenotype.  Microvascular Res. 75: 155-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.mvr.2007.08.004

Alhadlaq, H., Y. Xia, F. Hansen, C. Les, and Lust, G. (2007) Morphological changes in articular cartilage due to static compression:  polarized light microscopy study. Connect Tissue Res. 48: 76 – 84. DOI: 10.1080/03008200601130950