Helen I’Anson, who serves as the Perry Professor of Biology and Research Science at Washington and Lee University, joined the faculty in 1995. During her tenure, she has taught 14 different courses, primarily in the areas of physiology and neuroscience. She is committed to making science accessible to all, including non-majors, through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences in the classroom and in the lab.
I’Anson's research group of undergraduates focuses on the neural regulation of energy partitioning in adult and developing animals as models for human metabolism and development. Most recently, she and her team have studied the role of snacking after weaning. They have developed a model that closely mimics the snacking behavior of children that leads to obesity onset in adolescents and adults.
I’Anson has published 32 research articles in refereed journals, many with undergraduate coauthors, and has made 55 presentations of her work with students at national and international science meetings.
In 2011, I’Anson was awarded a newly endowed professorship, The John T. Perry Jr. Professorship in Research Science. She served as chair of the biology department for six years and was primary author and director of two Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants awarded to the university (2008-2016). Currently, she is co-directing the university’s quality enhancement plan, as part of the accreditation process, to enhance the experience of first-year students from underrepresented groups as they transition from high school to college life.