Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

Research in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology spans biology from the organismal to the molecular levels. Topics in genetics and molecular biology include studies of non-coding RNAs, genome engineering, genome organization and regulation, gene dosage, bacterial chemotaxis, oncogenes, and systems and synthetic biology. Research topics in cellular and developmental biology include structure and dynamics of the cell cytoskeleton, molecular motors, chemical biology, the nuclear envelope, lncRNAs, regeneration, developmental biomechanics, vertebral column development, stem cell biology, and systems developmental biology. Research in neurobiology focuses on growth cone motility, neural differentiation, synaptogenesis, visual perception, olfaction, and the formation of topographic maps. Research in the plant sciences provides training in the molecular genetics of flowering, meristematic activity, epigenetics, the physiology of hormone action, sex determination, and the circadian clock. Because of the breadth of the department, students are provided with unique training and research opportunities for interdisciplinary studies.

Terminal Degrees Offered
  • PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
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Admission Requirements

Standardized Testing Requirements

GRE is not accepted.

English Language Requirement

TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic is required of most applicants whose native language is not English. BBS requires a score of at least 600 on the paper version, 250 on the computer-based exam, and 100 on the internet-based exam. Please take the test no later than November and no earlier than 24 months prior to submitting your application. Use institution code 3987 when reporting your scores; you may enter any department code.

You may be exempt from this requirement if you have received (or will receive) an undergraduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction, and if you have studied in residence at that institution for at least three years.

Admission Information

Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology participates in the Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS), and applicants interested in pursuing a degree in cell biology should apply to the Biochemistry, Quantitative Biology, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Track, the Plant Molecular Biology Track, or the Molecular Cell Biology, Genetics and Development Track within BBS.

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