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The Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics (MCBG) program is an interdisciplinary graduate program recognizing the need for highly trained scientists conversant across various disciplines.

The program provides a broad education-training program for graduate students interested in biomedical problems that cross disciplinary boundaries and offers the opportunity for students to choose from approximately 60 faculty in 10 different departments/centers to pursue their research interests. This program offers both MS and PhD degrees and focuses on the study of the structure, function and makeup of biologically important molecules within the context of the living cells.

Our faculty are at the forefront of new advances in the biomedical sciences and new developments in techniques for understanding the genetic and molecular basis of developmental pathways and disease states such as cancer, aging, AIDS, malaria and neurological disorders. Consequently, students can pursue a diverse variety of projects that range from the design and development of new therapeutic treatment strategies to the characterization of the molecular mechanisms that underlie various cellular processes and diseases. This intensive and research-oriented program provides students with opportunities to perform cutting edge biomedical research employing multidisciplinary strategies.

Learn more about our faculty

See our areas of research interest

A Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics program graduate student working in the laboratory.

Program Guidelines

All students must successfully complete the core curriculum before advancing the specific program requirements for their degree. The core curriculum is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of study for all first year master's and doctoral students in the biomedical science programs. The goal of the core curriculum is to provide a broad foundation in biomedical sciences and serve as a framework for advanced study in more specialized areas.

Learn more about the core curriculum

In addition to the core curriculum and other required courses, in the first year, student must complete the research laboratory rotations. These research rotations give students the opportunities to obtain broad research training and help them select a thesis research advisor by the end of the first twelve months. In the second year, students begin thesis research and take several advanced courses, tailored to the students' individual interests.

The Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics program offers a weekly seminar series with invited external and internal speakers who address the program's broad research interests. Journal Club members meet weekly in an informal setting to present results of interest from the current literature.

In the Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Master's program, the focus is on strengthening the student's grasp of molecular biology and biotechnology and on providing knowledge of research methods available in the fast-expanding field. The program offers both a thesis-based degree and a non-thesis based degree tracks. In the thesis track, MS students will have specific research goals, relating a chosen area of molecular & cellular biology & genetics. In the non-thesis track, students can earn the MS degree by taking additional classes and writing a literature review paper. A minimum of two years of full-time study is required for a master's degree.

The Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics PhD program trains individuals to become independent researchers and educators in related fields of studies. The PhD candidates must pass a qualifying examination by November 1st of their third year. During the course of the program, the PhD candidates must also submit at least one manuscript and prepare a second manuscript for publication. The average amount of time required to complete the PhD requirements is five years.

Upcoming and Recent Events

Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics/Cancer Biology Program Rotation Talks
   Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 1 p.m.
   New College Building, Biochemistry Library Room 11101, 245 North 15th Street | Video conference to QL C9

Speakers: MCBG and CB first-year graduate students

  • Chaitali Bhadiadra, MCBG Program
    Using cancer genomic databases to identify glycosyltransferases involved in cancer
    Advisor: Dr. Mauricio Reginato
  • Erica Dalla, CB Program
    Investigating the role of the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 in a preclinical model of metastatic inflammatory breast cancer
    Advisor: Dr. Olimpia Meucci
  • Leann Dudash, MCBG Program
    Combining rapamyacin treatment and methionine restriction increases autophagy in human cardiac fibroblasts
    Advisor: Dr. Chris Sell
  • Waleed Iqbal, CB Program
    Exogenous pyruvate facilitates cancer cell adaption to hypoxia
    Advisor: Dr. Nianli Sang
  • Dimpi Mukhopadhyay, CB Program
    Cloning full-length and individual domains of PPIE
    Advisor: Dr. Tara Davis
  • Kris Raghavan, MCBG Program
    Identifying stroma-derived exosomes in pancreatic cancer
    Advisor: Dr. Edna Cukierman

How to apply to the Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics program

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