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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

Upcoming Events

Student Talk: Yi Guo
Thursday, January 26, 1 p.m.
Learn more

MCBG Seminar
Thursday, February 2, 1 p.m.
Speaker: Susan Janicki, PhD, The Wistar Institute
Learn more

Virtual Open House: Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Program
Wednesday, February 22, 10 – 11 a.m.
Learn more

View all events

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.

Graduate Placement

Recent graduates (as of 2016) are now at:

  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
  • Genisphere, LLC
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Augusta University
  • Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Public Health Research Institute/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • The Scripps Research Institute
  • The Wistar Institute
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of North Carolina
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center
  • Abington Jefferson Hospital
  • ONCOVEDA Cancer Research Center
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals

 
Upcoming and Recent Events
 

All of the events listed will take place at 1 p.m. in Geary Hall A, unless otherwise noted.

January 2017

January 5
Kristine Augustin, Biochemistry student (Jorns Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

January 12
Lina Maciunas, Biochemistry student (Loll Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

January 19
Zachary Schug, PhD, Assistant Professor
Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program, The Wistar Institute
Student Host: Zach Bacigalupa

January 26
Yi Guo, MCBG student (Clifford Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

February 2017

February 2
Susan Janicki, PhD, Associate Professor
Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program, The Wistar Institute
Student Host: Kristie Augustyn

February 9
Elizabeth Upton, Biochemistry student (Loll Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

February 16
Nina Latcheva, MCBG student (Marenda Lab, Department of Biology)

February 23
Neha Akella, Biochemistry student (Reginato Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

March 2017

March 2
Marisa Bartolomei, PhD, Professor of Cell and Development Biology, Co-Director, Epigenetics Program, University of Pennsylvania
Student Host: Nina Latcheva

March 9
Erica Matunis, PhD, Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Student Host: Patrick Williams

March 16
Andrew Matamoros, MCBG student (Baas Lab, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy)

March 23
Emila Arturo, Biochemistry student (Jaffe Lab, Fox Chase Cancer Center)

March 30
Jennifer Alexander, MCBG student (Cuckierman Lab, Fox Chase Cancer Center)

April 2017

April 6
Zhaolan Zhou, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Pennsylvania
Student Host: Nina Latcheva

April 6
Patrick Williams, MCBG student (Strochlic Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

April 13
Charles Wang, Biochemistry student (Mazin Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

April 27
Elda Grabocka PhD, Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University
Student Host: Zach Bacigalupa

May 2017

May 4
Justin Cohen, MCBG student (Torres Lab, Department of Pathology)

May 11
Nicholas Duchemin, MCBG student (Bouchard Lab, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

May 18
Rotation Talks, First-year students (Michelle Swift, Madhuri Jayathirtha, Lorela Ciraku, Carlie Mendoza, Jake Hamilton, Michael Owens, Courtney Fesko)

May 25
Rotation Talks, First-year students (Danielle Piazza, Aurore Ravoninjohary, Rusia Lee, Klana Shahidi, Allysa Duffy, Jennifer Marcy, Shridhar Sangavi)

June 2017

June 1
Rotation Talks, First-year students (Sarah Broskin, Sophia Lisowski, Jennifer Koch, Mohamed Abdelbaset, Danyelle Paine, Anthony Bertuglia, Baicheng Lin, Andrea Rosenkranz)


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

 
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