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About Us

The Graduate Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) prepares students for careers as research scientists and educators in an academic or industrial environment.   MCDB is interdisciplinary in nature and includes the combined talents of more than 100 PhD students and 180 faculty from multiple departments in eight colleges:

  • Medicine
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Public Health

MCDB offers a course of study leading to the doctoral degree.  Research training is very diverse and major areas of inquiry include:  Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, DNA Replication and Repair, Gene Expression, Molecular Medicine, Molecular Neurobiology, Plant Molecular Biology, RNA Biology, and Virology.

MCDB emphasizes an integrative approach to the discipline, encompassing the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization.  A typical graduate program begins with an intensive first year of study consisting of core courses in molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, and biochemistry, followed by some additional elective coursework in the second year.  However, the bulk of training involves laboratory research.  Most students perform three lab rotations before selecting a research advisor during Spring Semester in the first year. 

It is the philosophy of MCDB that, whenever fiscally possible, doctoral students actively studying in the Program should be provided with financial support by the Program or their research advisor.  Support includes a generous stipend and a tuition waiver.  MCDB students are usually supported as Graduate Research Associates (GRA's) and sometimes as Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA's).  Students are also encouraged to pursue Fellowship or Traineeship support.