Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department
225 Sinsheimer Laboratories
(831) 459-4986

Programs Offered

Biology B.S.

Human Biology B.S.

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology B.S.

Neuroscience B.S.

Biology Minor 

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology M.S.

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Ph.D.

Other Programs of Interest

Science Education B.S.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B.S.

This is an extraordinary time to be involved in biomedical research. New technologies are rapidly changing our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of life, with dramatic implications for how we treat human disease. Members of the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, along with affiliated faculty in the departments of Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, and Physics, are participating in an extraordinary revolution in biomedical science. A broad spectrum of cutting-edge research tools are being employed to tackle problems in key areas that include: the structural and functional role of RNA in regulation of gene expression; chromatin biology and epigenetic control of genes; the cell biology of the cytoskeleton and the cell cycle; decisions controlling embryogenesis and organ development; and developmental neurobiology. The insights generated by this basic research enable new strategies for treatments of aging disorders, birth defects, neurological diseases, cancer and other human ailments. The department offers a spectrum of courses that reflect the exciting new developments and directions in these fields, and trains students to participate in these exciting fields.

Undergraduate Program

Students may plan a program that leads to one of several Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. Students may choose from the following major options:

Biology B.S.

Human biology B.S.

Molecular, cell, and developmental biology B.S.

Neuroscience B.S.

Students may choose from one minor option

Biology minor

Advanced undergraduates, with the guidance of faculty mentors, have access to extensive departmental laboratory facilities for independent research. Many students take advantage of the numerous opportunities with local physicians, health care providers and biotech companies to gain experience in a real world setting. This array of opportunities for directed independent study enables biological science majors to enhance their upper-division programs to reflect and strengthen their own interests and goals.

Graduate Program

The program in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental (MCD) biology (courses BIOL) leads to either the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) or the Master of Science (M.S.) and is designed to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, and biotechnology. Current research in MCD Biology focuses on such topics as the structure and function of RNA, gene expression, chromatin structure, epigenetics, cell signaling, cell division, development, nerve cell function, and stem cell biology.