Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology


This concentration focuses on molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and developmental biology of all branches of life, including bacteria, plants, and animals. Students gain experience in experimental and computational approaches with application to medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology. Students may pursue a master's or doctoral degree conducting research in this concentration.

Required Coursework

  • AEC502, Introduction to Biology Research (Fall)
  • PHI816, Research Ethics (or equivalent)

Concentration Chair

Dr. Scott Belcher

Quantitative Biology Requirement

M.S. and Ph.D. students choose one of the following:

  • ST511 or ST512, Experimental Statistics in Biological Sciences I & II (Fall&Spring; Staff)(Fall)
  • Bioinformatics course, such as BIT815, or others, (with permission from Advisory Committee)
  • AEC510,Machine Learning Approaches in Biology (Fall odd years; Reading)

Restricted Elective Requirement

M.S. and Ph.D. students choose one of the following:

  • BIO592, Capstone Course in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (Fall&Spring; Staff)
  • GN701, Molecular Genetics (Fall; Staff)
  • GN702, Cellular and Developmental Biology (Spring; Staff)
  • GN750, Developmental Genetics (Spring; Staff)

Biotechnology Requirement

one course appropriate based on thesis research. BIT courses are commonly taken to fulfill this requirement (, but other courses can also satisfy this requirement. Please consult your Mentor, Advisory Committee, and Concentration Chair.

  • BIT510, Core Technologies in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Fall, Spring, Summer; Staff)
  • BIT595, Special Topics (Fall, Spring, Summer; Staff)

Advising Faculty:

Name Email Website
Areas of Expertise
Belcher, Scott
Molecular and cellular biology; physiology
Guerrero, Rafael
Hawkins, Mary Beth
Physiology and Behavior
Heil, Caiti
Evolutionary genetics, hybridization, recombination
Nascone-Yoder, Nanette
Organ development, Morphogenesis, Birth defects
Roberts, Reade
Genomic basis of adaptation
Schweitzer, Mary Paleobiology
Zakas, Christina
EvoDevo, Genetics & Genomics, Life-History