Developmental Biology

This burgeoning field of biology seeks to understand how complex tissues and organisms arise from the ordered expression of genes and signaling interactions between cells. It employs modern molecular biology approaches, combined with cell biology and physiology techniques, to probe some of the most fundamental questions in biology. Our laboratories use a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate model systems to examine developmental events at different times in the formation of an organism.

Faculty Mentors

Juliet Fuhrman*
Michael Levin
Kelly McLaughlin
Mitch McVey

*Faculty mentors currently not accepting graduate students.

African clawed frogs

Faculty advisor for this concentration

Suggested Program of Study and Appropriate Courses

  • Suggested Courses (*required course)

    Year 1:
    • Research rotation projects (*required courses Bio 253, 254)
    • Bio 260 (*required for first year TAs, teaching biology, pedagogy and practice)
    • Bio 243 (*required course, may be taken in first or second year)
    Year 2:
    • Bio 291 (graduate research seminar in molecular and developmental biology)
    • Bio 103 (Developmental Biology) or Bio 262 (Science Communication) or other departmental seminar course
    • Bio 243 (*if not taken during Year 1)
  • Biology Department Courses
    Developmental Biology (Bio 103)
    Molecular Biology (Bio 105)
    Plant Development (Bio 108)
    Neurobiology (Bio 134)
    Biochemistry and Cellular Metabolism (Bio 152)
    Seminar in Molecular Biology and Genetics (Bio 188)
    *Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Bio 243)
    Science Communication (Bio 262)

Associated Labs

petri dish with flatworms

Fuhrman Lab

Our lab is studying the basic biology of parasitic roundworms in the hope of devising novel strategies for controlling infection and preventing disease, focusing on filarial parasites, which are responsible for causing elephantiasis and onchocerciasis, or river blindness, in humans.

artist rendering of scientists at work

The Levin Lab

Principal Investigator: Michael Levin
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4600

DNA strand break

The McVey Lab

Principal Investigator: Mitch McVey
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4700