Genetics and Molecular Biology

The area of Genetics and Molecular Biology is the study of the fundamental workings of the cell, and how cells function in the context of an organism. Areas of current research in our department cover a wide range of topics such as DNA replication and repair, gene regulation through chromatin structure, cell differentiation and cell signaling during development, and interaction of virulence factors and immune cells.
cells magnified

Faculty Mentors

*Faculty mentors currently not accepting graduate students.


Suggested Program of Study and Appropriate Courses

  • Suggested Courses (*required course)

    Year 1

    • Bio 253, 254: Research rotation projects* 
    • Bio 260: Teaching Biology, Pedagogy, and Practice* (required for first year TAs)
    • Bio 190: DNA: Structure to Function 
    • Bio 241: Advanced Genetics: DNA Repair and Genome Editing 
    • Other upper-level lecture or seminar courses as recommended (for example, Molecular Biology [Bio 105], Seminar in Molecular Biology and Genetics [Bio 188], Applied Bioinformatics and Genome Analysis [Bio 263], or other specially offered courses)

    Year 2

    • Bio 243: Graduate Seminar in Molecular and Cellular Biology* (required course recommended for fall of second year)
    • Bio 257, Bio 258: Special Topics* (Laboratory research, Experimental design)
    • Bio 291: Graduate research seminar in Molecular and Developmental Biology (graded S/U, 1 SHU, research seminar presentations)
    • Upper-level seminar course as recommended
    • Bio 259: Capstone: Research Proposal and Review
  • Biology Department Courses

    • Developmental Biology (Bio 103)
    • Immunology (Bio 104)
    • Molecular Biology (Bio 105)
    • Microbiology (Bio 106)
    • Biostatistics (Bio 132)
    • Neurobiology (Bio 134)
    • Biochemistry and Cellular Metabolism (Bio 152)
    • Food For All: Ecology, Biotechnology & Sustainability (Bio 185)
    • Seminar in Molecular Biology and Genetics (Bio 188)
    • *DNA: Structure to Function (Bio 190)
    • R for Biologists (Bio 196)
    • Seminar in Molecular Evolution (Bio 196)
    • Advanced Genetics and Genome Editing (Bio 196-02)
    • Techniques in Biotechnology (Bio 196-24)
    • *Graduate Seminar in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Bio 243)
    • Science Communication (Bio 262)
    • Applied Bioinformatics and Genome Analysis (Bio 263)

    Courses in Other Departments

    • Principles of Medical Imaging (Bio 131)
    • Molecular Biotechnology (Bio 162)
    • Biochemistry I and II (Bio 171 & 172)

Associated Labs

Butterfly flying with DNA images in background

The Dopman Lab

Principal Investigator: Erik Dopman
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4700

Graphic for Hengel Lab

The Hengel Lab

Principal Investigator: Sarah Hengel (joining September 2023)

Location: TBD

artist rendering of scientists at work

The Levin Lab

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


The McVey Lab

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

DNA analysis

The Mirkin Lab

Principal Investigator: Sergei M. Mirkin
Location: 200 Boston Ave., Suite 4700

vegetables in jars

The Wolfe Lab

Principal Investigator: Benjamin Wolfe
Location: 200 Boston Ave.