Graduate Programs

Cell and Molecular Biology

"For grad school, I really wanted to be in an environment that would allow me to be able to experience different types of science and give me the freedom to explore my options for my thesis project. The Cell and Molecular Biology program does just that, as not only does it boast numerous faculty with a wide breadth of scientific interests, it also allows students the opportunity to survey outside of the program and within the greater Biological Sciences Division. Socially, the diverse and engaging student community at UChicago is what attracted me to this institution. Meeting and befriending people from varying backgrounds and histories has given me the chance to not just learn and grow academically but also outside the lab."

Sara Paracha

Sarah Paracha

Cell and Molecular Biology student in David Pincus's Lab

The Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) graduate program focuses on the mechanisms of biological phenomenon that operate at the cellular scale, from individual molecules to multi-cellular tissues.  The goal of the CMB graduate program is to train graduate students to ask and to answer fundamental, mechanistic questions at the forefront of the fields of cell and molecular biology.  Students select from a wide range of opportunities for research in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology, plant biology, and microbiology.  We teach our students to utilize a broad spectrum of experimental methodologies that integrate diverse disciplines and often involve collaboration; advanced microscopy and genetic analysis in wide ranging model organisms are crosscutting themes.  We strive to prepare our students to face the scientific challenges of the future and to become the next generation of leaders in research, medicine, education, and aligned disciplines.  Our students are highly competitive for top postdoctoral positions and go on to influential careers in academic, biomedical, or industrial research and in overlapping fields such as law, business, and public policy.

Preparing students to conduct research:  In the first year, our curriculum emphasizes rigorous    preparation in cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics.  Students choose from a wide range of courses in these areas that prepare them in key skills:  choosing important questions, defining appropriate experimental approaches, and interpreting quantifiable data.  Research interests of CMB faculty and topics covered in the curriculum include:

  • Regulation of cell division
  • Formation of organelles, such as the Golgi
  • Cytoskeleton function in organizing cellular processes
  • Consequences of intercellular interactions
  • Gene regulation in differentiation and development
  • Genome inheritance and expression
  • Dynamics of cell and tissue behavior

Faculty in Cell and Molecular Biology Program Website

  • 25


  • 34

    Current Students

  • NIH and NRSA