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Graduate Program in Cell and Molecular Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is a degree-granting unit within the Molecular Biosciences cluster, which also includes:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BMB)
Committee on Developmental Biology (CDB)
Committee on Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology (GGSB)
Human Genetics.

The academic units of the cluster share a core curriculum and a common admissions process.

The goal of the doctoral program in Cell and Molecular Biology is to foster advanced scholarship and research in the combined areas of cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology. Students are introduced to a broad spectrum of experimental rationales and technical approaches and typically learn several in depth. Skills in genetic analysis include transgenic, reverse genetic, and genomic analysis, as well as molecular analysis of genes and gene products. Skills in structural analysis include the use of advanced optical and electron microscopy, including EM tomography, atomic force microscopy, and dynamic in vivo imaging. Students learn to identify the model organisms and the appropriate tools and techniques that will allow them to answer their scientific questions in the most effective way. Among the model organisms in which training is available are eukaryotic and prokaryotic viruses, diverse bacteria including cyanobacteria, Tetrahymena, Saccharomyces and other yeasts, Chlamydomonas, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, Arabidopsis and other plant species, mice, and humans.

The program is administered by the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and draws its internationally distinguished faculty from that department as well as from a number of others. At a broad level, the research programs of this faculty seek to reveal the very basic molecular mechanisms underlying biological phenomena in a cellular context. Major research foci include the biogenesis of cellular organelles; the assembly and organization of cellular structures; the coordination, regulation and four dimensional orchestration of the cell division cycle; the molecular basis of gene expression and regulation; cellular and molecular aspects of chromosome recombination and transmission; molecular and cellular mechanisms of metazoan development; mechanisms of cell-cell interaction in fertilization, development and disease; and how cells sense and respond to signals. Students trained in the program are highly competitive for top postdoctoral positions and go on to influential careers in basic academic, biomedical, or industrial research.

See also:

Molecular Biosciences (official web site of the PhD Program)
Admission to Graduate Studies in the Molecular Biosciences
Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology

CMB Curriculum Committee:

Jon Staley (Chair)
Jean Greenberg
Dave Kovar
Lucia Rothman-Denes
Aaron Turkewitz


• Congratulations to the following for their award of a PhD: David Lerner, Joseph Briguglio and Sebastian Fica.

• Congratulations to Sebastian Fica for earning two awards:
--Outstanding Work in the Field of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
--The Divisional Research Award for the Best Dissertation in the Biological Sciences Division

• Congratulations to Jonathan Staley for Distinguished Investigator Award in the Biological Sciences Division, May 22, 2014.

• Congratulations to Lucia B. Rothman-Denes, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, who has been elected by her peers to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2, 2014

• Congratulations to CMB student Sebastian Fica, graduate student in Jonathan P. Staley's lab, on his recent publication in Nature: Fica SM†, Tuttle N†, Novak N, Li N-L, Lu J, Koodathingal P, Dai Q, Staley JP*, and Piccirilli JA*. (2013) RNA catalyzes nuclear pre-mRNA splicing, Nature, 2013 Nov 14;503(7475):229-34. †Co-first authors; *Co-corresponding authors. (PubMed) This was collaborative work with Nicole Tuttle, graduate student in Piccirilli lab. See Nature website for accompanying News & Views, "Metal ghosts in the splicing machine".

• Congratulations to CMB student Angika Basant of Michael Glotzer's lab who is one of two recipients for the TA Award for 2012-2013, for her outstanding work in Molecular Biology of the Cell in Autumn 2012.

• Congratulations to CMB student Jenna Christensen of David Kovar's lab who received a 2013 NSF fellowship.

• Congratulations to CMB student Michael Werner of Alex Ruthenburg's lab who received a 2013 Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) Scholars Award.


See also:

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© 2013 Cell and Molecular Biology ® The University of Chicago
Molecular Biosciences Graduate Programs
University of Chicago
920 E. 58th St., Rm. 1105
Chicago, IL 60637
phone: 773/702-8037
fax: 773/702-3172

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