Cell and Molecular
Biology (CMB) is a degree-granting unit within the
Molecular Biosciences cluster, which
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BMB)
• Committee on Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology (DRSB)
on Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology (GGSB)
• Human Genetics.
The academic units of the cluster share a core
curriculum and a common admissions process.
The graduate program in Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is one of five programs in the Molecular Biosciences Cluster. The program focuses primarily on the mechanisms of biological phenomenon that operate at the cellular scale. The goal of the 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. Given the program’s focus on mechanism, we aim to train students to use whatever tool is necessary and most appropriate to address a question. Consequently, we teach our students to utilize a broad spectrum of experimental rationales and methodologies in cutting-edge approaches that integrate diverse disciplines and often involve collaboration; advanced microscopy and genetic analysis in wide ranging model organisms are crosscutting themes.
In the first year, a strong emphasis on rigorous, didactic preparation in cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics prepares students to choose questions, define experimental approaches, and interpret data. Once qualified, advanced students select from a wide range of opportunities for research in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology, plant biology, and microbiology. Of special interest is the design of interdisciplinary programs that emphasize the frontiers of biology. Indeed, our research and skills are frequently relevant to the research interests of students in other programs; consequently, our research program serves as a wellspring for collaborations.
In fostering advanced scholarship and research in cell and molecular biology, 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. Indeed, 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 and in overlapping fields such as law, business, and public policy – intersecting areas of strength at the University.
The program is administered by the
of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and draws its internationally distinguished faculty from that department as well as from a number of others. 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 interactions in development and disease; and how cells sense and respond to signals. The model organisms in which training is available include eukaryotic and prokaryotic viruses; diverse bacteria, including cyanobacteria; Tetrahymena; budding and fission yeast; Chlamydomonas; Drosophila; Caenorhabditis; Arabidopsis and other plant species; mice; and human cells.
Molecular Biosciences (official web site of the PhD Program)
to Graduate Studies in the Molecular Biosciences
• Department of Molecular
Genetics and Cell Biology
CMB Curriculum Committee:
Jon Staley (Chair)
• 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.
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