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The scholarly endeavors of the Biological Sciences faculty, staff and students as manifest by our courses and research activities define us as a broad-based department, spanning molecules and cells to tissues and organisms to populations and ecosystems. Courses and research opportunities are available in Biochemistry, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Computational Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Developmental Biology, and Neurobiology. The undergraduate curriculum leads to three possible majors: molecular and cell biology (MCB), ecology, evolution, and organismal biology (EEOB), and the non-differentiated biological sciences (BioSci) major. In all three majors, independent research is emphasized in addition to class work. Focused areas of research include biological clocks, genome maintenance, small RNAs, protein trafficking, vector biology, symbiosis, social evolution, microbiomes, speciation, brain asymmetry, synapse formation and plasticity, cell migration, and touch, visual, and olfactory sensory systems. Exciting research questions in these areas are addressed in our labs by undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and our faculty.
The Department is in the College of Arts and Science and is housed in the Biological Sciences Building, the adjoining Molecular Biology Stevenson Center, and the Learned Lab. These buildings are interconnected with each other and with the Medical Research Building III and the Medical Center North building, a reflection of the overlapping and integrated research activities of the Department of Biological Sciences and the Medical School. Students and faculty of the two schools share resources and core facilities and participate in trans-institutional programs and centers, leading to informal and formal collaborations and synergistic research endeavors.