Cellular & Developmental Biology

Cells Dividing

The Cellular and Developmental Biology emphasis area focuses on elucidating the molecular and cellular bases of developmental processes using a translational approach that aims not only to understand fundamental mechanisms of organismal development but also to identify applications to human diseases and well-being. 

Students in this emphasis area, in collaboration with a faculty mentor, conduct original research into basic mechanisms of development, often utilizing animal or plant models to examine animal or human diseases. 

Research and training opportunities are available in broad areas that include control of cell proliferation/differentiation/death, cell signaling and signal transduction, stem cell biology, cell and developmental neurobiology, cell biology of the immune system, regulation of gene expression, and evolutionary developmental biology.

Cellular & Developmental Biology Faculty


Students choose one course with a quantitative focus, plus 9 credits of courses from the list below:

Courses required for emphasis area (unless an alternative plan is developed with program chair).

  • BMMB541 Molecular Biology of Animal Development
  • BMMB 542 Eukaryotic Cell Biology

Additional recommended electives, including some suggested quantitative courses (discuss the best choices with adviser and program chair).

  • BIOL 426 Developmental Neurobiology
  • BIOL/BMB 430 Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 432 Developmental Genetics
  • BMB 460 Cell Growth and Differentiation
  • BIOL 467 Molecular Basis of Neurological Diseases
  • BIOL 469 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 470 Functional and Integrative Neuroscience
  • BMMB 543 Advanced Gene Expression
  • BMMB/IBIOS 551 Genomics
  • BMMB 852 Applied Bioinformatics
  • NEURO 501 Seminars in Neuroscience
  • NEURO 512 Comparative Neuroanatomy
  • NEURO 520 Cell and Molecular Neuroscience
  • STAT 500 Applied Statistics