About The Program

The primary goal of the Cross-disciplinary Molecular and Cellular Biology (CMCB) Graduate (PhD) Training Program is to produce a cohort of rigorous, quantitatively-minded scientists empowered to discover fundamental mechanisms of biological systems ranging from single molecules and cells to intact organisms. Students will be trained in diverse scientific disciplines and approaches (including cell biology, genetics and genomics, protein and nucleic acid biochemistry, physical biology and modeling), enabling them to study basic questions in modern molecular and cell biology using an integrated approach.

The CMCB program encompasses multiple disciplines, including biochemistry, bioinformatics, biophysics, chemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, and neurobiology. Our training faculty are drawn from five different departments: Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, Math, and Computer Science. Any student working in the lab of one of these training faculty is eligible to apply to the CMCB program.

The training plan has been developed to prepare students to succeed in diverse career paths, ranging from academic research and education, to bioindustry, science publishing, science administration and policy. Central to this new CMCB training plan is the acknowledgement that entering students have diverse backgrounds and prior training (e.g., in computer science, biophysics, genetics, cell biology), and thus require more individually-tailored training plans that take into account their different starting points and destinations.

Some of the key features in the CMCB program include: a curriculum that emphasizes cross-disciplinary approaches to modern problems in molecular and cell biology, a structure that promotes early professional and career development, including each trainee having a primary and secondary advisor, and a two week-long off-campus externship to explore career paths.