Professors: Scott Holmes, Ishita Mukerji, Donald B. Oliver 

Associate Professors:  Michael McAlear, Robert Lane(Chair), Amy MacQueen, Rich Olson

Associated Faculty in Biophysics: Joseph Coolon, Candice Etson, David Langley, Brian Northrop, Irina M. Russu, Colin Smith, Francis Starr, Erika Taylor, Michael Weir



The MB&B department supports a graduate program with emphasis in molecular genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and molecular biophysics. The MB&B graduate program is designed to lead to the degree of doctor of philosophy. A master of arts degree is awarded only under special circumstances. There are currently 20 graduate students in the department, and the graduate program is an integral part of the departmental offerings. Graduate students serve as teaching assistants in undergraduate courses, generally during their first two years. The emphasis of the program is on an intensive research experience culminating in a dessertation. The program of study also includes a series of courses covering the major areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics; journal clubs in which current research is discussed in an informal setting; practica designed to introduce first-year students to the research interests of the faculty; and several seminar series in which either graduate students or distinguished outside speakers participate. The low student-faculty ratio (2.5:1) allows programs to be individually designed and ensures close contact between the student and the faculty.

Molecular Biophysics

A certificate in molecular biophysics supported by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health is available for students with interest in both the physical and life sciences. This program is designed to prepare students for research and careers that combine interests in the physical and life sciences. Interested students are encouraged to consult David Beveridge or Irina Russu in the Chemistry Department or Manju Hingorani or Ishita Mukerji in the MB&B Department.


Control of DNA replication; mechanism of protein secretion; global regulation of ribosomal biogenesis in the yeast S.cerevisiae; mechanisms of DNA replication and repair; protein-protein and protein-nucleic-acid interactions; the structural dynamics of nucleic acids and proteins; chromosome structure and gene expression; UV resonance Raman spectroscopy of biological macromolecules; biological assembly mechanisms; protein fiber formation in disease; enzyme mechanisms; the olfactory system and new frontiers in genome research; and elucidation of membrane protein function by X-ray crystallography.