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Biological Structure

Department Overview

G520 Health Sciences

The department promotes an understanding of biological processes through the study and analysis of structure-function relationships. The research problems that interest members of the faculty are diverse, including cellular differentiation and development explored in a variety of biological systems, neuroscience, molecular biophysics, biomolecular structure, and quantitative biology with an emphasis on computer-graphic representations of biological structures. This diversity creates a lively atmosphere in the department that provides a stimulating environment for the training of scientists with a variety of backgrounds.

The Department of Biological Structure recruits students through interdisciplinary PhD programs at the University of Washington. Faculty of the Department of Biological Structure are affiliated with one or more of these programs that provide high quality training in a wide range of scientific research areas. These multidisciplinary programs include faculty from the departments of Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biological Structure, Biology, Environmental Health, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology. Molecular Biotechnology, Oceanography, Pathobiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology and Biophysics, as well as research groups in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The department does not offer a specific course of study leading to a Master of Science degree. An MS degree may be awarded, however, for students who meet the following requirements: One year of coursework (30 credits), concentrating in one or more areas that include neurobiology, cell and molecular biology, or developmental biology. Minimum 30 credits of research. Basic knowledge of statistics. One quarter of teaching as an assistant. A thesis committee approves the course of study, administers a general examination, and reviews the research proposal prior to the thesis defense.