The Molecular and Cellular Biology program (MCB) applies the techniques of molecular and cellular biology to advance the understanding of basic biological sciences. The doctoral program broadly trains students to think about science in a rigorous and critical manner. Since scientific methods, equipment, and knowledge are changing rapidly, students learn to focus on important issues in an evolving research environment. The program is appropriate for students interested in future careers in research and teaching in academia as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Twelve departments across three schools have faculty members actively pursuing research in molecular and cellular biology. They include Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biological Structure, Biology, Environmental Health, Genome Sciences, Immunology, Microbiology, Pathobiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology and Biophysics.
At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), the divisions of basic sciences and molecular medicine participate in the joint Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program. Shared FHCRC facilities are available for electron microscopy, flow cytometry, tissue culture, and image analysis. A biotechnology center for DNA and protein synthesis and sequencing, animal facilities, a biological production facility that focuses on monoclonal antibody production, extensive libraries, and a biocomputing center provide further support.
MCB has relationships with the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) as well as Seattle Biomed, thus allowing MCB students access to laboratories conducting research using a systems approach to biology or a global focus on infectious disease.
Over 250 faculty members from the UW, the FHCRC, the ISB, and Seattle Biomed research molecular and cellular biology and are skilled in training graduate students. Faculty research interests include cancer biology; genetics: genomics and evolution; microbiology, infection, and immunity; molecular structure and computational biology; and neuroscience.
Graduate Program Coordinator
Doctor of Philosophy
The MCB Program provides a stipend plus tuition and health benefits for the first year of study. Then students choose a doctoral committee, and subsequent years of support are provided by the department of the committee chair. Students maintaining satisfactory academic progress receive funding for the duration of their graduate training.