The Molecular and Cellular Biology program (MCB) is a leader in applying the techniques of molecular and cellular biology to advance the understanding of basic biological sciences. The goal of the doctoral program is to broadly train 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. This 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. The departments participating in the program 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 for the research effort.
Recently the MCB Program has established relationships with the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) as well as Seattle Biomed. These collaborations allow MCB students access to labs 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 are researching molecular and cellular biology and are skilled in the training of graduate students. Faculty research interests are categorized into eight areas of interest: cancer biology; genetics: genomics and evolution; microbiology, infection and immunity; molecular structure and computational biology; and neuroscience.
Graduate Program Coordinator
Doctor of Philosophy
90 credits, including:
The MCB Program provides a stipend plus tuition and health benefits for the first year of study. At the end of the first year of study, 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.