Graduate Program

The interdisciplinary Program in Cell and Molecular Biology takes advantage of the individual resources of the seven academic departments in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine. The program focuses on basic scientific and clinical issues related to molecular and cellular biology. The participation of a large number of faculty members offers a diversity of research opportunities and a wealth of productive interactions. Areas of expertise include molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression and developmental programs, cell structure/function relationships, molecular characterization of receptors and signal transduction processes, structural analyses of macromolecules, and the impact of health and disease on all of these areas. The availability of core facilities (e.g., FACS cell sorter, confocal microscope, microscopic imaging, transgenic mouse colony, University-wide computer network) allows for the state-of-the-art technological approaches to address critical research issues.

Students are admitted to the program and spend the first year developing an advanced understanding of cell and molecular biology. Emphasis is placed on the historical development of conceptual and technological advances which have led to the current approaches and solutions to questions in cell and molecular biology. After one year of study, students enter a participating basic science department. Each student, in consultation with his or her thesis advisor and advisory committee, designs an individual program of specialized course work built upon a core program of molecular and cellular biology. Students graduate with a PhD in a basic science department, distinguished by the phrase, “Program in Cell and Molecular Biology.”

Photo: CMB graduate student Wei Chen loading a gel at his bench in the laboratory of Dr. Zhi-Xiong `Jim’ Xiao.