Founded in 1986, the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology has a broad and interdisciplinary research program and offers courses at the cutting edge of a wide range of molecular biosciences.

The Department has graduate and undergraduate programs in four major areas of concentration: Cell Biology; Genetics and Genomics; Microbiology; and Structural Biology and Biophysics. The department today houses two undergraduate majors (MCB and Structural Biology and Biophysics), four Ph.D-granting programs and three Professional Master's Programs. There are 42 faculty members, 14 staff members, approximately 124 graduate students, and over 500 undergrad majors.

METRIC NUMBERS
Graduate MCB Majors 124
     Ph.D. Students 94
     MS Students 8
     PSM Students 22
 Undergraduate MCB Majors 572
 Biology Majors 1340
 University Scholars in MCB 9
 Honors Students Working in Labs 60
MCB 2000+ Level Credit Hours 16,512
MCB Graduate Level Credit Hours 2,244
Total Expenditure Research Grants 5,304,157

The department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) is one of the largest and most complex departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and in the University as a whole. The scientific expertise in the department extends from the nanoscale examination of individual biological molecules to the exploration of molecular phenomena as it occurs in whole animals and in the interactions between species.  Research in the department is roughly organized into four areas of concentration (Cell and Developmental Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Microbiology and Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics) but interactions between these areas continues to grow as represented both by collaborative publications and by research proposals that include faculty from different areas.  This span of scales represents a true strength of the department, in that our research is highly collaborative and the connection of these different areas of concentration enables truly innovative approaches to research.

We secure substantial research funding from private foundations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and from state and federal agencies.  Our teaching mission is also strong, and we teach thousands of students each year and also provide honors students and university scholars with experiential learning opportunities for their future careers in science and medicine.  We have a large graduate program that encompasses both traditional training at the master’s and doctoral levels, and Professional Science Master’s programs in Applied Genomics and in Microbial Systems Analysis along with the newly created professional master’s degree in Applied Biochemistry and Cell Biology, that are specifically designed to serve as workforce development platforms.  Beyond that, the department has a long history of public engagement and service.  For example, we are currently the academic home for two scientific journals, and many of our faculty serve as editorial board members and reviewers for a long list of publications.  We have an active outreach and service program.  We teach high school science teachers in Connecticut, provide service to the college and University in our creation and management of many of the individual units of the University Biotechnology and Biosciences Center, provide research opportunities to high school students, and have recently provided service to the federal government by sending Jefferson Science Fellows to the US State department just to name a small number of these activities.

Research led by departmental members engage scientists from the UCONN/Storrs and UCONN Health Center scientific communities, the Jackson Laboratory Center for Genomic Medicine, and the rest of the scientific community in Connecticut.  MCB collaborations extend beyond this local arena to the national and international stage, and have served to produce both highly cited research literature, and a robust and energetic scientific community on the Storrs campus.

The department currently is housed in four buildings (Beach Hall, Engineering Science Building, Torrey Life Sciences Building and Biology Physics Building, approximately 76,000 ft2 of office, classroom and teaching laboratory, and research space.