Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology

Faculty Contact: Peter Novick

Molecular Cell Biology applies biochemical, genetic, molecular, and sophisticated morphological techniques to the investigation of basic cellular processes in health and disease. The Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology Training Area provides abundant opportunities to investigate problems in molecular biology and cell biology. The training area includes outstanding faculty members drawn from several departments in the School of Medicine to offer a breadth and depth of expertise in both research areas addressed and experimental approaches used in molecular cell biology.

Areas of investigation include cell signaling, glycobiology, lipid signaling and membrane trafficking, molecular motors and vesicular trafficking, chromosome biology, transcriptional regulation, RNA processing, cell cycle control, cancer cell biology and the layers of integration between these processes. These topics are investigated in a wide variety of organisms including yeast, Drosophila, C. elegans, mice and humans, using approaches that range from high-end microscopy to functional genomics.

Students are expected to choose elective courses that reflect a molecular cell biology focus, including participation in seminars and journal clubs with a molecular cell biology focus.

Find BMS Faculty in Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology

Required Coursework for BMS students

BMS students take a core curriculum that provides the foundation to allow them to specialize in any of the offered training areas. In the Fall quarter, "Molecules to Organisms" (BIOM 200A&B) provides a systematic approach to current Biomedical Research, using analysis of selected topics to focus on the process of research discovery and its critical evaluation. "Seminar in Biomedical Research" (BIOM 201) includes attendance at one of the UC San Diego seminar series and is designed to provoke critical discussion of the presented findings and scientific approaches in a small group setting. BMS students also take short courses in statistical analysis of data (BIOM 285) and ethics in research (BIOM 219) in the second or third quarter of their first year.

Recommended Electives

Course Title
BIOM 224 Cancer Genetics
BIOM 222 Essentials of Glycobiology
BIOM 243 Human Genetics
BIOM 254 Molecular and Cell Biology
BIOM 264 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease
BIOM 272A & BIOM 274A Seminars in Genetics and Molecular and Cell Biology

Seminars in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Journal Clubs:

An essential aspect of graduate education is discussion and critical evaluation of current discoveries. Students in the Molecular Cell Biology Training Area are expected throughout their graduate careers to attend and meet with the speakers in the weekly Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar Series, which features outstanding speakers in molecular and cellular biology and medicine drawn from premiere institutions worldwide. They are also expected to participate in one of several journal clubs: Cancer Biology Journal Club, Glycobiology Journal Club or Genetics Journal Club.

"The key to every biological problem must finally be sought in the cell". E. B. Wilson