Research Areas

  • Genomics
    Genomics faculty address questions concerning the mechanisms that drive evolutionary change. A variety of theoretical, descriptive and novel experimental approaches using recent advances in genomic methodology are being used to address the roles played by various evolutionary processes in shaping organisms and populations.
  • Genetics
    Faculty in Genetics explore the molecular regulation of gene expression at various stages, including transcription, splicing, translation, and post translation modification. Our faculty also use molecular genetics approaches to study signaling, cell wall formation, protein trafficking, and neurobiology. Other faculty use population genetics approaches to identify the selective forces that act on genes.
  • Signaling
    Signaling faculty study cellular communication and the intracellular pathways that regulate activity. These faculty use a wide range of model organisms and techniques to examine a diverse array of signaling pathways involved in hormonal regulation, sensory transduction, and cell growth and metabolism.
  • Cell and Molecular
    The Cell and Molecular faculty explore how genetic information is encoded in genomes and how it is interpreted to produce functional proteins. The research interests of the faculty focus on the regulation of transcription, translation, splicing, and post-translational modifications.
  • Ecology and Evolution
    Faculty research concerns plant evolutionary biology; development and genomics; evolutionary biology; molecular phylogenetics and population genomics; chromatin and its impact on gene expression; genome stabilit; chromosome function; evolutionary genetics of aquatic invertebrates; and community and ecosystem ecology.
  • Neuroscience
    The Neuroscience faculty explore signal transduction events during sensory perception, synaptic transmission, and disease. Specific areas of interest include hearing, taste, smell, and neurodegenerative disease. This group of researchers uses a wide array of techniques spanning the fields of electrophysiology, cell and developmental biology, microscopy and imaging, and molecular genetics.
  • Fungal Biology
    Faculty explore how filamentous fungi and budding yeasts assess nutrient availability and respond appropriately by adjusting gene expression, budding patterns, cell morphology, and cell wall structure. Some of these studies involve opportunistic fungal pathogens. Our faculty also use yeast as a model organism to investigate the molecular basis of gene expression, including transcription, RNA processing and translation.
  • Plant Biology
    Faculty address diverse areas of plant biology. Their work investigates molecular regulation of the photosynthetic pathway in C4 plants, biosynthetic pathways of plant products that are important as pharmaceutics, growth in difficult or contaminated environments, evolutionary biology by combining state-of-the-art genomics with molecular analyses to understand plant origins and diversification.
  • Microbiology
    Faculty study the ecology of microorganisms including how bacteria use phage-encoded toxins to evade protozoan predators, how the protozoan Tetrahymena uses chemosensation to find food, and how transcription termination regulates gene expression in Bacillus subtilis.  Other microbiology faculty study how filamentous fungi and budding yeast adapt to their environments.
  • Animal Systems Biology
    Faculty in Animal Systems Biology study complex physiological and developmental processes in model animals. These systems offer important experimental advantages in their accessibility, genetic resources, or amenability to specialized biochemical and molecular analysis. The systems used include rats and mice, zebrafish, the fruit fly Drosophila, and the nematode worm C. elegans. With modern tools and techniques, our faculty creatively explore key questions relating to sensory biology and neuronal processing, gene and protein expression in metabolic syndromes, and organismal integration through endocrine signaling.
  • Funding and Grants
    The Department of Biological Sciences supports the research of our faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates through funding obtained from many granting agencies, including both government and private foundations. Active and completed grants are listed on this page.
  • Publications
    The Department of Biological Sciences has a strong history of research going back to our founding. Faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students all contribute to our research mission. We work with scientific colleagues across the University and around the world. Our productivity speaks volumes about our commitment to research. Please refer to the profile pages for an updated listing of publications by each faculty member.

If you are interested in obtaining lab research experience, contact the faculty whose research you are most interested in.