Molecular and Cellular Biology (MOCB)
The MOCB concentration area offers highly mentored graduate training with faculty interested in a broad spectrum of research focused on understanding the molecular nature of biology. Our faculty members have expertise in state-of-the-art technologies, have national and international reputations, and publish in high impact journals. MOCB-CA students receive a Core Curriculum that emphasizes knowledge in the areas of molecular genetics, nucleic acid biochemistry, cell biology, and structural biology. In addition, a number of interdisciplinary research clusters are available focusing on host-pathogen interactions, plant systems, developmental biology, virology, genomics, biophysics, and more. The overall goal of the MOCB-CA is to provide our students with rigorous and comprehensive research training that will lead to a successful career in the biosciences.
Najib El-Sayed, an associate professor of cell biology and molecular genetics, fuses wet bench experimentation with sophisticated computer analysis to gather and interpret large amounts of genetic data. The El-Sayed Laboratory is one of the few labs in the country focused on finding treatments and therapies for various neglected tropical diseases.
Example Research Areas:
Students that choose the Molecular and Cellular Biology Concentration Area pursue research that reaches across a multitude of fields, some of which are listed here:
Students may join a research cluster once on campus, and are encouraged to explore the examples listed below to better understand potential opportunities
- Host-Pathogen Interactions Research Cluster
- Plant Systems: Cell Biology and Genomics
- Genetics with Eukaryotic Model Systems (GEMS)
Special Training Opportunities
The MOCB Concentration area administers 3 training grants funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program: PIs: Dr. Leslie Pick & Dr. David O'Brochta
- Host Pathogen Interaction Training Program: PIs: Dr. Kevin McIver & Dr. David Mosser
- Virology Training Program: PI: Dr. Anne Simon
Students can apply to be part of this training after their first year, however, in some cases, exceptional students are offered training grant positions upon entering the program.
Affiliated Institutions and Research Partnerships
Institutions and Centers
- College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS)
- College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR)
- Food and Drug Administration Laboratories (FDA)
- J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History (NMNH)
- USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
- Maryland Pathogen Research Institute (MPRI)
- Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB)