Biomedical and Physical Sciences buildingBottles sit in campus laboratory

Welcome to the Cell and Molecular Biology Program

The Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) program at Michigan State University is an interdepartmental Ph.D. program administered by the College of Natural Science. MSU is one of the major public research universities in the nation, and has a long tradition as a center for both basic and applied biological research and biotechnology. MSU is strong in many areas of biological research, including protein structure, gene expression, plant biology, organelle biology, molecular genetics, chronic diseases, and animal health, among others. The conjunction of agricultural, health-related, and industrial research, along with the fundamental cell and molecular biology that helps form the basis for that research, makes MSU an exceptionally stimulating setting in which to work.

The CMB training program is designed so that the student will focus on a particular area of research while being exposed to a wide variety of topics in cell and molecular biology. The primary requirement for the Ph.D. is the completion of original research and the publication of a Ph.D. thesis describing that research. The CMB program emphasizes the importance of high quality research, and is designed to assist students in fulfilling their potential as research scientists. During the first academic year at MSU, students take required and elective courses and complete three research rotations (ten weeks each) in the laboratories of three different faculty members. This provides the student with in-depth exposure to several different research programs, and assists him or her in choosing a major professor with whom they will do their Ph.D. research. Thereafter, students are advised by both their major professor and their Graduate Advisory Committee, which includes three or four additional CMB faculty. Generally, about four years beyond the rotation period are required to complete the Ph.D. program.


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