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The more than 150 Ph.D. students in graduate fields within in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics engage in world-class, multidisciplinary training in the biological and biomedical sciences. They study a wide range of research topics from cellular organelle functions, to DNA replication and repair, to the molecular structure of spider silk and why it is five times stronger than steel. Through solid scientific investigation, they are making strides toward greater understanding of the governing principles of life.

Graduate Fields within MBG

At Cornell, graduate education is organized by Fields, defining areas of scientific endeavor that cross departmental boundaries. The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics is the primary home of the Graduate Fields of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics, Genomics, and Development, as well as an important participant in the Field of Biophysics.

Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cell Biology

The Graduate Field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (BMCB) at Cornell University provides top-ranking, multidisciplinary training in diverse aspects of biological and biomedical sciences. Research topics include transcription, RNA processing, DNA replication and repair, membrane trafficking, the cytoskeleton, signal transduction, metabolic regulation, enzyme structure and mechanism, organelle function, biophysics of protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions, and virology. Learn More BMCB

Genetics, Genomics, and Development

The Graduate Field of Genetics, Genomics, and Development (GG&D) is ideally suited for students who want to uncover the fundamental genetic, biochemical, developmental, and cell biological principles that govern life. Students obtain outstanding training in analytical tools that enable them to understand the mechanisms of inheritance, development, mutation, gene regulation, and population structure and evolution. The GG&D Field builds on the strong tradition of interdisciplinary training at Cornell and is composed of more than 55 faculty members from 15 departments in 5 colleges. Learn More GGD


The Graduate Field of Biophysics encompasses a diversity of interdisciplinary research topics. Biophysicists seek to understand the fundamental processes of life by applying the methods of physics and chemistry to biological systems. To investigate life at this most basic level, biophysicists use some of the most powerful tools available - X ray crystallography, optical and laser spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and advanced computational science. Learn More Biophysics

Future Leaders in Molecular and Cellular and Cellular Mechanisms (FLMCM) Predoctoral Training Program

The mission of the Future Leaders in Molecular and Cellular Mechanism (FLMCM) Predoctoral Training Program at Cornell University is to provide diverse trainees with foundational training in cellular, biochemical, and molecular sciences, with a strong focus on multidisciplinary research that seeks to uncover the mechanistic principles of fundamental processes that govern all forms of life, and to understand how these mechanistic principles impact health and disease. We aim to develop a diverse pool of scientists who have the necessary skills to conduct independent rigorous research and be successful in a wide array of careers in the biomedical research enterprise. The FLMCM program is also committed to take a leading and influential role in modernizing graduate education in the life sciences on the Cornell campus in Ithaca and beyond.  Learn more about FLMCM