The goal of the doctoral program in Cell and Molecular Biology is to foster advanced scholarship and research in the combined areas of cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology. Areas of research focus in the program include the cytoskeleton, membrane organelles, the cell cycle, signaling and cell regulation, developmental biology, gene expression and chromosome biology, microbiology, and plant biology.
After being introduced to a broad spectrum of experimental rationales and technical approaches, students typically learn several in depth. Skills in genetic analysis include transgenic, reverse genetic, and genomic analysis, as well as molecular analysis of genes and gene products. Skills in structural analysis of the cell include the use of advanced optical and electron microscopy (e.g., EM tomography, atomic force microscopy, and dynamic in vivo imaging). Skills in molecular biology include classic biochemistry, chemical biology, proteomics, single molecule analysis, x-ray crystallography, and mathematical modeling. Students learn to identify the model organisms and the appropriate tools and techniques that will allow them to answer their scientific questions in the most effective way. Among the model organisms in which training is available are eukaryotic and prokaryotic viruses; diverse bacteria (e.g., cyanobacteria, Tetrahymena, Saccharomyces, and other yeasts); Chlamydomonas, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, Arabidopsis, and other plant species; mice; and humans.
Since 1913, the University of Chicago has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.