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Molecular Biology Program

Exceptionally collaborative and rigorous interdisciplinary graduate training environment designed to equip students with a strong foundation for a career in the modern biomolecular sciences.





  • More than 160 labs in seven diverse departments of Biochemistry, Human Genetics, Neurobiology, Oncological Sciences, the School of Biological Sciences, the Division of Pathology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Nutrition and Integrative Physiology
  • Students carry out cutting-edge thesis research in world-class facilities
  • Curriculum provides a solid background in key areas of modern molecular biology
  • Designed to teach independent, critical thinking skills, and grant writing
  • Electives give students a wide variety of options in tailoring coursework
  • After the first year, students leave the Program and formally join one of the seven science departments above to continue thesis research in the laboratory of a Program faculty member
  • Join our research community!


Program Benefits

Students who are accepted into the program enjoy the following benefits:

  • Annual fellowship / Living stipend support ($35,000 for the 2023-2024 academic year)
  • $1,000 Starting Allocation
  • Tuition Waver
  • Health Insurance
  • Outstanding Core Facilities
  • Collaborative Environment


Interest Groups

One of the strengths of the MB program are the cross-departmental interest groups, which facilitate collaboration and offer opportunities for students to become more engaged in specific research topics. Interest groups comprise communities of University of Utah students and faculty with shared research interests and goals.


Biochemistry / Structural Biology Interest Group

Associated laboratories aim to understand the molecular basis for important biological processes by using a wide variety of experimental approaches, including x-ray crystallography, NMR, electron microscopy, enzymology, virology, and protein design.

Cancer / Cell Biology Interest Group

The genesis of human cancer arises from alterations in fundamental cell biological processes.  The members of the Cancer/Cell Biology Interest Group study normal and cancer cell physiology in order to understand cancer from its beginnings and use that information to create and improve cancer treatments.

Developmental Biology Interest Group

Recent studies in developmental biology have been at the leading edge of modern biological research. Through combined genetic, genomic and molecular approaches, studies of bacteria, yeast, C. elegans, Drosophila, mammals, Xenopus, chick and zebrafish have provided a strong foundation for understanding the common developmental pathways shared by all higher organisms.

Gene Expression Interest Group

Regulation of gene expression is fundamental to cell identity, fate, and growth control. Thus, researchers interested in the regulation of gene expression come from a wide range of biological disciplines including cancer biology, developmental biology, human genetics and cell signaling (among others).

Genetics Interest Group

Associated laboratories utilize the power of genetics to answer important questions in biology, ranging from basic developmental processes to the diagnosis and treatment of genetic disease including understand the underlying pathophysiology of genetic disorders.

Microbiology / Immunology Interest Group

Microbiology and Immunology are disciplines with great impact on human biology and health. Associated laboratories are enhanced by a community approach that promotes interactions between clinician scientists and investigators studying basic questions in immunology and host-pathogen interactions.

Neurobiology Interest Group

The human brain is perhaps the most complex object known—it has more neurons than the Milky Way galaxy has stars. Understanding how nervous systems are put together, work, and change is one of the main challenges facing biologists today. At the University of Utah we are exceptionally strong in using model systems to study neurobiology to increase knowledge of the mechanisms and molecules that underlie the development and function of nervous systems.







Last Updated: 7/27/23