University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDB&G)

The Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDB&G) graduate program is a broad-based interdisciplinary graduate program with 80 faculty members.

The program emphasizes basic research in the fields of genetics, cell biology and development through the use of model organisms such as yeast, Chlamydomonas, Arabidopsis, C. elegans, Drosophila, Dictyostelium, zebrafish and mice. There is also a strong group of faculty that study human genetic diseases including cancer, ataxia, muscular dystrophy, and immunologic deficiencies. Faculty members have appointments in various departments in the College of Biological Sciences, the Medical School, the College of Science and Engineering, the College of Agriculture, and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Students begin their training in the Molecular, Cellular, Structural Biology (MCSB) graduate studies, a joint first-year program between MCDB&G and Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB). Students are able to explore the offerings of both programs for the first academic year before deciding on which program they would like to enter.

MCDB&G graduate students undertake state-of-the-art research and publish their research in prestigious journals. They have won nationally competitive pre-doctoral fellowships from the NIH, NSF and the American Heart Association.




Courtney Coombes (Gardner lab) and Spencer Luebben (Shima lab) participated in the inaugural 3 Minute Thesis competition during the 7th annual Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs Research Recognition Day on May 24, 2014.  Nine Ph.D. graduate students participated. It is very exciting to announce that Courtney won first prize in the competition.  Congratulations to Spencer for delivering a great presentation as well.

Videos of their presentations (as well as the presentations of the other participants) have been posted online at  Direct links to their presentations are below. 

Courtney Coombes -
Spencer Luebben -