The explosion of genome-scale data over the last decade offers unprecedented opportunities to understand fundamental principles of biology and to apply biological knowledge to critical medical, agricultural, and environmental problems. Every day, faculty in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) engage in cutting-edge research, training, and teaching to advance scientific discovery and answer basic questions in the life sciences. MBG faculty and students continuously deliver the highest standard of research because of their demonstrated excellence in linking genomes to gene and protein function in the context of cells, tissues, organisms, and the environment.


Our goal is to inspire and train the next generation of scientists, teachers, and communicators by providing research mentorship and classroom instruction in biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, and related disciplines and by initiating and participating in collaborative research across the Cornell campuses.


The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics was formed in 2000 when the Section of Genetics and Development (G&D) merged with the Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (BMCB). These sections were each created as part of the Division of Biological Sciences, which formed in 1964 to unite faculty members from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences. In 2007, the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology was founded with many members of MBG as an interdisciplinary research institute focusing on cell signaling and molecular dynamics.


MBG faculty members are energetic, well funded, and highly collaborative. MBG research laboratories use exciting approaches to study the mechanisms that underlie inheritance, development, mutation, genome and cell organization, disease penetrance, gene regulation, population structure, and evolution.

Academic Programs

The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics shares a leading role in teaching modern biology at Cornell University. MBG Faculty members are responsible for teaching over 50 courses.

Undergraduate students interested in subject areas within Molecular Biology and Genetics can major in the Biological Sciences, which serves students from both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics is also the primary home of three Graduate Fields: Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology; Genetics and Development; and Biophysics.

Facilities & Resources

MBG maintains state-of-the-art research facilities in which its faculty, staff, and students achieve the highest standards of research. The department also provides numerous academic resources, including collections of past and present journals and molecular biology reference materials.