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.

Genetics, Genomics, and Development (GG&D)

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.


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.

Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Sciences Pre-doctoral Training Program

Exploration of the biochemical, molecular and cellular principles of life is essential to driving innovation in biomedical research. At Cornell, a broad ranging research community helps push the frontiers of life sciences through fundamental and mechanistic research in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology. Graduate education is at the center stage of this enterprise.