University of Colorado at Boulder
and Developmental Biology
Boulder, Colorado 80309
The University of Colorado is one of the strongest teaching and research centers in the mountain states. It is further enhanced by the relationship of its life sciences programs to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. The University of Colorado at Boulder has a student body of 27,300 and is composed of ten schools and colleges offering more than 2,500 courses in 150 fields of study. The graduate student body numbers about 4,500. The University has been designated by the state legislature as the state's principal center for graduate and professional study. The campus is within sight of the Flatirons, a spectacular series of rock formations that represent the first rise of the Rocky Mountains above the Great Plains.
Graduate students in the department are distributed almost equally among the three areas of specialization. The student group includes approximately equal numbers of women and men. The majority of the students have prior laboratory experience either from their undergraduate training or from working in laboratories before entering the program.
The University of Colorado is located in Boulder, a city of more than 103,000, at the very edge of the Rocky Mountains. Historically, Boulder was one of the important supply towns for the mining areas immediately to the west. Today it is a major center of research and scientific development. Boulder is at the edge of the Denver metropolitan area (with a population of more than 1 million), and both downtown Denver and the Denver airport are easily accessible by private or public transportation. The Continental Divide, with its attendant opportunities for outdoor recreation, is only 25 miles to the west. Boulder is located on relatively level ground at an altitude of about 5,400 feet; it has a mild and pleasant climate.
Programs of study and degree requirements
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) is a department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Graduate studies within the department lead to the Ph.D. degree in biology, with specialization in areas of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. There is no master's degree program.
The program leading to the Ph.D. degree provides interdisciplinary training in modern experimental biology. The first year includes an intensive graduate core curriculum emphasizing biochemistry, molecular genetics, structure and function of cells, and mechanisms of development. Three laboratory rotations familiarize students with faculty research and current techniques. Joint programs with the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, and the Institute for Behavioral Genetics are available. Advanced specialization includes additional course work and seminars, but is achieved primarily through thesis research performed in a faculty laboratory. Members of the department conduct research in several areas of molecular biology, genetics, cell structure and function, and developmental biology. The department includes 33 graduate faculty members, 74 postdoctoral research associates, and approximately 50 graduate students.
Facilities & Resources
The department is housed in two adjoining buildings containing more than 120,000 square feet of laboratory space designed specifically for its research programs. The second building, completed in 1995, doubled the department's laboratory space and has allowed for faculty expansion into new research areas, including mammalian development and problems relating to human health. Several investigators in MCDB work closely with colleagues at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. The department maintains a number of specialized research instruments and facilities, including a new pathogen-free transgenic mouse facility and the 1-MeV Boulder High Voltage Electron Microscope, and is otherwise fully equipped for modern biology.
Expenses and Aid
For residents of Colorado, tuition is estimated at $2,600 per semester for a 10-credit course load. For nonresident graduate students, the cost is estimated at $11,300 per semester for a 10-credit course load. Fellowships, traineeships, and research and teaching assistantships also pay tuition. Fees, including insurance, are $950 per semester. Tuition costs, fees, and insurance are included in the financial support awarded to students.
Financial Aid: Students are provided with stipend and tuition support adequate for normal expenses throughout their graduate training. The stipend for entering students is projected to be approximately $24,000 for the first year. Sources of support may include NIH traineeships, university and departmental supplemental fellowships, research and teaching assistantships (limited to two semesters), and individual predoctoral fellowships from the National Science and Howard Hughes foundations.
Housing/Living Expenses: Housing costs range from $2,432 to $4,636 per semester, depending on the type of room, number of occupants, and whether meals are included. The University operates apartments at rates of $456 to $880 per month, depending on size and furnishings. Most graduate students prefer to live off campus in shared houses and apartments. Rents range from $630 for a shared apartment to $1,450 for a two-bedroom apartment occupied by a student and dependents.
How to Apply
Students with a bachelor's degree in any of the biological, biochemical, or physical sciences are encouraged to apply. Expected preparation includes the equivalent of undergraduate courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, mathematics through calculus, general physics, general biology, cell biology, developmental biology, and genetics. Limited deficiencies in undergraduate training can usually be corrected after enrollment. Some prior research experience is expected. Completed applications, including letters of reference, transcripts, and scores on the GRE General Test and Subject Test in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry, cell and molecular biology should be submitted to the department by January 15; late applications are considered on a space-available basis. In order to meet this deadline the Graduate Record Examinations must be taken in November or earlier. Application materials or additional information concerning the graduate program may be obtained from the address below.
Who to Contact
Committee for Graduate Student Affairs
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0347
THE FACULTY AND THEIR RESEARCH
Robert E. Boswell, Professor; Ph.D., Colorado, 1981. Molecular and developmental genetics of Drosophila; protein and RNA localization, germ cell determination, and establishment of polarity.
Thomas R. Cech, Distinguished Professor; Ph.D., Berkeley, 1975. X-ray crystallography of RNA; biological catalysis by RNA; DNA-protein interactions at chromosome telomeres; telomerase.
Shelley D. Copley, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Harvard, 1987. Molecular evolution of enzymes and metabolic pathways; mechanistic enzymology; biodegradation of xenobiotic pollutants; bioinformatics.
Kathleen J. Danna, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 1972. Plant molecular biology and biotechnology; production of cellulases in plants for biomass conversion.
Corrella S. Detweiler, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., California, San Francisco, 1998. Persistent systemic infections: how pathogenic bacteria withstand and subvert the host immune system.
Mark W. Dubin, Professor; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 1969. Neurobiology; cognitive neuroscience.
Larry M. Gold, Professor; Ph.D., Connecticut, 1967. Oligonucleotides for all purposes, life itself.
Min Han, Professor and HHMI Assistant Investigator; Ph.D., UCLA, 1988. Genetic and molecular analysis of cell signaling, differentiation, migration, and morphogenesis during nematode C. elegans development.
Kevin R. Jones, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Berkeley, 1989. Molecular genetics of mouse neural development.
Michael W. Klymkowsky, Professor; Ph.D., Caltech, 1980. Cell adhesion, cytoskeletal organization, and gene expression, and teaching and technology.
Kenneth S. Krauter, Professor; Ph.D., Yeshiva (Einstein), 1980. Human genetics; comparative DNA sequence analysis; behavioral genetics; complex trait mapping.
Jacqueline E. Lee, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Columbia, 1991. Vertebrate developmental biology; neurobiology; pancreatic islet biogenesis; transcription factors.
Leslie A. Leinwand, Professor and Chair; Ph.D., Yale, 1978. Genetic manipulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle development and function in mice; gene therapy; cardiac genetic disease.
Jens Lykke-Anderson, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Copenhagen (Denmark), 1997. Regulation of mRNA turnover in mammalian gene expression.
Jennifer M. Martin, Assistant Research Professor; Ph.D., Washington (Seattle), 1987. B-cell immortalization by Epstein-Barr virus; signal transduction; tumor virology; malignant transformation.
J. Richard McIntosh, Distinguished Professor; Ph.D., Harvard, 1968. Biophysical cytology; mechanisms of chromosome movement; 3-D reconstruction of cells, tissues, and organelles; molecular biology of cell division.
Timothy A. McKinsey, Assistant Professor Adjunct; Ph.D., Vanderbilt, 1998. Transcriptional control of muscle differentiation and growth; signal-dependent regulation of gene expression.
Greg Odorizzi, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., California, San Diego, 1996. Genetics and cell biology; membrane trafficking and phosphoinositide signaling in eukaryotic cells.
Bradley B. Olwin, Professor; Ph.D., Washington (Seattle), 1984. Molecular and developmental biology of skeletal muscle; skeletal muscle regeneration and aging; skeletal muscle stem cells and gene therapy; growth factors and signal transduction mechanisms.
Norman Pace, Professor; Ph.D., Illinois, 1967. Ribozyme biochemistry; molecular ecology of extreme ecosystems.
Thomas T. Perkins, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Stanford, 1997. Single-molecule biophysics; molecular motors; optical tweezers; protein-DNA interactions.
Robert O. Poyton, Professor; Ph.D., Berkeley, 1971. Oxygen sensing and control of gene expression; mitochondrial biogenesis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; oxidative stress and aging.
Ravinder Singh, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, 1990. RNA-protein interactions in gene regulation; pre-mRNA splicing and sex determination; computational analysis of splicing regulation.
L. Andrew Staehelin, Professor; Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1966. Cell biology of the Golgi apparatus, the gravisensing apparatus, and cytokinesis in plants; electron microscopy; 3-D reconstruction of cryofixed cells.
Gretchen H. Stein, Associate Professor, Attendant Rank; Ph.D., Stanford, 1971. Control of cell proliferation in human cells; cellular aging.
Michael H. B. Stowell, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., CIT, 1997. Structure and mechanism at the chemical synapse.
William M. Strauss, Assistant Research Professor; Ph.D., Harvard, 1998. Regulation of gene expression at the genomic level; dosage compensation and the long-range structure of chromosomes, especially as chromosome structure may determine function.
Tin Tin Su, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon, 1991. Cell-cycle regulation in Drosophila; checkpoints.
Jonathan Van Blerkom, Research Professor; Ph.D., Colorado, 1974. Regulation of oogenesis and early mammalian embryogenesis by genomic and extragenomic factors.
Mark Winey, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison, 1988. Genetics and molecular biology of the centrosome and its cell-cycle dependent assembly.
William B. Wood, Distinguished Professor; Ph.D., Stanford, 1963. Genetic control and molecular biology of embryonic development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Ding Xue, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Columbia, 1993. Mechanisms of the regulation activation and execution of programmed cell death in the nematode C. elegans and in mammals.
Michael J. Yarus, Professor; Ph.D., Caltech, 1965. RNA structure and function; RNA catalysis; mechanisms of translation; origins of translation.
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