Welcome from the Department Chair
I hope you will explore this website and learn more about the programs and services available in this remarkable department.
I want to make two points about the Department of Molecular Biology.
First, our department is part of a vibrant and unique university. Princeton University seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. In other words, the university is all about discovery, teaching, and learning. It attracts exceptional faculty and students. This is a place for all those eager to learn, engage, and exchange ideas to be challenged and excel.
It is a small private university, with about 1,100 faculty instructing about 5,000 undergrads and 2,500 graduate students. Its students and faculty come from more than 98 countries. The faculty are world-class scholars in the humanities, social sciences, engineering, and the natural sciences. Importantly, there is no medical school, business school, or law school, but there are the schools of Architecture, Engineering and Applied Science, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. It is a beautiful university on 500 acres in a small town environment.
Second, the Department of Molecular Biology is a world-class department within this university. We are one of the largest of the University's 34 departments: 38 professors work in laboratories in five closely linked buildings.
As of June 2011, there were 127 undergraduate majors, 139 graduate students, and 132 postdoctoral fellows. Our faculty have won numerous prestigious awards (including the Nobel Prize and the Macarthur Genius award), are presidents of societies, editors of professional journals, and at least 10 are members of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. All do service work for their professions by being on journal editorial boards, serve on NIH study sections, and on various scientific advisory boards and foundations.
The department faculty are diverse in their research interests in molecular, cell, and systems biology ranging from studies with viruses, bacteria and yeast to research with worms, flies, fish, and mice. Many of our faculty have joint appointments in the Lewis Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics or the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. At least 12 colleagues from other departments such as Physics, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Computer Sciences, and Chemical and Biological Engineering participate in our graduate program by teaching and training students. The facile interactions among departments and institutes provide an exceptional environment for training students and doing research.
Our curricula for undergraduates and graduates are based on the principle of providing the fundamental knowledge needed to be fluent and competitive in the new, rapidly unfolding arenas of biology. We believe in learning by doing. Our undergraduate molbio majors and our graduate students all have access to a wide array of departmental facilities and are trained on state of the art equipment by professionals.
In the last 8 years, the Department has hired 11 new assistant professors – an amazing growth rate that demonstrates the university's commitment to teaching and new areas of research. We hired new faculty with expertise in genomics, proteomics, cancer biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and microbiology, for example. We have created new certificate programs for undergraduates in global health, neuroscience, and quantitative biology. We have made a multimillion dollar investment in teaching and service laboratories to provide graduate students with state of the art lab space and equipment.
This web site will provide detailed information on what's going on in the department, highlighting each faculty member and their laboratories, the service groups, our administrative staff, as well as our training programs – and much more. As you explore this site, I know you will find even more evidence to support my assertion that the Department of Molecular Biology provides an exceptional training and work environment for those talented and dedicated individuals who are strongly motivated to uncover the new frontiers in biology.
Lynn W. Enquist
Chair, Department of Molecular Biology