Welcome from the Department Chair

The Department of Molecular Biology is the core of the life sciences at Princeton. We are a world-class faculty with diverse research interests spanning molecular, cell, and systems biology, and we study organisms ranging from viruses, bacteria and yeast to worms, flies, fish, mice, and humans. Many of our faculty have joint appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Engineering, Physics, and the Lewis Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics or the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. All of us, as well as faculty from these sister departments and institutes, participate in our undergraduate and graduate programs. The uncommon level of inter-disciplinary interactions provides an exceptional environment for learning and research.

Members of the Department have expertise in genomics, proteomics, cancer biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and microbiology, for example. We have programs in global health, molecular biology, neuroscience, and quantitative biology. Faculty members have won numerous prestigious awards (including the Nobel Prize and the MacArthur Genius award), and at least 10 are members of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Many faculty lead their disciplines by serving as presidents or officers of societies. They serve on journal editorial boards, NIH study sections, scientific advisory boards, and boards of foundations and companies.

Our undergraduate and graduate curricula 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. We have made multi-million dollar investments in teaching and research technologies to provide our students with the world’s best facilities coupled with an atmosphere filled with enthusiasm for science and learning. Our expectation is that students who graduate from the Princeton Molecular Biology Department will be world’s next generation of leading academicians, physicians, health industry professionals, entrepreneurs, lawyers, non-profit leaders, teachers, and public servants.

This Departmental web site provides in-depth information about us. It highlights each faculty member and his or her laboratory, our teaching philosophy and the courses we offer, our research and technology support groups, and our administrative staff. The Department of Molecular Biology provides an exceptional educational and research environment for talented individuals who dream of uncovering new frontiers in biology.


Bonnie L. Bassler
Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology
Chair, Department of Molecular Biology
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator