Program Overview

With the advent of genomics, the 21st Century has been termed a "revolutionary" era in Biology and Biotechnology. The Department of Biology and Biotechnology is perfectly situated for this transition with the construction of the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park. This interdisciplinary state-of-the-art building integrates Life Sciences and Bioengineering graduate programs at WPI and houses a number of technology centers, such as the Bioengineering Institute (BEI).

The Department offers a fulltime research-oriented program for incoming graduate students, leading to either a doctor of philosophy (PhD) in biotechnology or Masters (MS) degree in biology and biotechnology. These programs require students to successfully complete a set of required courses in the field and a thesis project or dissertation that applies the basic principles of biology and biotechnology using hypothesis driven experimental methods to a specific research problem.

Graduates will have a broad knowledge of the field of biology and biotechnology, a detailed knowledge in their area of specialization, a working knowledge of modern research tools, a strong appreciation for scientific research in theoretical and experimental areas, and a foundation for lifelong learning and experimenting, both individually and as part of a team. Students who complete these programs will be well prepared for careers in the academic and private sectors or further graduate education.

Faculty in the Biology and Biotechnology Department have research interests in: molecular/cellular/developmental biology, regenerative medicine, plant biology, molecular ecology and evolution, applied microbial systems, and biofuels. Students seeking a graduate degree in biology and biotechnology engage in directed study with one of the department's faculty in his or her research area. The department strongly recommends that, prior to applying, students review the information on the department's faculty pages to help identify potential faculty advisors.

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See Also

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Areas of focus: Cytoskeletal dynamics, epigenetics/gene regulation, and signal transduction mechanisms
Involved faculty: Dave Adams, Tanja Dominko, J. B. Duffy, Rob Gegear, Lauren Mathews, Eric Overström, Sam Politz, Reeta Prusty Rao, Liz Ryder, and Luis Vidali
Focus on: Assistant Professor Luis Vidali 

Development, Neurobiology, and Organismal Biology

Areas of focus: Cancer biology, regenerative medicine, neuronal migration and degeneration, and pathogenic mechanisms 
Involved faculty:
Dave Adams, Tanja Dominko, J. B. Duffy, Rob Gegear, Liz Ryder, Sam Politz, Reeta Prusty Rao, Luis Vidali, and Pam Weathers
Focus on: Professor Pamela Weathers  

Behavioral and Environmental Biology

Areas of focus: Animal behavior, biological diversity, brain plasticity, pollinator ecology, and plant biology
Involved faculty: Rob Gegear, Lauren Mathews, J. B. Duffy, and Pam Weathers.
Focus on: Assistant Professor Rob Gegear