The work of the Biology and Biotechnology Department at WPI goes far beyond the theoretical. Our faculty members and students are creative problem solvers who are passionate about using biological concepts in innovative, applicable ways. Ranging from cancer biology and infectious disease research to studies of brain plasticity and pollinator decline, student-driven research at WPI is making an impact.

Our state-of-the-art research facilities housed at the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center support collaborations between students, faculty, and company researchers from across disciplines, enabling free exchanges of ideas that lead to important advances in healthcare, therapeutics, regenerative biology, the environment, and more.

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Studying Mental Flexibility in Bees

Assistant Professor Rob Gegear studies how bumblebees make decisions as they forage, and explores the complex interconnections between bees and flowering plants. This is no small matter, as bees are vital to agriculture and to maintaining the Earth's ecological diversity.

Studying Mental Flexibility in Bees

The Life of a Scientist

Professors Scarlet Shell and Jagan Srinivasan, along with alumna Melinda Belisle '08, are among more than a dozen members of the WPI scientific community who shared what it means to be a scientist. 

Beating Cancer at Its Own Game

Assistant professor Amity Manning is leading a three-year research projected funded by the National Institutes of Health to explore the molecular mechanisms associated with the genetic mutations and chromosome instability observed in all cancer cells.

The goal is to turn the genetic tables against cancer by learning more about the molecular basis of cancer cells' uncontrolled growth.

In the News

National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered" profiled research by Pamela Weathers, professor of biology and biotechnology, comparing the efficacy of sweet wormwood tea to cure the parasitic disease schistosomiasis. The tea cured patients faster than the most common drug treatment and with no adverse side effects. NPR also featured Weathers’ work on its blog last week.

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In a story on National Public Radio’s Goats and Soda blog, health reporter Jason Beaubien describes a new study co-authored by Pamela Weathers, professor of biology and biotechnology, that showed that tea infusions made from the wormwood plant cured patients with schistosomiasis faster than the commonly used drug.

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Facts and Figures

45+

global project centers on six continents

13:1

student to faculty ratio 

#1

Faculty that best combine research and teaching

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (2016)
$34.2M

For 193 research awards 

(2014-15)