Cell & Developmental Biology Graduate Program

How To Apply

Application for Fall 2020 admission will be available online September 1. The deadline will be December 1, 2019 at 11:59pm, EST
Note: GRE scores are no longer required for applications. 

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The Cell and Developmental Biology Degree Program at the University of Virginia provides outstanding interdisciplinary training in the vibrant and rapidly evolving fields of Cell Biology and Developmental Biology. The goal of our graduate program is to equip a new generation of biomedical researchers with the skills needed to carry out independent and innovative cutting-edge research that addresses fundamentally important problems in cell and developmental biology. The Program provides a combination of lecture-based and advanced topical colloquia during the first two years, with active involvement in student-led journal club and research-in-progress talks, in parallel with active research in the area of interest. We seek to train our students for intellectual engagement with biomedical science at the highest level. To earn a Ph.D degree, students are required to carry out an independent, publishable research project in one of >30 participating labs https://med.virginia.edu/bims/programs/research-opportunities/cell-biology/ situated in one of the basic science departments in the School of Medicine or in the Biology Department.

  • 46% of CDB program students matriculate through labs outside of the Department of Cell Biology
  • 84% of eligible CDB students are appointed to NIH institutional training grants
  • 67% of our grads accept an academic postdoc; 24% accept a non-academic position

As part of our program, graduate students have the opportunity to explore fundamental questions in many areas including molecular mechanisms of cell function; the morphogenesis of cells, tissues and organs; regulation of growth, differentiation and proliferation; cell interactions in migration and embryonic patterning during development.  In many cases these areas serve as the basis for more targeted interests in cell/pathogen interactions; tissue regeneration; functional dysregulation in cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases; and biotechnology.

The Program fosters an exceptional level of interaction and collaboration not only within the Cell and Developmental Biology degree program but also with colleagues across the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Student Publications

Bott CJ, Johnson CG, Yap CC, Dwyer ND, Litwa KA, Winckler B. Nestin in immature embryonic neurons affects axon growth cone morphology and Semaphorin3a sensitivity. Mol Biol Cell. 2019 May 1;30(10):1214-1229.

Trivedi P, Zaytsev AV, Godzi M, Ataullakhanov FI, Grishchuk EL, Stukenberg PT. The binding of Borealin to microtubules underlies a tension independent kinetochore-microtubule error correction pathway.  Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 8;10(1):682. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08418-4.

List of archived publications