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Department of Molecular
and Cellular Biology

About us

Our Science 

We research and teach how the collective behavior of molecules and cells forms the basis of life. We are driven by a passion for discovery and value collaborative approaches to scientific inquiry, where connections between people fuel interdisciplinary science and break boundaries across varied experimental systems. Against a backdrop of cutting-edge biological research, we work as a team of educators and mentors to inspire and train the next generation of scientists and global citizens. 

 Our Community 

At the core of the MCB department is a commitment to foster an environment in which all individuals have the opportunity to thrive. It is our shared responsibility to create an inclusive culture, where we support and respect each other as colleagues. We embrace a diverse range of perspectives, expertise, identities, experiences, talents, and abilities. By continually strengthening this foundation of investing in the well-being of our people, we enable our community’s growth and pursuit of the creative and innovative approaches that underlie scientific excellence. 

Our Guiding Principles

We hold ourselves and the community accountable to the following set of values: 

Respect
We foster a safe and supportive environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity and is able to work towards their aspirations. 

Engagement
We encourage difficult conversations about racial, gender, structural and other inequities in our labs, institutions, and society.We listen actively and openly and seek to continually learn from one another during these respectful and open dialogues. 

Action
We take active steps to diversify our community demographics, promote equitable practices, and eliminate systemic racism and other inequities in our departmental structures. 

Support
We prioritize the well-being of our community members and create avenues of support for all, with a particular focus on the needs of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, first generation students, people from underprivileged backgrounds, and other community members underrepresented in the scientific community.We prioritize diversity, inclusion, and belonging work, advocate for it at all levels and actively include it in all departmental discussions.  

Integrity 

We carry out our work responsibly and ethically, recognizing that our own choices are reflections of both ourselves and our community. As a department, we are committed to building institutional accountability and transparency in our decision-making processes.  

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIROur research

Latest News

(l to r) Vikrant Kapoor, Spencer Kim, Nuné Martiros, and Venki Murthy. (photo by Souvik Mandal)

Murthy Lab Investigates the Formation of “Smell Memories”

Good or bad experiences associated with smells are thought to become strongly ingrained in memory, even more so than memories associated with sights, sounds, and other senses. Where […]

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Jenny Chen

Postdoc Spotlight: Jennifer Chen (Hoekstra and Eddy Labs)

Postdoc Jennifer Chen is exploring the evolution of innate behaviors in closely related species of deer mice. She conducts research jointly in the Hoekstra Lab, which specializes in […]

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(l to r) Hebrew University (HU) President Asher Cohen, Josh Sanes, and HU Rector Barak Medina

Professor Joshua Sanes Receives Honorary Degree from Hebrew University

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in recognition of his contributions to neuroscience. Sanes currently serves as Co-Director of the Harvard Brain Sciences Initiative. At the ceremony on June […]

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(l to r) Vikrant Kapoor, Jessica Osterhout, and Catherine Dulac. Not shown: Stephen Eichhorn, Eric Vaughn, Jeff Moore, Ding Liu, Dean Lee, Laura DeNardo, Liqun Luo, and Xiaowei Zhuang

How the Brain Makes Us Feel Sick [Dulac Lab]

When humans have an infection, like a cold or the flu, they are fatigued and achy, have a reduced appetite and elevated body temperature (aka a fever). Remarkably […]

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Upcoming Events

HCBI Summer Lunch and Learn Lectures: Spatial transcriptomics with MERSCOPE

  • 12pm - Thursday Jun 30, 2022
  • Biological Laboratories (Biolabs) Room 1080, Divinity Avenue, Cambridge

HCBI Summer Lunch and Learn Lectures: A modular approach to tissue clearing

  • 12pm - Thursday Jul 14, 2022
  • Biological Laboratories (Biolabs) Room 1080, Divinity Avenue, Cambridge