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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: 

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

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. 

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

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.  


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.  


Latest News

Haleh Fotowat (l) and Florian Engert

How Fish Learn to Ignore Inconsequential Events [Engert Lab]

As a graduate student in the Gabbiani lab at Baylor College of Medicine, I studied how locust brains processed sensory information about an approaching predator and gave rise […]

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Luis Hernandez-Nunez

MCB Postdoc Developing New Field of Systems Neurocardiology

Luis Hernandez-Nunez, postdoc in the Engert lab in MCB, is at the forefront of a new field he calls Systems neurocardiology, a combination of control theory, systems neuroscience, […]

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World Science Festival Highlights Takao Hensch in New Video

MCB faculty Takao Hensch is being featured alongside neuroscientist John Krakauer of Johns Hopkins and neurotechnologist Brett Wingeier of Magnus Medical in a video about neuroplasticity on the […]

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Cliff Brangwynne

Cliff Brangwynne Will Deliver the 2023 Edsall Lecture on March 23

Clifford “Cliff” Brangwynne will deliver the 2023 Edsall Lecture on March 23 at noon in the Northwest Building, B103. Brangwynne is an HHMI investigator and Professor at Princeton […]

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Upcoming Events

MCB Friday Talks @ 4PM

  • 4pm - Friday Mar 24, 2023
  • Biological Laboratories (Room BL1080), 16 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Dissertation Defense: Jenny Zheng (Garner Lab)

  • 10am - Tuesday Mar 28, 2023
  • 2 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA