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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

Daniel Branton

Golden Goose Awarded for “Impossible” Success of Nanopore DNA Sequencing

Daniel Branton, Harvard’s Higgins Professor of Biology, Emeritus, and his collaborators David Deamer and Mark Akeson at the University of California, Santa Cruz, are among the 2023 Golden […]

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Jeff Lichtman

Jeff Lichtman Awarded NIH BRAIN Initiative Grant to Map Entire Mouse Brain

MCB faculty Jeff Lichtman and his colleagues have been awarded a 30 million dollar grant from the NIH’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative to build […]

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Carolyn Elya

New Faculty Spotlight: Carolyn Elya

Biologist Carolyn Elya will join MCB as a junior faculty member starting in January. Her research centers on a fungus called Entomophthora that infects flies and turns them […]

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Rachelle Gaudet

Gaudet Brings Curiosity and Service to Role as New MCB Chair

Rachelle Gaudet’s two-plus decades at Harvard can be categorized as curiosity- and service-driven. And as of July 2023, she is bringing that perspective to her position as chair […]

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Upcoming Events

MCB Thursday Seminar: TBD

  • 12pm - Thursday Oct 5, 2023
  • Northwest Building (Room NW B103), 52 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

MCB Friday Talks @ 4 PM

  • 4pm - Friday Oct 6, 2023
  • Biological Laboratories (Room BL1080), 16 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA