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MCB is 30! Come Celebrate with Us!

MCB is 30! Come Celebrate with Us!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the merger of two legacy departments, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) and Cellular and Developmental Biology (CDB), to form the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

As described in a historical document drafted by former BMB Chair Guido Guidotti, and shared by MCB Faculty Nancy Kleckner, MCB’s roots began at Harvard in 1904 with the creation of the new Department of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School. 

Today, MCB is home to a community of approximately 1,000 individuals, including faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff. 

“Being a part of the MCB community for 17 years, including eight in the role of Executive Director, has been an incredibly fulfilling experience,” says Jessica Manning, MCB Executive Director. “The researchers and teachers here continually inspire us, our students impress us with their abundant curiosity, talent, and potential, and our staff’s unwavering dedication and support are the backbone of scientific endeavors. Together, let’s celebrate our remarkable community and this year’s milestone anniversary!”

To kick off the festivities,  MCB will be hosting a series of events throughout the year. The first is a 30th birthday party on Friday, May 3rd, in the BioLabs courtyard from 3 to 6 p.m. You can’t miss it—just look for the 18 pole banners emblazoned with “MCB 30,” literally setting the stage for the celebration.

There will be food—burgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob, ice cream station, and non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks (for 21+). A government-issued photo ID is required. A DJ will provide some background music.  At 4:00 pm, MCB Chair Rachelle Gaudet will share a few words, and all are welcome to enjoy special MCB-motif cupcakes representing the full range of MCB’s areas of research. 

“I have been part of MCB for 26 years – so most of its existence!” says Gaudet. “ In my view, the department has stayed true to its mission by being a home for exciting curiosity-driven biology research, while also staying current – as evidenced by the path-breaking research of our junior faculty, and the many strong connections to research centers and initiatives, and to other departments at Harvard. That’s worth celebrating!”

At the birthday celebration, we will be hosting a poster session where MCB’s labs will share highlights of their research. The posters will be displayed in the BioLabs courtyard during the event. But in case you can’t make it on the 3rd, they will remain displayed on the wall inside the BioLabs (first floor) main entrance until the completion of renovations. 

The BioBus will also be on-site at the party, also located by the BioLabs’ main entrance, and it will be open for anyone to tour.  On Thursday, May 2 – the day prior to the party – scientists, students, postdocs, and faculty are invited to contact Mollie for a special tour and to find out how to get involved in this amazing outreach endeavor. MCB has supported BioBus for several years, including staffing the bus at local events with the help of MCB students Helena Casademunt, Mary Richardson, Yash Rana, Lily He, Maati McKinney, Maya Waarts, and Cheshta Bhatia, Rockwell Anyoha, Joshua Pace, and Nicole Voce. This year, BioBus is again looking for recruits from the MCB community to staff the bus. Contact Mollie to learn more.

Stay tuned for details on our other planned anniversary celebrations including the 2024 MCB Research Retreat and an end-of-year gathering to close out the year.