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Undergraduate Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)

Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)

The Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) concentration emphasizes the intersection of modern cellular biology research with medicine and society. It is rooted in the investigation of biological processes based on the study of molecules and their interactions in the context of cells and tissues, and how the genome orchestrates cell behavior. MCB is therefore ideally suited to students who wish to study molecular and cellular processes at the heart of both normal physiology and disease. In doing so, MCB concentrators will explore contemporary subjects spanning genomics, systems biology, immunology, cancer biology, the microbiome, global health, and infectious disease.

Through coursework and hands-on research, students will have the opportunity to investigate many of the questions central to modern biology and medicine. The MCB faculty is dedicated to supporting undergraduate research, and we encourage students to join the laboratory of an MCB faculty member or a laboratory in one of the Harvard-affiliated centers. We consider the senior thesis to be the capstone academic experience, and the concentration will provide extensive support to seniors to make thesis writing an enriching experience.
MCB students are also assigned a Tutor from the Board of Tutors in Biomedical Sciences to provide both intellectual support and professional mentorship. An MCB student typically meets with his or her assigned Tutor regularly throughout the semester, either individually or in small groups, to read and discuss primary literature or relevant texts tailored to the student’s interests. MCB graduates will be informed citizens who can understand and evaluate the impact of new research discoveries in the life sciences as they unfold at a breathtaking and accelerating pace. Graduates will stand poised to pursue a broad range of careers in biological and medical research, public and global health, science policy, law and intellectual property, business, education, and science writing.