Research

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Wake Forest University


Wake Forest University Graduate School » Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Jennifer Hipp, MD/PhD candidate

Research Areas within the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Track

Graduate students in the MCB program can select from individual programs in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, Molecular and Medicine and Translational Science, and Structural and Computational Biophysics. Graduate student research in each of the MCB areas is interdisciplinary, drawing on expertise from several departments where investigators have overlapping research interests, but approach each scientific question with unique and complementary skills. Many of these faculty investigators are participating members of two or more programs, allowing graduate students to optimally combine curriculum and laboratory interests.

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program features training in structural biology, molecular biology, genetics/genomics and proteomics/metabolomics. Research projects apply these tools to investigate questions including signal transduction in cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, drug design, DNA repair and defense against cellular damage, redox biology, and metabolic diseases. Please visit our Biochemistry home page for further information about our faculty, our research, and opportunities for graduate study.

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Cancer Biology

Research in the Cancer Biology Program spans 12 different departments where students in the program have the opportunity to apply latest technologies to research projects that range from basic science to clinical trials. Areas of research include DNA damage and cellular defense, cell growth and survival, tumor microenvironment, regenerative medicine, cancer stem cells, human genomics, oncolytic viruses in cancer therapy, drug design, molecular cancer epidemiology and cancer bioinformatics.  Members of the Cancer Biology Department are an integral part of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University that provides numerous opportunities for translational research.  Please visit our Cancer Biology website for more information about our faculty, our research, and opportunities for graduate study.

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Microbiology and Immunology

The graduate program in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology prepares students for independent research careers in the cellular, biochemical and molecular aspects of immunology, virology, and bacteriology.  Current research projects in the Department include studies on viral vaccine vectors and adjuvants, host-pathogen interactions, T and B lymphocyte activation and apoptosis, respiratory immunity, B cell responses to bacterial and viral antigens, the molecular basis for bacterial and viral diseases, and viruses used for cancer therapy.  Please visit our Microbiology and Immunolgy website to learn more about our faculty, our research, and opportunities for graduate study.

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Molecular Genetics and Genomics

The Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program includes a broad range of molecular biologists from the faculty in each of the basic science departments and several of the clinical departments of the medical school.  This diversity of faculty provides students with a variety of training options and emphasizes the detailed analysis of fundamental biological processes using the tools of molecular biology and genetics. Areas of active investigation include: control of gene expression; molecular pathogenesis; protein biosyntheses and compartmentalization; cell development and differentiation; carcinogenesis; development of cellular resistance to cancer; genetic basis of disease; clinical cytogenetics; molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis; and signal transduction. Please view our website to learn more about our faculty, our research, and opportunities for graduate study.

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Molecular Medicine and Translational Science

The Molecular Medicine and Translational Science graduate program integrates basic science training in cellular and molecular biology with clinical applications involving human diseases. The program utilizes dual mentoring by PhD and MD scientists and summer clinical rotations with MD mentors to help students delineate research strategies. Active research in MMTS draws from many departments including innovative projects in:  molecular mechanisms in cancer biology; cardiovascular diseases, coagulation, and hypertension; diabetes and metabolic disorders including obesity, lipid metabolism, vitamins, and renal function; genomics, clinical genetics, and personalized medicine; microbiology and immunology; neurological and neuromuscular diseases; pulmonary medicine, allergy and inflammation; regenerative medicine; and rheumatic diseases. Please visit the MMTS website to learn more about our faculty, our research, and opportunities for graduate study.

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Structural and Computational Biophysics

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Structural and Computational Biophysics (SCB) is a collaboration among the departments of Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics at Wake Forest University and is designed to meet the need for scientists and educators with broad, interdisciplinary training in the quantitative biomedical sciences. Students participating in the Track will pursue a Ph.D. degree in one of the natural (biology, chemistry or physics) or biomedical sciences (biochemistry), or an M.S. degree in Computer Science or Mathematics, and receive state-of-the-art interdisciplinary training in the emerging fields of computational biology and biophysics. Research strengths among the SCB faculty include the methods of molecular simulations, bioinformatics, AFM and x-ray crystallography with research interests in method development, molecular signaling, redox biology, DNA repair, and nano-biotechnology. Please browse the SCB’s home page at for more information about our faculty, our research, and opportunities for graduate study.