Molecular & Cellular Biology Program Office
University of Iowa — 357 MRC
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-7748
Fax: 319-335-7656

Program Director: Frederick Domann, Ph.D.

Program Administrator: Paulette Villhauer

Program Associate: Joshua Lobb


Magdalene Ameka (Potthoff lab), Ying Hsu (Sheffield lab), and Paul Ranum (Smith lab) have been awarded the competitive Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Award.  Each student will receive a generous stipend from the Graduate College during the spring 2016 semester.  Congratulations Maggie, Ying, and Paul!


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 MCB Travel Awards!  Andrea Hallberg, Katie Chirco, and Paul Ranum each received a $500 Travel Award for the outstanding posters they presented at this year’s MCB Retreat.  Allison Songstad received a Travel Award in recognition of her oral presentations at the retreat.  The winner of each award was determined by peers and faculty.


Andrea Hallberg (Cornell lab) has been selected as a recipient of a UI Hugh Vollrath Ross Scholarship.  Award winners were selected based on their strong academic record and the scholarship will cover Andrea's summer tuition.



Congratulations Emily Ngyuen!  Emily's poster was selected as a most outstanding entry in the Carver College of Medicine Health Sciences Research Week poster competition.  Emily's mentor is Dr. Isabella Grumbach and the title of her research poster was: Therapeutic Vaccine Regimen Significantly Reduces Breast Cancer Metastasis.


Research Week 2015 3_E Nguyen_web.jpg

The Molecular and Cellular Biology Program has graduated six terrific students this spring!  Hats off to Drs. Gwen Clay, Ernest Chivero, Chris Groen, Benjamin Steines, Wen Sun, and Chaoquen Zheng.  For more information on their dissertation seminars and research please click here.

Brief History of the Molecular & Cellular Biology Program

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology is one of the first cross-departmental graduate programs at The University of Iowa. It was founded by John Menninger in 1974, and funded by a National Research Service Award Training Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology from 1975-1992. This initial Program did not admit students or grant degrees. Instead, after their first year of graduate study, students from various departments were chosen and awarded stipends based on merit. Similarly to today, the students and faculty met for a weekly seminar, designed to inform trainees about the variety of research that was of interest to cell and molecular biologists, to give trainees practice in presenting their research to a critical audience, and to provide a social connection for trainees who were working in various departments. In 1992, the Molecular Biology Graduate Program was formalized into a degree-granting PhD program, and in 2005, the program came full circle with a name change and a new NIH training grant in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Today, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology still fosters the interdisciplinary efforts of a diverse group of investigators—both faculty and students—with common interests in molecular and cellular biology. Currently the program faculty represent the departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Internal Medicine, Microbiology, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science, and Radiation Oncology. The program actively recruits new students with diverse research interests.