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

Nicholas Borcherding received the L.B. Sims Outstanding Master's Thesis Award which is awarded annually to recognize the excellent scholarship and research by students pursuing M.S. degrees at the University of Iowa.  Nick is a MSTP student who joined the MCB Program in the fall of 2016.  See the complete story here in the Hawkeye Caucus.

Congratulations Kevin Urak!  Kevin has been awarded a travel grant from the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.  The $1,000 grant will be used to attend the 12th Annual Meeting of Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society, to be held in Montreal, Quebec September 25-28.

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Dr. Domann and the 2016 MCB Summer Undergraduate Research Program participants enjoying a break from the lab.  From left to right: Marlon Mendez, Maddie Barron, Ella Parsons, Claire Erickson, and Melissa Martinez. 


MCB Alum Ernest Chivero, currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has been awarded the University of Iowa Graduate College's 2016 Rex Montgomery Dissertation Award in recognition of his dissertation: "Tropism of Human Pegivirus (Formerly Known as GB Virus C) and Host Immunomodulation: Insights into Viral Persistence".  Ernest will receive a cash award and an invitation to return to the UI campus to receive the award at the annual James F. Jakobsen Memorial Conference.  Congratulations Ernest!


Javier Gomez successfully defended his thesis on June 8, 2016 completing the requirements for his Ph.D.  Javier completed his dissertation work “Regulation of the signal transduction pathways of the Unfolded Protein Response during chronic and physiological ER stress” in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Rutkowski.  Click here to see a handout describing his research.  Congratulations Javier!


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.