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Dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of disease, genomics, bioinformatics, and the structure and function of cells and molecules.


The Department of Molecular Biosciences is a new department, established in September 2013, that is composed of faculty members studying molecular, microbial, cellular, developmental, chemical, and systems biology. Spanning a wide range of expertise and interests, the faculty are developing novel approaches to biological problems and offer unique perspectives to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Affiliated Graduate Programs

Cell and Molecular Biology
Plant Biology


  • Played central roles in understanding how the basic body plan is set up in early development.
  • One of the largest living algae collections in the world.
  • Elucidated the role of ploidy (chromosome number) in plant size.
  • Invented modulated polarization microscopy.
  • Established a role for ubiquitination in intercellular signaling and development.
  • Demonstrated epigenetic silencing in vernalization.
  • Home of the first HHMI Investigator at UT Austin.


60 faculty

1 Fulbright US-UK Scholar Award
3 Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Awards
8 Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas Awards
1 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Award – Early Career Scientist
1 member National Academy of Sciences
1 research fellow for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
1 member of the National Institute of Medicine
1 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
3 Burroughs Wellcome Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
3 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellows
2 fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Research Areas

Biochemistry and Biophysics / Cell Biology / Cancer Biology / Developmental Biology and Birth Defects / Genetics and Genomics / Immunology / Microbiology and Infectious Disease / Molecular Biology / Plant Biology / Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology / Systems and Synthetic Biology

Affiliated Centers & Institutes

Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology

Culture Collection of Algae
Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology
LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease