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University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400328
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328
(434) 982-5474 Fax: (434) 982-5626
Overview The Department of Biology offers a diverse program that serves students with a breadth of interests and provides an education that enables them to pursue a range of careers, including teaching, health sciences, and research. Biology is the study of life itself, at its many levels of organization: ecosystem, population, organism, cell, and molecule. Our universal fascination with life drives our exploration of this discipline, for in it there are questions and answers about us and all living systems. How does the fertilized egg develop into a multicellular organism? Why do some cells age while others continue to divide? How do cells communicate with one another? Questions such as these define the frontiers of biology. We approach these scientific problems with exciting new technologies and creative approaches undreamed of even a decade ago. During this “golden period” of biological research, we are close to understanding many fundamental biological processes, but find this knowledge results in even more questions.. Through this understanding we gain an ever-increasing appreciation for the complexity of living things, their many interactions, and similarities and differences from one another.
Faculty The 35 members of the faculty include professors who are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. The research activities within the department are currently supported by investigator-initiated research grants awarded from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other government agencies or private foundations. Our commitment to excellence in research complements and enhances our dedication to outstanding teaching, and provides the resources to promote creative and original research by our students. The department participates in University-wide programs in biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, cell and developmental biology, and neuroscience.
Students There are currently approximately 600 students majoring in biology. Upon graduation, many biology majors will have spent the better part of two years assisting in nationally funded research projects and carrying out their own experiments. The department has expanded its curriculum and encourages students to take advanced classes early in their academic careers. Students graduating with a degree in biology gain admission to the most outstanding graduate schools in the country, and the acceptance rate of our biology graduates to medical schools is exceptionally high.
Special Resources The department creates an intellectual environment that fosters scientific creativity by offering modern research facilities for biochemical, biophysical, cellular, molecular, evolutionary and behavioral research. The facilities include a world-class optical imaging facility, as well as a genomics core facility for next-generation sequencing.
Mountain Lake Biological Station (www.mlbs.org) Students also have the opportunity to take classes and do field research at the Biological Station, located in southwest Virginia. Information about undergraduate and graduate level summer courses may be obtained from the Director, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Department of Biology, 064 Gilmer Hall, PO Box 400327, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4327.