Our department has primary responsibility for undergraduate education in the biological sciences, and all of our faculty participate in that mission. A large number of our students have a strong interest in medicine, and we have developed a range of opportunities to prepare our majors for medical school and beyond.Undergraduate Program
Our focus is to help undergraduate students succeed in the classroom and in their future career goals. All of our faculty members serve as advisors for undergraduate biology majors and welcome undergraduates interested in research to work in their labs.Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Our research addresses a wide range of biological questions, across and between the sub-disciplines of biology: from single molecules to systems, and from steady state equilibria to dynamic remodeling over milliseconds to millions of generations. We invite graduate students enrolled in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences to explore the diverse research areas our faculty members study.Research Areas & Resources
About the Department
The Department of Biology draws its strength from an exceptionally interactive and collaborative faculty, possessing a wide range of interests at all levels of biological organization, and utilizing many different biological systems and model organisms. Our faculty have received national and international recognition for contributions in genetics, neuroscience, development, population biology, plant biology, and other areas of specialization. Work being done in the department has broad implications for the treatment of disease and genetic anomalies, the preservation of endangered species, the development of food crops, and many other global problems centered in the life sciences.
The biology department has 31 full-time faculty members (including five assistant professors hired within the last four years). Our large and thriving community also includes approximately 75 current pre-doctoral students, approximately 50 postdoctoral students, and more majors than any other program in Arts & Sciences. All of our faculty have peer-reviewed grant support—now totaling around $12 million each year—and many hold leadership positions in the scientific community.
Vierstra wins Stephen Hales Prize
Congratulations to Richard Vierstra, recipient of the Stephen Hales Prize from the American Society of Plant Biologists. This award honors the Reverend Stephen Hales for his pioneering work in plant biology published in his 1727 book Vegetable Staticks. It is a monetary award established in 1927 for a scientist, an ASPB member, who has served the science of plant biology in some noteworthy manner. The award is made annually. The recipient of the award is invited to address the Society on a subject in plant biology at the next annual meeting.Read more
Washington People: Erik Herzog
Feeling a bit lethargic this week? It may have to do with the recent time change and a disruption to biological rhythms. Erik Herzog, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences and a frequent voice of reason on this topic, said that sticking with standard time makes public health sense. Time is what makes this scientist, well, tick. Herzog’s research is part of a growing body of work that shows the many ways in which circadian rhythms are central to human health and well-being. He is also a gifted teacher and mentor. In honor of his work as principal investigator and director of the St. Louis Neuroscience Pipeline Program, and in recognition of more than 18 years of excellence in teaching at Washington University in St. Louis, Herzog recently received the Award for Education in Neuroscience by the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians focusing on the study of neuroscience.Read more
The Department of Biology is well known for the diverse scientific interests of its faculty member, students, and postdoctoral scholars. We are committed to making the field of science more inclusive by sharing this knowledge with the wider community. We invite you to learn more about the outreach events that our department participates in.