The Kent State University Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology is designed to prepare creative research scientists for careers in teaching, research and biotechnology.

Graduates of this program will possess an in-depth comprehension of experimental design at the cellular and molecular levels of biological organization, as well as competency in current techniques in the discipline. Because of the breadth of the Cellular and Molecular Biology program, faculty members are associated with two sub-programs; Cellular Biology and Structure and Molecular Biology and Genetics. Major research emphases for both programs include:  

  • researchsignal transduction,
  • biochemistry and pathobiology,
  • gene regulation,
  • cell systems biology,
  • cell and tissue ultrastructure,
  • membrane structure and function,
  • molecular aspects of neurobiology and endocrinology,
  • genetics and metabolism of microorganisms,
  • virology and immunology,
  • and enzymology with an emphasis on protein dynamics and folding as well as cytochrome P-450's.


Faculty in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program are drawn from 12 different departments located at Kent State University, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and The University of Akron. Additional participant faculty are located at area clinical facilities and hospitals. This multi-departmental and inter-institutional structure of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program gives doctoral candidates access to the talents of a broadly diverse research faculty as well as significant research facilities and resources. State-of-the-art resources available for doctoral training include facilities for:

  • proteomics and genomics,
  • NMR spectroscopy,
  • microscopy,
  • cell and tissue culture,
  • protein chemistry and structure,
  • genetics,
  • cellular imaging,
  • study of tumor viruses,
  • and numerous other facilities for the study of cellular and molecular events.


neomed grad studentsApplicants holding an M.S. in one of the natural sciences may apply for admission to the Cellular and Molecular Biology Doctoral Program; all the other applicants are admitted to the M.S. program.

Students who have made excellent progress in the M.S. program may matriculate to the doctoral program upon recommendation of the Guidance Committee and approval of the director. A recommendation for admission requires approval by the faculty of one of the two sub-programs – Cellular Biology and Structure or Molecular Biology and Genetics – and acceptance by a faculty advisor.

Applicants to the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program should have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA (graduate and undergraduate) with a baccalaureate in one of the natural sciences. Depending upon the applicant's specific area of interest, undergraduate preparation should include courses in genetics, chemistry through organic, either physical chemistry or biochemistry, one year of physics and one year of mathematics (including calculus). The general test for the GRE is required; international students whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores.

Prior to admission to the Cellular and Molecular Biology Doctoral Program, each student will be asked to provide a list of possible advisors in the selected program area that correlate with the student's research interests. In order to be accepted into the program, the student must be accepted by a faculty adviser for the initial period of study. During the first two semesters of core coursework, students will interview and be interviewed by at least four program faculty members to become familiar with their research. Following this process, students select a research advisor who will serve to direct their dissertation.

A core program of instruction must provide a thorough grounding in the disciplines and techniques that contribute to modern research in Cellular and Molecular Biology. The curricula for each sub discipline –Cellular Biology and Structure and Molecular Biology and Genetics – contains core coursework but also allows flexibility in the selection of additional electives depending upon the interests of the student and the advisor.

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