University of California, Riverside




A campus of inspiration

The CMDB program is located within the beautiful UCR campus and populated by students and faculty of diverse and complex backgrounds.

Facilitating education

The UCR campus is a warm and  open work environment featuring serveral new state-of-the-art facilities making for an excellent research environment.

The tools of the trade

UCR features light and electron microscopy centers and a genomics institute with facilities for the study of nucleotide and peptide synthesis, DNA sequencing and cell transformation.

Integrating your education

Complementing their research, CMDB students have access to a wide range of courses in cell, molecular and developmental biology that can be combined to meet the needs and interests of each individual.

A tradition of excellence

The CMDB program has over 70 participating faculty members from across 16 departments. Interacting directly with their graduate students, the faculty creates working environments for a wide variety of research areas.

Education on all fronts

Be it bioethics, proteomics or plant cell pathology, the partnerships between faculty and students at CMDB keep them on the cutting edge of their fields.

Structurally sound

Structural biology — like this 3D model of a protein receptor — provides molecular insights into how the receptor and its ligand regulate gene transcription. CMDB faculty use this information to better understand the molecular basis for genetic diseases and to facilitate drug discovery.

The field is wide open

Whether it's neuroscience, cellular chemistry, bioinformatics or bio-nondevices, our program pushes the edges of discovery.

CMDB Mission

The mission of the Graduate Program in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology (CMDB) is to prepare students for successful research careers in the life sciences, leading to awarding of M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.  Our curriculum emphasizes comprehensive and interdisciplinary training in experimental biology at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels, coupled with acquisition of the laboratory skills necessary to generate new knowledge as a research scientist.

About CMDB

CMDB was established in 1999 based on the belief that an interdisciplinary approach was becoming increasingly critical for training biological researchers. Since then, modern biology has developed into an even more synthetic and multi-faceted discipline. Today’s biologists now need to perform experiments and integrate research findings at multiple levels of biological organization, ranging from individual molecules to whole organisms.  To provide the necessary breath for this type of interdisciplinary training, CMDB is organized as an interdepartmental program that brings together scientists from across UCR.  Each year we recruit a select group of students who share this vision, maintaining an overall size of between 30-40 students in the Program.  CMDB is committed to preparing our students for exciting research-oriented careers in basic and applied aspects of cell, molecular and developmental biology, and we are proud of the accomplishments our students have achieved once they have completed our Program.

 CMDB Faculty

CMDB comprises more than 50 participating faculty members from eight CNAS departments, the School of Engineering, the School of Medicine and adjunct members from Loma Linda University.  A complete list of our faculty can be found under “Our People”.  CMDB faculty train CMDB students in their laboratories, teach CMDB courses, and administer the program.  Our faculty are recognized leaders in a variety of fields, ranging from the biomedical to the agricultural sciences, making CMDB an unusually diverse graduate training program.

CMDB Research

Graduate student in lab

There are a broad range of research opportunities available for CMDB students

Cell cycle
Cell signaling
Genome stability
Chemical cell biology
Chromatin organization and function
Genome stability
Host/parasite interactions
Mechanism of hormone action
Membrane function
Molecular basis of disease
Non-coding RNA
Plant sciences
Protein modification
Protein structure/function
Regulation of gene expression
Signal transduction
Host/parasite interactions
Stem cell biology
Ubiquitinylation and sumoylation
Wound healing

News & Events

rbJuly 29, 2013

CMDB Graduate Student Awarded NIH Fellowship to Study Electronic Cigarettes

Rachel Behar will study the effects of electronic cigarette aerosols on cell health


CMDB students have access to state of the art facilities located on the UCR campus. 

Noel Keen Hall is a 10,000-square-foot instrumentation facility for microscopy, genomics, DNA sequecing, bioinformatics and proteomics.

  • Microscopy Core: confocal microscopy, scanning EM, laser capture, gene gun, specimen preparation.
  • Genomics Core: Chain termination and next generation sequencing, Q-PCR, Affymatrix GeneChip workstation, flow cytometry/cell sorting
  • Bioinformatics Core: Hardware and software needs for computational analysis of large data sets.
  • Proteomics Core: Mass spectroscopy analysis of protein complexes and post-translational modifications.

Animal Vivaria (

Analytical Chemistry Instrumentation Facility
(ACIF;  NMR, optical spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, atomic force microscopy.

Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering
(CNSE;  Cleanrooms and technologies for nanofabrication.

Central Facility for Advanced Microscopy and Analysis
(CFAMM;   Transmission and scanning electron microscopy.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Program Information

Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology
1140 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5621
Fax: (951) 827-5517