The Cell and Molecular Biology program provides a core curriculum in those subjects that are of importance to all students in the fields of cell and molecular biology, complemented by specific courses in each student's area of concentration. Specializations include: molecular, genetic and quantitative biology approaches in the study of normal and disease states; the structure-function relationships of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids; genome and proteome regulation, organization, and expression; cell membranes, motility, and cytoskeletal dynamics; development and differentiation; receptors and signal transduction; organelle trafficking and modulation; the development and function of the nervous system; and regulatory events in the immune system. The program features a laboratory rotation system that allows students to research in three or more laboratories of their choice before selecting an advisor. Required CMB coursework includes a semester-long course in which students choose two-week in-depth modules taught by faculty experts in those areas, a grant-writing course, a course that focuses on core techniques used in cell and molecular biology research, and a seminar class in which more senior students give research talks to first- and second-year students. Peer and faculty mentoring sessions, extensive professional development and wellness resources, and a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are also integral aspects of the CMB program.
Students matriculating in CMB in fall 2022 will remain in the degree-granting program throughout their time at Duke and obtain a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology.