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Dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of disease, genomics, bioinformatics, and the structure and function of cells and molecules.


The Department of Molecular Biosciences, established in September 2013, is composed of faculty members studying molecular, microbial, cellular, developmental, chemical, structural and systems biology. Spanning a wide range of expertise and interests, the faculty are developing novel approaches to biological problems and offer unique perspectives to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Affiliated Graduate Programs

Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Programs:

Cell and Molecular Biology

Plant Biology


  • Invented the technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Played central roles in understanding how the basic body plan is set up in early development.
  • One of the largest living algae collections in the world.
  • Elucidated the role of ploidy (chromosome number) in plant size.
  • Invented modulated polarization microscopy.
  • Established a role for ubiquitination in intercellular signaling and development.
  • Demonstrated epigenetic silencing in vernalization.
  • Home of the first HHMI Investigator at UT Austin.


60 faculty

1 Fulbright US-UK Scholar Award
3 Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Awards
1 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Award 
1 member National Academy of Sciences
1 research fellow for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
1 member of the National Institute of Medicine
1 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
3 Burroughs Wellcome Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
3 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellows
2 fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Research Areas

Biochemistry and Biophysics / Cell Biology / Cancer Biology / Developmental Biology and Birth Defects / Genetics and Genomics / Immunology / Microbiology and Infectious Disease / Molecular Biology / Plant Biology / Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology / Structural Biology / Systems and Synthetic Biology 

Affiliated Centers, Institutes & Core Facilities

Center for Biomedical Research Support
Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology

Culture Collection of Algae
LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease
Sauer Structural Biology Laboratory