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Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Emory University

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Private
  • Suburban
  • 65%35%
    student ratio
  • 57
    total students
  • $34,800 | $34,800
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 3
    fall application deadline
  • 15%
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees offered


A Top Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Emory University offers a cross-disciplinary Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology (BCDB) degree program through its top-ranked Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS). The "Chronicle of Higher Education" ranks 7 of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences' research areas among the top 10 in the nation for research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize excellence of Emory's program in biochemistry, cell, and developmental biology through their long-standing financial support of the program.

With faculty members drawn from 15 departments within Emory University, graduates can pursue pure basic science or translational research in order to improve human health and understanding of the world. Students may also work with any of the almost 350 faculty members, from Emory University, the American Cancer Society, and Centers for Disease Control, who are associated with the GDBBS.

Doctoral students in the BCDB program receive generous financial support.

Research Opportunities in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Graduate students conduct research in one of 4 fields: biochemistry and structural biology; cell biology; development biology; and cancer biology.

Within biochemistry and structural biology, graduate students and faculty members investigate the structural, functional, and physical characteristics of macromolecular complexes.

Within cell biology, students conduct in vitro and in vivo studies of cellular processes using a range of model cell biological techniques.

Students who pursue research in developmental biology at Emory investigate the mechanisms and molecules associated with embryogenesis of many different model organisms.

Students who pursue cancer biology through the BCDB program have access to top-notch basic and clinical resources as they conduct studies of the molecular and cell biological basis of cancer.

Excellent Research Centers and Facilities

Graduate students have unique training opportunities made available to them through the Center of Excellence for Influenza Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center. Emory is unique in giving students the option to do dissertation work at the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Doctoral Program Coursework and Research

Doctoral students in biochemistry, cell, and developmental biology generally complete the degree program within 6 years. During their 1st years, students take "Foundations in BCDB," in which students focus on 1 major topic per 2-week block. During their 1st weeks, faculty members give a 15 minute presentation about their research and students meet with at least 5 possible mentors. Students also complete at least 3 laboratory rotations. The foundations course and lab rotations allow students to get a rigorous overview of the discipline as they select advisers and research topics for their dissertations. Students also participate in introductory seminars through which they are trained how to present scientific information and attend monthly ethics sessions and monthly professionalization workshops.

During their 2nd years, students take "Statistics for Experimental Biology" and "Hypothesis Design and Scientific Writing," through which they develop proposals for their dissertation research according to NIH grant application guidelines. Students finish with proposals that they can use to apply for predoctoral fellowships.

BCDB students typically apply for the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowships, National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, and the American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship.

From their 2nd years on, students participate in an advanced research seminar through which students present yearly reports on their research projects.

Outstanding Faculty Members

Emory University BCDB faculty members are well-published leaders in their fields with well-funded laboratories. Professor Gary Bassell's laboratory investigates the mechanisms of mRNA transport and local translation, their function in synapse formation and growth cone guidance, and their dysfunction in neurological diseases. The Bassell Laboratory is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as well as by private foundations such as the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Professor Victor Faundez's research into molecular and cellular mechanisms of endosomal membrane trafficking in neuronal systems is generously funded by the NIH, as is Professor Ping Chen's laboratory, which investigates morphogenesis of the mammalian auditory sensory organ.

Competitive Financial Support

Students at the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Emory receive tuition scholarships, health insurance, and stipends. They enjoy the low cost of living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia.

The stipend for the 2013-14 academic year, for example, was $28,000. In addition, several competitive fellowships are offered to outstanding applicants each year. These fellowships provide students with supplements to their stipends that range from $2,000 to $5,000 per year for 5 years, depending on the award.

Living in Atlanta

Emory University is located in a beautiful, wooded area of northeast Atlanta, Georgia, just 4 miles from downtown. The area serves as a hub of medical research, encompassing both the CDC and the American Cancer Society.

Midtown Atlanta is home to museums, galleries, and cultural activities that students enjoy. Atlanta's temperate climate affords students many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and camping.

Location & Contact

Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Emory University

1462 Clifton Road, Suite 314
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Dr. Richard Kahn

Program Director

Phone: 404-727-3561
Fax: 404-727-3746

Ms. Kathy Smith

Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Phone: 404-727-2547
Fax: 404-727-3322

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Biochemistry Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 2
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Required and Required
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


15% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 118
    • Accepted 18
    • Acceptance Rate 15
    • Enrolled 10
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 3rd January 1st Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0 in science course work (recommended)
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$34,800
    • Out-of-state tuition *$34,800
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year fees$1,300.00
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Tuition Waivers, Health Care Benefits, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students57
    • Female Percentage65%
    • Male Percentage35%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students57
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino10%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian73%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian6%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown7%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty46
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage22%
    • Male Percentage78%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchSignal transduction, molecular biology, enzymes and cofactors, receptor and ion channel function, membrane biology
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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