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School of Biological Sciences University of Missouri-Kansas City

  • Kansas City, MO
  • Public
  • Urban
  • 62%38%
    student ratio
  • 47
    total students
  • $6,073 | $15,680
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition


Program of Study

The graduate programs in Cell Biology and Biophysics (CBB) and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB) at the University of Missouri?Kansas City (UMKC) lead to the Ph.D. degree. The programs function within the interdisciplinary Ph.D. framework of the University and are associated with the M.S. program in Cell and Molecular Biology. The graduate program is designed to prepare students for research-oriented careers in academia, government, or the private sector. An original independent research project under the supervision of a faculty adviser is the core of these programs.

Programs of study provide a background of course work tailored to the interests of each student. Opportunity for research experience begins immediately as a component of the first-year curriculum, with each student being assigned short research projects. By the end of the first academic year, the student is also expected to have acquired a general understanding of the basis of molecular and cellular biology. At that time, the student selects a faculty research adviser and makes further course selections. To qualify for doctoral degree candidacy, students prepare and defend an original research proposal. The culmination of the graduate degree programs is the preparation and oral defense of a research dissertation, typically five years after entry into the program.

The areas of research interest of participating faculty members are included in the Faculty and Their Research section. Extensive possibilities for collaboration exist with the School of Biological Sciences, other schools on campus, and with regional research associates. Opportunities for postdoctoral research are abundant.

Student Group

The CBB and MBB graduate programs have an active graduate student organization. UMKC has approximately 16,400 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The School of Biological Sciences currently has about 80 graduate students and 15 postdoctoral fellows as well as more than 500 undergraduate majors. Four to 5 new doctoral students are admitted each year.

Student Outcomes

The majority of doctoral graduates transfer to nationally known research institutions, typically as postdoctoral associates, or undertake advanced professional training. A short transitional postdoctoral research period within the School is not uncommon.

Research Facilities

Research facilities for cell, molecular and structural biology and biochemistry are primarily located in the Biological Sciences and Chemistry buildings. Modern research is conducted in laboratories assigned to individual faculty members and in specialized central facilities. Sophisticated instrumentation in these facilities includes automated DNA and protein synthesizers and sequencers, mass spectrometers, macromolecular X-ray, low-intensity electron microscope and 600-MHz NMR imaging facilities, molecular graphics equipment, and Fourier-transform infrared and EPR spectrometers. Raman and UV-resonance Raman spectrometers, differential scanning and titration microcalorimeters, analytical ultracentrifuge, HPLCs, amino acid and carbohydrate analyzers, low-intensity fluorescence imaging and confocal microscopes, and a large assortment of scanning spectrophotometers, ELISA readers, gel scanners, centrifuges, and related instrumentation associated with modern biochemical research are available. Students also enjoy the use of Linda Hall Library, one of the country?s premier private science libraries; central animal facilities; and a fully integrated computer network with on-site and off-site access to national and international databases and the Internet.

Financial Aid

In 2013?14, in-state tuition is about $7,500 per year; out-of-state fees are approximately $17,000 per year. Full-time doctoral students, as a general rule, receive basic tuition support.

Living and Housing Costs

A wide variety of off-campus housing is available in every price range. The overall cost of living in Kansas City is low compared with metropolitan areas in other parts of the country.


Kansas City, ?The Heart of America,? is the center of a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1 million. The University is adjacent to the elegant Country Club Plaza, the city?s entertainment and shopping center. Major-league sports, historical and art museums, and many musical, theatrical, and cultural events as well as an extensive parks system provide entertainment throughout the year. A relaxed, Midwestern lifestyle is also an advantage of the setting, which, with its many fountains, boulevards, unusually clean air, and more days of sunshine than in most large U.S. cities, provides an enjoyable quality of life.

The University and the School

UMKC is part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, and it is the only comprehensive research university in western Missouri. It has a strong life science mission. The School of Biological Sciences was established in 1985 to develop strong research and graduate programs in the modern life sciences. The School has been cited by the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri System as an area of eminence for its programs in molecular biology and biochemistry and in cell biology and biophysics. Program improvement funds have facilitated the hiring of many research-oriented faculty members and the creation of excellent research facilities. An innovative interdisciplinary doctoral program has also been initiated, creating a stimulating environment that offers outstanding research opportunities to graduate students.


The deadline for applications from U.S. applicants is July 1, but applications received before February 1 have priority for financial support. The deadline for international applications is February 15. A bachelor?s degree in biology, chemistry, physics, or a related discipline with a minimum 3.0 grade point average is required for full admission. The General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations is also required. The TOEFL is required for international applicants whose native language is not English.

Correspondence and Information

Graduate Adviser

School of Biological Sciences

University of Missouri?Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri 64110-2499

United States

Phone: 816-235-1330

Fax: 816-235-5158


Web site:

The Faculty and Their Research


Karen J. Bame, Ph.D., UCLA. Metabolism of heparan sulfate proteoglycans.

Samuel Bouyain, D.Phil., Oxford. Structure and function of the protein tyrosine phosphatase family of cell surface receptors; X-ray crystallography.

Julia Chekanova, Ph.D. Moscow State. Relationships between mRNA quality control, processing, and export in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Leonard L. Dobens Jr., Ph.D., Dartmouth. Pattern formation; cell-cell signaling.

Lawrence A. Dreyfus, Ph.D., Kansas. Molecular biology; bacterial toxin structure-function.

Mark Fisher, Ph.D., Illinois. Chaperonin-assisted protein folding and oligomer assembly.

Edward P. Gogol, Ph.D., Yale. Structure of macromolecular assemblies; cryoelectron microscopy.

Saul M. Honigberg, Ph.D., Yale. Signal transduction; cell-cycle control and cell differentiation.

Chi-Ming Huang, Ph.D., UCLA. Evolution neurobiology of the cerebellum.

Alexander Idnurm, Ph.D., Melbourne. Molecular pathogenesis of fungal parasites.

Peter Koulen, Ph.D., Johannes Gutenberg and Max Planck, Germany. Calcium signaling, intracellular calcium channels, physiology and cell biology of the retina and the central nervous system, neurodegeneration, neuroprotection.

John H. Laity, Ph.D., Cornell. Molecular recognition; NMR spectroscopy; protein biophysical chemistry.

Thomas M. Menees, Ph.D., Yale. Replication of retroviral elements and transposons; yeast molecular genetics.

Henry M. Miziorko, Ph.D., Pennsylvania. Study of enzyme catalysis and regulation using chemical, biophysical, and molecular biology approaches; lipid biosynthesis; enzymes in inherited disease.

Michael O?Connor, Ph.D., Ireland. Structure and function of the bacterial ribosome, ribosomal subunits, and the translational reading frame.

Anthony J. Persechini, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon. Calcium-calmodulin signaling pathways; intracellular interactions.

Lynda S. Plamann, Ph.D., Iowa. Cell-cell communication during fruiting body formation and sporulation in the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus.

Michael D. Plamann, Ph.D., Iowa. Microtubule-associated motors; organelle movement; growth polarity; cytoskeleton.

Jeffrey L. Price, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins. Drosophila genes involved in chronobiology and circadian rhythms.

G. Sullivan Read, Ph.D., Penn State. RNA turnover control; gene regulation; herpes virus.

Garth Resch, Ph.D., Missouri?Columbia. Neurophysiology and behavior patterns of alcoholism.

Ann Smith, Ph.D., London. Receptor-mediated endocytosis; protein-receptor interactions; intercellular heme transport.

Salvatore Stella, Ph.D., Nebraska Medical Center. Investigation of retinal circuitry and neurochemical signaling in both normal and diseased retinas.

Jakob H. Waterborg, Ph.D., Nijmegen (Netherlands). Plant histones; chromatin conformation and gene expression.

Theodore White, Ph.D., Michigan. Virulence and drug resistance in medically important fungi.

Gerald J. Wyckoff, Ph.D., Chicago. Bioinformatics and study of molecular evolution through large-scale comparative genomics in sexual selection.

Xiaolan Yao, Ph.D., Iowa State. Structure and dynamic bases of protein function; NMR spectroscopy.

Marilyn D. Yoder, Ph.D., California, Riverside. X-ray crystallography; protein structure.

Xiao-Qiang Yu, Ph.D., Kansas State. Insect molecular biology and biochemistry of immune responses, pattern recognition proteins, and protein-protein?protein-ligand interactions.

Location & Contact

School of Biological Sciences

University of Missouri-Kansas City

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

Dr. Theodore White


Phone: 816-235-2538
Fax: 816-235-5158

Information Contact

Phone: 816-235-1330
Fax: 816-235-5158

Contact school now

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Molecular Biology And Biochemistry Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Cell Biology And Biophysics Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Biology Master of Arts (MA)
    • Cellular And Molecular Biology Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 26
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • 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? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • 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


56% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 41
    • Accepted 23
    • Acceptance Rate 56
    • Enrolled 10
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $45
    • Application Fee - International $50
    • Electronic applications accepted? No
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline February 15th February 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE, minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$6,073
    • Out-of-state tuition *$15,680
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • 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 submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableResearch Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Federal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students47
    • Female Percentage62%
    • Male Percentage38%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students47
    • Part-time Percentage77%
    • Full-time Percentage23%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino5%
    • Black / African American0%
    • White / Caucasian66%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian9%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown18%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty37
    • Full-time Percentage92%
    • Part-time Percentage8%
    • Female Percentage32%
    • Male Percentage68%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchStructural biology, molecular genetics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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