Graduate students are expected to complete 24 credit-hours of course work during their first two years in residence. There is a rich selection of courses from which students can choose, based on their background and long-term career goals. Faculty of Cell Biology collaborate with faculty from other departments to teach these courses. 

Two courses are required of all students:  

Molecular Cell Biology (Cell Bio 551). Current research topics in Molecular Cell Biology is a modular course presented in a literature-based lecture and discussion format. Students select modules from a large array of topics including cell-cell interaction, cytoskeleton and cell motility; extracellular matrix and cell adhesion; growth factors and signaling; cell cycle, biostatistics and bioinformatics. 4 credits.

• Student Seminar (Cell Bio 800s). Students are required to participate in this one-credit course, or a similar course in another department or program. This course provides training and experience in scientific presentations and proposal preparation. Students attend and present in a weekly departmental In-House Symposium and participate in a grant-writing workshop.

In consultation with their program DGS and advisor students may customize their plan of study choosing from  courses in the graduate curriculum for their remaining hours of graded course work. The intention is to design a course program that best benefits the student and their research interests. Other courses may be substituted, subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Required course work normally can be completed in the second and third semesters.

Representative Cell Biology Course Offerings    

Introduction to Physiology (Cell Bio 503) Modern organ physiology; cellular physiology, organ system physiology including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive, muscle and nervous.

Stem Cell Biology (Cell Bio/MCB 730) Lecture/discussion format designed for first-year graduate students to learn the fundamentals of stem cell biology and to gain familiarity with current research in the field.

Cellular Signaling (Cell Bio/MCB/BIOCHEM 760) Mechanisms of signaling at the cellular level, including ligand/receptor interactions and secondary messenger systems. Some lectures stress the clinical correlation of the basic course concepts.

Mechanisms of Development and Developmental Genetics (Cell Bio 783/Cell Bio 820) These two courses are taught sequentially as two half-semester mini-courses. Mechanisms of development will introduce basic concepts of cell specification, morphogenesis, induction, and other mechanisms that enable cells, tissues and organs to assemble the animal. Developmental genetics will focus on genetic approaches to solve mechanistic problems of development using model organisms, mainly Drosophila, mouse and zebrafish.

Developmental Biology Colloquium (Cell Bio 830) This course covers a broad range of problems in developmental biology based on prominent developmental biologists who are invited to speak at Duke University during that particular semester and participate in discussions with the class.