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Molecular Biosciences

Molecular Biosciences is a research area within which you can focus your studies as part of our suite of Biosciences research programmes (PhD, MPhil, MD).

Molecular Biosciences focuses on the molecular mechanisms underpinning biological function. The Division has a broad strength that spans biochemistry, structural and synthetic biology, cell biology, molecular genetics and developmental biology. The groups within Molecular Biosciences focus on a variety of biological systems including Drosophila, yeast, Arabidopsis, tobacco, Dictyostelium, and mammalian cells, and have a growing strength in the use of post-genomic and systems approaches to solve biological problems.

Molecular Biosciences is an innovative, well funded and cohesive Division with excellent modern facilities for a broad range of techniques. It has close links with Chemistry in structural biology and with Physics in the development of advanced imaging technologies, and collaborates globally with academic and industrial partners. Research within Molecular Biosciences has a broad impact in areas including increasing our understanding of basic biological systems, improving diagnosis and therapy for human diseases and the development of novel commercialisable technologies.


Administrative contact(s)

School of Biosciences Education Office

Research within the Division includes engineering protein structure and function, gene regulation, chromatin function, molecular genetics of development, cancer biology, and basic cell biological processes, such as cell division, cell death, cell signalling, motility and chemotaxis.

The spectrum of research activities includes:

  • gene function and expression in Drosophila muscle and heart differentiation
  • regulation of gene expression in Drosophila spermatogenesis
  • regulation of mRNA translation in time and space in Drosophila development
  • molecular basis of sensory systems and extracellular signalling
  • genome-wide chromatin analysis to study gene regulation and DNA repair
  • control of GSK-3 mediated cell signalling and protein complexes Wnt signalling and breast cancer
  • control of Dictyostelium chemotaxis and morphogenesis
  • regulation of protein and lipid trafficking
  • pollen-pistil interactions and membrane trafficking in plant reproduction
  • molecular and cell biology of the plant cell cycle
  • metabolism and function of lipids in plants
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease
  • regulation of plant senescence and stress responses
  • systems biology and modelling approaches to understanding the integration of cell division in plant development
  • structure of membrane proteins using electron microscopy approaches
  • design of novel protein scaffolds and molecular switches
  • synthetic biology through a reprogrammed genetic code
  • novel molecular diagnostics using bioluminescent outputs in real-time
  • novel laser-scanning microscopy based on Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering
  • novel optical biosensors.

For details of ongoing projects and collaborations, please visit the web pages of individual Molecular Biosciences Division members.


We currently have a range of projects available to apply for within the School of Biosciences, some of which are offered as part of our range of DTP involvements.


You can search our studentships or find out more about funding.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

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Students from the rest of the world (international)

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Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the Biosciences programme.

View programme
See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

Related courses

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