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Molecular Biology Major

Study how biological macromolecules such as DNA and proteins, regulate the chemical processes of cells affecting gene expression, and cell structure and function.

In order to understand how cells function at the molecular level a solid foundation in chemistry, biology, math and physics is necessary. In addition, gaining first-hand research experience is a goal of our major, which is why some of our core courses incorporate investigative research into the curriculum.

In the past five years, graduates of the Molecular Biology Program have gone on to Ph.D. programs at Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, UCLA, and others.

Looking Ahead to Fall 2020 with Prof. Jane Liu
In class with Professor Daniel Martinez
In class with Professor Daniel Martinez
Research in Professor Tina Negritto’s lab
Research in Professor Tina Negritto’s lab
Students in Professor Tina Negritto’s lab
Research in Professor Tina Negritto’s lab
Research in Professor Tina Negritto’s lab
Research in Professor Tina Negritto’s lab

What You’ll Study

    • Cell structure, function and biochemistry
    • Genetics and Genomics
    • General, Organic and Physical Chemistry
    • Molecular biology research approaches and tools
    • Fundamental math and physics
More than 80 percent of majors have participated in at least one summer research project.

Researching at Pomona

Shaheed Muhammad

Researching Heart Disease at Tufts

Muhammad '21 researched treatments for heart disease at Tufts Medical School by looking at how CDK6 knockout mice could become resistant to left ventricular hypertrophy.

Brenda Wong

Cell Adhesion in Drosophila

Brenda Wong '21 spent the summer researching different genes in relation to cell adhesion molecules in Drosophila.

Nicah Driza

RHA-P Enzyme Research

Nicah Driza '21 is currently conducting research on RHA-P, an enzyme that has the ability to make natural products with antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

José Carranza ’22

Rab 5 protein’s Effects on Fruit Flies

José Carranza ’22 is studying the Rab 5 protein and its effects on hematopoiesis in Drosophila Melanogaster (fruit flies). He hopes to establish a connection between the Rab 5 protein and the Eater receptor by knocking down the genes for both and then observing the effects in flies.

Brenda Wong '21

A great thing I love about this major is that I get the resources and the support of two great departments—biology and chemistry; that’s double the professors I can meet!

Faculty & Teaching

This interdisciplinary major is supported by faculty from the Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience and Physics Departments. Their wide range of expertise includes genetics, developmental genetics, biochemistry, surface chemistry, chemical biology, molecular biology, molecular evolution, aging, membrane biophysics, organic chemistry, neurobiology, structural biology, medicinal chemistry, molecular genetics, genomics and computational biology.

Professor M. Cristina Negritto

Finding out how things work at the molecular level is something that is fascinating, and once you understand a cellular mechanism then you can manipulate it or fix it if needed. The goal is to apply the experimental methods from molecular biology to examine complex phenomena such as development, aging, cancer, the nervous system, or any other discipline of interest to elucidate how things work at the molecular level. This is what molecular biology is all about, and because of its interdisciplinary nature, a good foundation in chemistry, biology and physics is needed.