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.
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
Researching at Pomona
Yeast as Model Organism to Study DNA Repair
Zoe Zhou '18 conducted research about how to repair Thymine dimers, DNA damages that occur after exposure to UV radiation, by using yeast as a model organism in place of human DNAs.
Chromosomal Translocations Due to Short-Sequence Recombination in Yeast
Maria Arciniega ’16 analyzed the repair mechanism of double-strand breaks in yeast by examining chromosomal translocation of strains mutated at important subunits of TFIIH complex.
Human RAD52 in Telomere Maintenance in S. cerevisiae
Elise Wolf ’16 investigated how human repair proteins can maintain yeast chromosome ends to gain insight into the function of these proteins in human tumorigenesis.
At a lot of big research universities, you’re usually mentored by post-doctorates or graduate students, but here all the primary investigators/professors are mentoring students. There’s no one in between undergrads and faculty members, so you’re getting 1-on-1 direct attention.
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.
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.