Biology

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It All Started with a Single Cell

The College of Science Biology program provides students with a broad understanding of the biological organization and processes of life, from molecules and cells through tissues and organs, to populations, ecosystems, and evolution.

In this brave new world of CRISPR gene-editing, implantable microchips, and artificial organs, human beings have begun to harness technology to move beyond their biological limits.

The science of the 21st century will fundamentally change the concept of life. Yet as complex as life has become, it all started with a single cell.

 Your journey starts there.

Our scientific expertise spans the realm of biological sciences to drive advances in medicine and healthcare, biotechnology, education, and public policy.

Diversity & Inclusion

The College of Science supports a culture where each person feels they belong, regardless of race, color, religion, religious creed, genetic information, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran or disability status. We celebrate the diversity of our community, and we seek to expand representation to further excellence. We commit to be a College where members act with respect, trust, collaboration, and communication, and where inappropriate behavior is reported and acted on without fear of retaliation.

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Faculty Labs & Research

Biology
Biomimetic Underwater Robot Program
Dr. Ayers' research focus is on the neuroethology of motor systems in invertebrates and lower vertebrates and the application of this knowledge to the development of advanced robots.
Biology
Monaghan Lab
Dr. Monaghan’s lab uses the axolotl salamander to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of complex tissue regeneration. Axolotls have the amazing ability to regenerate large portions of their limbs, tail, heart, and spinal cord. His lab studies the development and regeneration of the nervo..
Biology
O'Malley Lab
Dr. O’Malley studies the computational capabilities of neuronal populations at the core of nervous systems, including everything from sensorimotor transformations to more complex behaviors. Current projects are aimed at understanding symbolic operations in mammalian cortex.
Biology
Action Lab
Motor skills such as throwing a ball, eating with knife and fork or dancing are uniquely human and key to functional behavior. Optimizing the acquisition and preventing or reverting the degradation of skill requires a rigorous quantitative understanding. The Action Lab analyzes how human neurophysi..
Biology
Cram Lab
The Cram Laboratory utilizes the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo system to examine how mechanical forces are sensed and interpreted by cells and how this influences cell migration. In  addition, they collaborate with Chemical Engineers to improve production of drug compound..
Biology
Godoy Lab
The Godoy lab seeks to learn about the mechanism(s) regulating the activity of potentially mutagenic DNA polymerases.
Biology
Slavov Laboratory
The Slavov Lab studies Ribosome-mediated translational regulation, and single-cell proteomics by mass-spectrometry
Biology
Lee-Parsons Research Laboratory Website
This research group is applying metabolic engineering principles and methodologies to improve the production of important compounds, i.e. critical plant-derived pharmaceuticals or biofuels, from plant cell & tissue cultures and microalgae cultures.
Biology
Epstein Lab
The Epstein lab works on microbial discovery in the environment and human microbiome. They uncover novel microbial life forms by inventing novel cultivation strategies that depart from conventional wisdom and provide access to the greatest part of microbial diversity: unexplored species missed in t..
Biology
Lewis Lab
The Lewis Lab studies persister cells responsible for tolerance to antibiotics, uncultured bacteria of the environment and the microbiome, and works on drug discovery.
Biology
Apfeld Lab
The Apfeld Lab seeks to dissect the interplay between redox processes and age-dependent changes in tissue function in the nematode C. elegans, in order to shed light on the association between the dysregulation of the cellular redox environment and many human diseases of aging.
Biology
Woods Laboratory
The Woods Laboratory is interested in studying the role of mitochondria in normal and disease states, with a major emphasis on female reproductive function and health.
Biology
Laboratory of Neurobiology
Research in Prof. Zupanc’s laboratory focuses on the exploration of neural mechanisms underlying structural plasticity in the adult central nervous system of vertebrates. 
Biology
MoBS Lab
Alessandro Vespignani’s research activity is focused on the study of “techno-social” systems, where infrastructures composed of different technological layers are interoperating within the social components that drives their use and development.
Biology
Menon Lab
Professor Menon is the Principal Investigator of the Advanced Nanomaterials Research laboratory at Northeastern University where she conducts and supervises research in the area of nanomaterials, specifically porous alumina, titania nanotubes, gallium nitride nanowires, etc. She is particularly int..
Biology
Emergent Epidemics Lab
Research in the Emergent Epidemics Lab spans a broad range of topics in complex systems and network science, with an emphasis on infectious disease dynamics and forecasting/predictive models.
Biology
Dr. Rosengaus’ Lab
Dr. Rosengaus’ research tries to understand the factors that may have selected for the evolution of insect sociality. This work is at the interface of evolutionary biology, behavioral and chemical ecology, immunology and genetics. Social insects represent excellent social test organisms to answer..
Biology
Yunrong Chai's Lab
Yunrong Chai's lab is interested in understanding fundamental mechanisms controlling bacterial biofilm formation and the role of beneficial biofilms in bacteria-host interactions. They are also interested in inhibitory mechanisms targeting key processes during bacterial biofilm development.
Biology
Geisinger Lab
The Geisinger lab investigates the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance and disease development in infections with hospital-acquired pathogens.
Biology
Day Lab
The Day Lab investigates the molecular role of G quadruplex DNA in genome stability and human disease. 
Biology
Khrapko's Lab
Khrapko's lab is studying mutations in mtDNA and their effects on cellular physiology, aging and disease. THey also use mtDNA mutations to trace mtDNA lineages and to study human evolution.
Biology
Tilly's Lab
Tilly's lab seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the genetic and epigenetic drivers of cell lineage specification, differentiation and death, and to then utilize the information gained from these studies for development of innovative new technologies to improve human health within and across ..
Biology
Chemical Imaging of Living Systems Institute
The Institute develops imaging tools to highlight chemical processes - enabling clinicians to better diagnose and treat disease.
Biology
Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR)
The Center’s objective is simple: think networks. Research focuses on how networks emerge/evolve, how they look, and how they impact our understanding of complex systems. CCNR’s research has developed to unexpected areas, including the topology of the World Wide Web; complex networks inside th..
Biology
Center for STEM Education
This university-wide center aspires to play a key role in shaping and implementing the K-20 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education strategy at Northeastern University, and to impact STEM teaching and learning at all levels, both locally and nationally.
Biology
New England Inflammation and Tissue Protection Institute
This institute focuses on the role of tissue inflammation in fighting disease and infection, and the mechanisms that control tissue inflammation in the body. The Institute’s work has immediate implications for anti-cancer strategies and approaches to improved vaccines.
Biology
The Ionescu Lab
Our research centers on skeletal development and pathology with an emphasis on tissue regeneration and repair after injury.  We aim to fate map how skeletal stem cells contribute to the growth of the skeletal elements during development via mouse transgenesis, lineage tracing and single cell trans..
Biology
Sive Lab
The Sive Lab, led by Hazel Sive, studies the development of the vertebrate embryo. The group has made unique contributions to the fundamental questions of how the face forms and how the brain develops its normal structure. Research in the Sive lab emphasizes neurodevelopmental and craniofacial di..

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The Minds Behind COS Biology
Faculty Spotlight
Dagmar Sternad
Biology
Dagmar Sternad is looking to ballet dancers to find answers for people with disabilities through studies of human motor control and learning.
Kim Lewis
Biology
Led by Kim Lewis, researchers at Northeastern have discovered a new antibiotic that could treat infections caused by some of the nastiest superbugs humanity is facing in the antibiotic resistance crisis.
Gunter Zunpac
Biology
In a recent paper, Zunpac and his fellow researchers showed that new cancer tumors may grow even more aggressively after treatment. This was due to a mechanism that allowed them to thrive in the empty space previously inhabited by the pre-treatment tumor.

Biology Lab Research

Biology Lab Research

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Co-op Experiences

With Northeastern situated in the heart of Boston, there is no shortage of co-operative education opportunities in the fields of biotechnology, biomedical, and healthcare. From penguin tanks at the New England Aquarium to infectious disease research as Massachusetts General Hospital, students have the chance to explore careers paths or simply use co-op for experiences they never thought possible.
Emma Robinson
Emma Robinson’s co-op experience at Harvard Medical School leads her to pursue a PhD.
Meet Emma
Megan Carter, Katy Knoll, Emma Jurusik
They were on co-op while pursuing an NCAA championship in women’s ice hockey.
Meet Megan, Katy, & Emma

Degree Options

Interested in pursuing an advanced degree? Apply Today!

Coursework and Requirements
A sampling of the types of courses you could take here.
Bioethics
2329 BIOL

Offers students an opportunity to explore ethical issues arising from biological research and emerging technologies, to learn to identify and critically analyze potential ethical implications of biological research, and to evaluate theory-based arguments while respectfully engaging with a diversity of perspectives.

Biology Project Lab
2309 BIOL

Offers an inquiry-based, intensive laboratory experience in which students have an opportunity to design and conduct independent research projects, applying approaches and techniques used in cell and molecular biology.

Biological Clocks
5306 BIOL

Examines the expression of endogenously generated twenty-four-hour (circadian) rhythms in eukaryotic life, emphasizing theoretical foundations as well as current research strategies for understanding how biological clocks work

PreMed & PreHealth

Our PreMed and PreHealth Advising program offers personalized expertise to COS students pursuing careers in health careers. This comprehensive program includes application guidance, workshops and presentations, course mapping and more.

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PlusOne Program

Students have the option of pursuing a “Plus One” degree, allowing them to earn a Master’s Degree in less time.

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University of Dundee, Scotland Study/Research Abroad Program

Northeastern’s newest program in the Life Sciences at the No. 1 rated Life Sciences university in the UK has an opportunity for Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Biochemistry students to study abroad. This program also provides the opportunity to engage in hands-on research at one of the world’s emerging centers for biomedical research.

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