Biology

Northeastern Researchers Develop a New Weapon Against Drug Resistant Bacteria
Discover our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program
Small Pharma: Inside the World of Orphan Diseases

It All Started with a Single Cell

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.

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

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

Degree Options

Faculty Research

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 neurop..
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
Ebong Lab
The Ebong Lab studies the means by which endothelial cell mechanotransduction occurs in order to prevent or promote atherosclerosis
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
Biomedical Optics Research Group
This group studies biomedical optics and non-invasive imaging, rare cell detection and tracking in the body, ultrafast time-domain diffuse optical imaging, image reconstruction and biomedical signal processing.
Biology
Respiratory Innovation and Simulation Team
This lab combines state-of-the-art experimental and numerical methods to quantify the health impacts of inhaled toxins (e.g. e-cigs) or to optimize inhaled therapeutics.
Biology
Goluch Group
The primary focus of this research is the development of detection strategies that are tailored for the micro and nanoscale, with emphasis on biological systems.
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 ..
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
Crane Lab
The Crane Lab investigates why cells deteriorate with aging and other diseases with a focus on cell metabolism. 
Biology
Advanced Biomaterials for Neuroengineering Laboratory
The focus of the Advanced Biomaterials for Neuroengineering Laboratory (ABNEL) is developing novel and transformative devices, biomaterials, and biophysical-based therapies for neuropathies in the Central, Peripheral, and Enteric nervous systems.
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
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Complex Systems (CIRCS)
Research at CIRCS falls within the areas of biomolecular systems, cardiac systems, neural systems, and nanosystems. Research projects are continuously evolving as members develop new collaborations both within and outside the center.
Biology
Parameswaran Lab
Harikrishnan Parameswaran's research focuses on cell-extracellular matrix interactions, force transmission in multicellular ensembles, asthma, pulmonary physiology.
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.Watch a short video about Research in the Day Lab 
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
Antimicrobial Discovery Center
The Center translates basic discoveries into novel antimicrobial therapies to combat Biowarfare and conventional pathogen threats. The rise of multidrug resistant pathogens and the threat of genetically engineered bioweapons represent an urgent need for antimicrobial therapies. The Center is funded..
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.
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.

Co-Op

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.

CHECK OUT WHERE OUR CO-OPS HAVE WORKED
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.

News

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