Pre-medicine Cell & Molecular Biology

To find your role in the continually evolving and diversifying disciplines of biology, you'll need a strong foundation in fundamental, scientific concepts. At Western, we provide a learning environment that helps you master even the most difficult scientific concepts.

Through our teaching-focused faculty, small class sizes and hands-on learning opportunities, you’ll delve deeply into your program as well as the supporting sciences of physics, chemistry and mathematics. You’ll know your professors as they enrich your understanding of the current social, political and economic milieu. You’ll gain experiences to enhance your future career or graduate school opportunities.

What Will You Learn in the Pre-medicine, Cellular & Molecular Biology Program? What Skills Will You Acquire?

You’ll graduate from Western as a classically trained biologist with a comprehensive education in cellular and molecular biology. Your education will include an introduction to all the fundamental concepts that underlie our modern understanding of biology.

You will also develop a deep understanding of and specific knowledge in biology at smaller scales. You will survey the many techniques used in laboratories to study cellular and molecular biology, including Western blotting, microscopy, gene cloning, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), genetic engineering of microorganisms, classical genetic manipulation techniques, dissection, and the culturing, testing and analysis of microorganisms.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in Western’s Pre-Medicine, Cellular & Molecular Biology program have unique opportunities to gain experience in scientific investigation through active participation with faculty in laboratory research.

Through funding from Thornton research grants, students can further hone the ancillary skills required to carry out research, by writing funding proposals, giving on-campus presentations of their work and drafting final research reports.

Some students present their results at national meetings of scientific societies and publish their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some also attend summer research programs, providing them with a more intensive research experience.

After Graduation

Cellular and molecular biology graduates may find roles in the biotechnology industry, in hospitals, in higher education, and in other related industries, where their training in rigorous analysis and critical thinking are valued and desired.

Graduates may continue their studies in professional and graduate schools, studying cellular biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, neurobiology, immunology, genetics, molecular genetics and related fields.

This emphasis within the biology major is also one of the best options to prepare students for entry into medical, dental, physician’s assistant, veterinary and pharmacy school.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Cell Biology & Pre-medicine Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family.

Share your interest with friends and family:
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  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Faculty & Staff


Kevin Alexander headshot
Professor of Biology; Chair, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences
B.A., University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., University of North Texas
Phone: (970) 943-3405
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143C
Robin A. Bingham headshot
Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Vermont; M.A., Ph.D., University of Colorado.
Phone: (970) 943-3355
Office Location: Hurst Hall 222
Peter H. Gauss headshot
Professor of Biology
B.S., St. Joseph’s University; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University.
Phone: (970) 943-2094
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238B
Dr. Shan Hays headshot
Associate Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Colorado; B.A., University of Colorado; Ph.D., University of Oregon
Phone: (970) 943-2552
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238C
Amy Honan headshot
Biology Laboratory Coordinator
B.A., Western Colorado University, M.S., San Francisco State University, Ph.D. candidate - University of Washington, Seattle. Current
Phone: (970) 943-2437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A
Patrick Magee headshot
Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S, Colorado State University. M.S., University of Missouri; Ph.D., University of Missouri.
Phone: (970) 943-7121
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
Dr. Emily McMahill headshot
Ferchau Lecturer in Biology
B.A., Western State College, PharmD, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
Phone: (970) 943-2311
Office Location: Hurst Hall 225
Cassandra L. Osborne headshot
Professor of Biology
B.S., Allegheny College; Ph.D., Dartmouth College.
Phone: (970) 943-3181
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238A
John Sowell headshot
Emeritus Professor of Biology
B.S., University of California-Davis; Ph.D., University of Idaho.
Phone: 970.943.2063
Office Location: