Pre-Medicine Cell & Molecular Biology


  • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students work with faculty mentors on funded and original research. 
  • Lab Assistantships: Students commonly land positions helping their professors with fieldwork and research. 
  • Pre-health Club: Brings together students with a common interest in health fields to network and to provide career preparation, advice and peer support. 
  • Tri-Beta: Honor society for biology student researchers. 

Faculty & Staff


Kevin Alexander, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology; Chair, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, Biology, 1991, Ph.D., University of North Texas, Biology, 1997
Phone: 970.943.3405
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143C
Robin A. Bingham headshot
Professor of Biology
B.A., University of Vermont, M.A., University of Colorado, 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
Phone: 970.943.2437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A
Patrick Magee headshot
Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S., Colorado State University, Wildlife Biology, M.S., University of Missouri, Wildlife Ecology, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Wildlife Ecology
Phone: 970.943.7121
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. headshot
Ferchau Lecturer in Biology
B.A., Western Colorado University; , Pharm.D., 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:
Major in Biology
Bachelor of Science
Natural & Environmental Sciences

Biology students learn in a tight-knit environment with great opportunities for laboratory and research experience.

General Description

The Cell & Molecular Biology emphasis is for students pursuing careers in biotechnology, graduate programs in laboratory biology and professional school in most health fields, including medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physician assistantships. 

The Program

All of the biology emphases are built upon a broad training in the core competnecies of the life sciencesk including evolution, cell theory, genetics, metabolism and ecological components and systems. Students who choose the Cell & Molecular Biology emphasis will deepen their understanding of biological concepts at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels. 

The specific courses that a student takes are determined with an advisor to best fit that student's post-graduation goals. Through these courses, students are transformed into scientists as they learn to think critically, to collaborate with each other and with scientists in other disciplines and to gather and analyze data quantitatively, all while carrying out the scientific process.

By the time they graduate, these newly-minted scientists will also appreciate the relationship betwen science and society, and will be able to communicate their findings both orally and in written form to the appropriate audiences. 


Cell & Molecular Biology graduates find careers 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 program is also one of the best options to prepare students for entry into medical, dental, physician assistant, veterinary and pharmacy school. 

Want to learn more? 

If you're interested in more information, please call or email the contact below and ask to learn more about the Cell & Molecular Biology program. 

Shan Hays, Ph.D.