Cell & Molecular Biology

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A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • 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. 
  • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students work with faculty mentors on funded and original research. 
  • 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
Phone: 970.943.3405
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143C
Peter H. Gauss headshot
Professor of Biology
Phone: 970.943.2094
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238B
Shan Hays, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology
Phone: 970.943.2552
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238C
Amy Honan headshot
Biology Lab Coordinator, Lecturer in Biology, Curator of Fungi
Phone: 970.943.2437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A
Patrick Magee, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Phone: 970.943.7121
Office Location: Hurst Hall 143A
Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. headshot
Ferchau Lecturer in Biology
Phone: 970.943.2311
Office Location: Hurst Hall 225
Cassandra Osborne, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Biology
Phone: 970.943.3181
Office Location: Hurst Hall 238A


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 competencies of the life sciences 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 between science and society, and will be able to communicate their findings both orally and in written form to the appropriate audiences. 

Careers & Opportunities

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. 

Learn More

Reach out to Shan Hays, Ph.D. for more information.