Biology at AU

Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, the Department of Biology provides students with the opportunity to participate in hands-on research.

Biology at American University

The Department of Biology provides courses in the life sciences, emphasizing advances in molecular genetics, embryology, ecology, development and evolutionary biology. Faculty members have expertise in a variety of areas, and conduct research in developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, microbiology, ecology, oceanography, and molecular biology. 

Anatomy Model

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects at all levels. Biology students at AU have the opportunity to visit and intern in some of the nation's most prestigious scientific institutions such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. For those interested in postgraduate studies, the Department of Biology offers a research-intensive Master of Science program that equips students with the skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen area of study. We are currently accepting applications for the MS program and students are encouraged to reach out to individual faculty before applying to discuss research interests and ongoing projects. 

MS Biology MS Biotechnology BS Biology


Hall of Science update August 2020

Science ·

Hall of Science Complete and Opening Doors

American University's cutting-edge new Hall of Sciences is complete. It’s all part of AU’s ambitious commitment to further scientific research to address some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Full Story

Jeff Kaplan

Science ·

Focusing on the Biology of Coronaviruses During the COVID-19 Lockdown

When the escalating COVID-19 crisis resulted in a shift to online learning in early 2020, Dr. Kaplan revised the syllabus to include a unit on virology (the study of viruses).
Full Story

Samantha White and poster

Research ·

First-Ever “Virtual” Mathias Conference Winners Announced

The winners have been announced for a very special Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference, one of the College of Arts and Sciences’ most important forums for students to present their scholarship and creative works.
Full Story


Alumni Spotlight: Brendan Riske, MS in Ecology & Evolution


Alumni Spotlight: Brendan Riske, MS in Ecology & Evolution ’19

Recent Faculty Publications

Nicole F. Bonan, David Kowalski, Kaitie Kudlac, Kira Flaherty, J. Curtis Gwilliam, Lauren G. Falkenberg, Erik Maradiaga, Kathleen L. DeCicco-Skinner. (2019) Inhibition of HGF/MET signaling decreases overall tumor burden and blocks malignant conversion in Tpl2-related skin cancer. Oncogenesis. 8(1), 1-12.

Ballard A, Bieniek S, and Carlini DB. 2019. The fitness consequences of synonymous mutations in Escherichia coli: experimental evidence for a pleiotropic effect of translational selection. Gene. (In press). 

Gould, CJ, J Wiegand, and VP Connaughton. 2017. Acute developmental exposure to 4-hydroxyandrostenedione has a long-term effect on visually-guided behaviors. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 64: 45-49.

Weinman, L.M., Running, K.L.D., Carey, N.S., Stevenson, E.J., Swaney, D.L., Chow, B.Y., Krogan, N.J. and N.T. Krogan (2019) TCO, a putative transcriptional regulator in Arabidopsis, is a target of the protein kinase CK2. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, 99.

Gorham, S.R., Weiner, A.I., Yamadi, M. and N.T. Krogan (2018) HISTONE DEACETYLASE 19 and the flowering time gene FD maintain reproductive meristem identity in an age-dependent manner. Journal of Experimental Botany 69, 4757-4771.

More Faculty Publications