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Biology at American University

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

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects at all levels. Students have the opportunity to visit, observe, and intern in some of the nation's most prestigious biological research centers, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

More than 95% of AU biology graduate students have assistantships, stipends, or other financial aid and finish the program in less than two years. Learn more.


The Design and Build Lab (DaBL) is part of a movement to get people working with their hands. Three shelves with scientific instruments, beneath the periodic table.

Science ·

Full STEAM Ahead

AU science professors incorporate art into classes and the new Don Myers building.
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Three people in business casual and nametags stand indoors

Technology ·

CAS and Kogod Students Team Up for Fed Tech Venture

Last fall, four College of Arts and Sciences and Kogod School of Business students were selected for the FedTech program. The students worked alongside business professionals to bring their innovation skills to fruition.
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Two people in safety goggles and lab coats adjust a machine

Science ·

AU Launches New Biochemistry and Applied Chemistry Grad Programs

AU's Department of Chemistry will launch new graduate programs in the fall of 2018. It will split the MS in Chemistry into two tracks—Clinical Biochemistry and Applied Chemistry—and offer a new Graduate Certificate in Clinical Biochemistry.
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A zebra finch perched.

Science ·

A New Role for Estrogen: Protecting the Brain

AU Professor Colin Saldanha’s research on songbirds reveals estrogen’s role in preventing neuroinflammation in response to illness.
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Recent Faculty Publications

Niemiller, M.L.*, M.L. Porter, J. Keany, H. Gilbert, D.W. Fong, D.C. Culver, C. Hobson, K.D. Kendall, M.A. Davis, and S.J. Taylor. 2017. Evaluation of eDNA for groundwater invertebrate detection and monitoring: a case study with endangered Stygobromus (Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae). Conservation Genetics Resources.

Carlini, D.B.*, and D.W. Fong. 2017. The transcriptomes of cave and surface populations of Gammarus minus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) provide evidence for positive selection on cave downregulated transcripts. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186173.

Pedersen, AL. & Saldanha CJ. (2017). Reciprocal interactions between prostaglandin E2- and estradiol-dependent signaling pathways in the injured zebra finch brain. J. Neuroinflammation. 14(1): 262

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.

More Faculty Publications