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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.


Professor and student working in lab.

Research ·

Unraveling The Genetic Causes of Skin Cancer

New research from American University reveals the interplay between a key gene and receptor in the progression of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of cancer in the U.S.
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Matt Mullins, Irena Volkov, and Samantha Hepworth present their I-CORPS projects at the Mathias Student Research Conference.

Science ·

American University I-CORPS Program

Spring 2018 marked American University’s inaugural participation in the I-CORPS program, which is a National Science Foundation sponsored program developed to foster science and technology entrepreneurship through a five-year $253,000 grant.
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Naden Krogan and Maryam Yamadi (right) examine the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Credit: Brenda Chow.

Science ·

Scientist Spotlight: Professor Naden Krogan

One of the most fascinating questions in nature is how a complex organism develops from a single cell. Naden Krogan, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, wants to answer this question by analyzing development in plants.
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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