Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania.


Biology is fundamental to our changing world. The 21st century challenge for our students, our scholars, and the greater society is to understand our place in this changing world and to create fundamental knowledge for informed policies, economies, and social structure. Biological studies enable us to view global changes in the scientific context of living systems and help place human activity within the universal framework of the natural and anthropogenic worlds. Our goal is to prepare students and provide a scientific foundation for a biological understanding of the changing world.

Here in the Department of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, we are building upon our internationally recognized research and education program to meet the goals of preparing students and discovering knowledge. Our department includes all basic biological sciences including ecology and evolution, plant sciences, molecular and cellular biology, genomics, quantitative biology, and neuroscience. We value interdisciplinary collaboration and collegiality, and strive to integrate biology across scales, from molecules to social assemblies; across technologies, from nanoengineering to robotic vision; and across approaches, from laboratory experiments to data modeling; to transcend the traditional boundaries of biological studies.

As a community, we are comprised of 35 faculty members, 40 postdoctoral scientists, over 50 graduate students and around 250 undergraduate students. We are located on the south end of UPenn’s campus in the Life Sciences Quad, which is comprised of Carolyn Lynch Labs, Goddard Labs, the historic Leidy Labs, and the new Levin Building. These buildings all surround the scenic and iconic BioPond and James G. Kaskey Memorial Park. We welcome all who are interested in biology to connect with us – whether it’s by taking a stroll through Kaskey Park, enrolling in a biology course at Penn, attending a seminar, or attending a professional development session for secondary school biology teachers. I also invite you to explore our website to learn more about our undergraduate and graduate opportunities, and the community we build within our department. Whether it is online or in person, we are excited to connect with you so that together we can investigate life in the context of an ever-changing natural world.


Junhyong Kim, Ph.D.
Chair and Patricia M. Williams Term Endowed Professor of Biology
Adjunct Professor, Computer and Information Science
Co-Director, Penn Program in Single Cell Biology