About the Department

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


Our mission is to combine internationally recognized research programs with a commitment to the very best in undergraduate and graduate education. Work in the Department is impressively interdisciplinary. For example, faculty research programs include the characterization of global ecosystem biology; the use of model systems to dissect gene expression, mammalian development, behavior, disease and evolution; and the development of genomics tools to study the architecture of gene expression and genome evolution. This research breadth allows us to tackle important questions in biology in an environment that encourages discussion and collaboration across different disciplines. From such strength we have built outstanding research and educational programs in Ecology, Evolution & Biodiversity; the Molecular Basis of Behavior; Plant Science; Microbial Biology; Cell & Developmental Biology; Molecular Biology & Genetics and Genomics & Bioinformatics that are available for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral scientists.

As a community, our Department is comprised of 35 faculty, 72 postdoctoral scientists, 65 graduate students and 52 research and departmental staff members. We occupy three adjacent buildings - Leidy Laboratories, Goddard Laboratories and the new Carolyn Lynch Laboratory. These buildings surround the jewel of Penn's campus - the BioPond within the James G. Kaskey Memorial Garden.

Recognizing the revolution taking place in the Life Sciences, particularly in applying genomic approaches to diverse and important biological problems and developing a molecular understanding of behavior, The School of Arts and Sciences has selected Biology as a critical department to develop. This support a) helped establish the Penn Genomic Frontiers Institute at the University, whose current co-Director is Professor Junhyong Kim of our department, b) resulted in the construction of the Carolyn Lynch Laboratory building and c) will result in the construction of the new Neural and Behavioral Sciences building that will house an interdisciplinary group of Biology and Psychology faculty and students.