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Department of Biological Sciences

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The Department of Biological Sciences is a major hub for life sciences research and teaching at Virginia Tech, with interdisciplinary connections that span the university. We are home to 55 faculty, 25 postdocs/research scientists, and 90 graduate students on the Blacksburg and VTCRI campuses. As major players in both basic and applied research at Virginia Tech, Biological Sciences faculty secured over $12M in new grants this past year to tackle the most challenging problems facing our world today, from global change to human disease. Research expertise is focused in the following broad areas:

The department is also one of the two largest undergraduate degree-granting units in the university, with 380 B.S. degrees conferred each year; we also host close to 200 undergraduates in our research labs year-round, while teaching more than 14,500 students in undergraduate and graduate courses.  We invite you to explore our web site to learn more about current happenings, opportunities for undergraduate and graduate training, and special achievements of our faculty, staff, current students, and our 10,000 living alumni!


NEW!  Faculty Position Openings:  

Evolutionary Biologist (Assistant Professor Level)

Bioinformatics and Microbiome Systems Biologist (Assistant Professor Level)


The University Press of Florida recently published Darwin's Man in Brazil: The Evolving Sciences of Fritz Müller, written by the late Associate Professor Emeritus David West.  

There will be an official launch of the book on Friday, September 30, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in the Fralin Auditorium (note time change!). The event will include a panel discussion with the team that prepared the book, reception, book sales, and signing. 

We hope that you will be able to join us for this celebratory event!

From the book website: "Fritz Müller (1821-1897), though not as well known as his colleague Charles Darwin, belongs in the cohort of great nineteenth-century naturalists. In Darwin's Man in Brazil, David A. West recovers Müller's legacy. He describes the close intellectual kinship between Müller and Darwin, detailing a lively correspondence spanning seventeen years, in which the two men often discussed new research topics and exchanged ideas. Darwin frequently praised Müller's powers of observation and interpretation, counting him among those scientists whose opinion he valued most."


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Upcoming Events

Friday, September 30, 2016: VTLS Seminar by Pranoti Mandrekar of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, entitled, "Proteotoxic stress responses and inflammation: A vicious interplay in liver disease," 12:20 p.m., Fralin Auditorium

Friday, September 30, 2016: 13th Annual Burian-McNabb Distinguished Lecture by Melinda Fagan of the University of Utah, entitled, "50 years of stem cell experiments and models of development," 4:00 p.m., Hahn Hall 370/380

Monday, October 3, 2016: Biochemistry Seminar by Caroline Jones, entitled, "Clinical Microfluidics for Immunological Studies in Health and Disease," 4:00 p.m., Engel 223

Thursday, October 6, 2016: EEB Seminar by Interfaces of Global Change Graduate Student Invited Speaker Reed Noss of the University of Southern Florida, entitled, "Forgotten grasslands of the south: ecological history and future," 3:30 p.m., New Classroom Building 160

Friday, October 7, 2016: VTLS Seminar by Jean-Michel Ane of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, entitled, "Sweet Talks: Symbiotic Signaling between Land Plants and their Microbial Symbionts," 12:20 p.m., BI Auditorium

EEB Seminar Schedule Fall 2016

VTLS Seminar Schedule Fall 2016

In the News

March 21, 2016: Michael Friedlander named VT's inaugural VP for health sciences and technology

March 16, 2016: VT researchers collaborate to bring health care into sync with our internal clocks

March 15, 2016: Scientists use 'insect perfumes' to lure stink bugs to expendable crops

March 14, 2016: Cayelan Carey named VT Scholar of the Week

March 3, 2016: Iulia Lazar Interview: Advanced technologies in the pursuit of cancer eradication

February 18, 2016: SEEDS named Non-Profit Member of the Month by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

February 10, 2016: VTCRI scientists find brain plasticity assorted into functional networks

December 7, 2015: New biology course transforms students into young scientists, research contributors

December 3, 2015: Scientists: Parasite may alter signaling in the brain

November 30, 2015: College of Science inducts six into Hall of Distinction

November 25, 2015: Global change doctoral fellows explore environmental policy on Capitol Hill

November 24, 2015: Science graduate students learn how to explain their work to a general audience at Alan Alda workshop

November 20, 2015: Scientists unexpectedly find ALS affects sensory neurons involved in movement

November 16, 2015: Researchers find way to make resistant brain cancer cells sensitive to treatment

November 13, 2015: College of Science welcomes new faculty to departments, Academy of Integrated Sciences, and School of Neuroscience

October 30, 2015: Timing is everything in cell processes, VBI researchers say

October 26, 2015: Harbingers of Halloween spin smart system for scientists to mimic, create new products

October 22, 2015: Award from NSF may help researchers better understand circadian rhythms

October 1, 2015: Scientists develop new toolkit to examine molecular mechanisms of human disease

October 8, 2015: It takes a village of bacteria to help frogs fight deadly disease, Fralin Life scientists say

Older news....

Honors and Awards