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Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Merced


Welcome to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Merced; the first research institution of the 21st Century. While we are a young and developing campus and department, we continually make great strides toward establishing a sound and fixed foundation of excellence in research, mentoring, and teaching. I am especially proud of the clear and unselfish contributions of our faculty’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion for the sake of our students, staff, faculty, and communities. Our faculty also exemplify dedication to our campus, local, regional, and professional communities.


The research of our faculty is characterized by a great diversity in themes and areas that are grounded in advanced and innovative approaches to address a variety of questions ranging from the basic biological to the clinical and translational realms. In addition to the scientific research, I am proud of the great strides and advancements in our core teaching faculty that are performing highly innovative pedagogical research to help us all better understand how students learn and what can make them learn better, all of which will eventually allow us to tear-down the barriers that impede the academic advancement of our students. Given the demographics of our student body, these are significant and important areas of research that will contribute to ameliorating the more global issues surrounding barriers to student successes. While our faculty continually make great advancements in their research, I am proud to share that this group is genuinely grounded in becoming better teachers and mentors by integrating novel and innovative methods in pedagogy for the sake of helping our students achieve their goals and aspirations. Our faculty take their mentoring responsibilities seriously and take every opportunity to become better mentors.


The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology is fully committed to these principles of research, teaching, mentoring, contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and service. By excelling in each of these principles, we can full our mission, which is to: (1) provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for our students and faculty, (2) establish a collegial and collaborative environment of research excellence that includes the contributions of undergraduate and graduate students regardless of race, ethnicity, or any other background, (3) promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our academics, (4) constantly identify unique and novel opportunities to advance our scholarship, and (5) provide dedicated and unselfish service to our communities including professional societies.


Vision Statement

Integrating quantitative and systems approaches to better define the boundaries of life, from molecules to organisms


Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and to learn more about our department, and I welcome you to take this journey of academic advancement with us!


Rudy M. Ortiz, PhD

Chair, The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology