• About Biology

    About Biology

    The Department of Biology is located in Regents Hall, Reiss Science Building, and labs on Observatory Hill.

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  • People


    We are a community of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and administrative staff.

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  • Research


    We investigate the behavior of organisms, cells and molecules in the laboratory and field, and by using modeling and computational approaches.

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  • Undergraduate Programs

    Undergraduate Programs

    The Department of Biology offers four majors and a minor for undergraduate study.

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  • Graduate Program

    Graduate Program

    The graduate experience includes cutting-edge research, learning how to teach, and opportunities for mentoring.

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  • Courses


    The Department of Biology offers many classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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  • Affiliated Programs

    Affiliated Programs

    The Department of Biology is associated with other programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

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Biology in the News


Nicole Kelly Awarded a Taylor-Webber Award! 
Biology Medal is Awarded to the outstanding senior from each of the four majors

"I graduated in May 2015 majoring in Biology of Global Health (BGH). I chose the BGH major because, initially, it was quite outside my comfort zone. While I am fascinated by the molecular interactions that shape living organisms, I was very unfamiliar with how that knowledge fit into the broader context of public health at the local, national, and international levels. As a future doctor and citizen, I felt it was important to gain an interdisciplinary perspective of global health issues and improve my ability to both generate and communicate solutions; those skills are exactly what the BGH major has given me. Post-graduation in August 2015, I will begin medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons."

Congratulations to Awardees 2015 

Collin Leibold RISE Book Winner!
RISE Book Winner is Awarded to the student winners of the senior research project presentations during the research symposium

"I am a Biology of Global Health major because I am interested in communicating scientific information to the general public in order to educate and to improve health habits. I became interested in this major during the passing of the Affordable Care Act because it became clear that scientists and policymakers could improve their ability to communicate complex information to the public. My research in the department was an extension of these interests. I taught 10th grade biology at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, testing a strategy called Writing Across the Curriculum, in which students learn writing in all classes. I was fascinated by my students' writing; it offered a picture of their learning that I never could have gotten from multiple choice questions or traditional biology instruction. This research made me even more interested in writing, which leads me to my post-graduation plans. I will be studying Journalism at Georgetown while competing in my final year of eligibility on the Track and Field team." 

Congratulations to Awardees 2015 

Sara Carioscia Winner of Zukowski-Kolleng Summer Research Fellowship

 "This is my third year at Georgetown, where I am majoring in Biology and Classics. As a freshman I read Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, which sparked my interest in evolutionary genetics. My research in the Patten Lab has led me to focus on the roles of particular genetic processes in grand-scale evolution and extinction. This summer I seek to model the introgression ratios among nuclear, mitochondrial and X chromosome genes in hybridization events."

Congratulations to Awardees 2015 

Breanna Walsh Awarded GUROP

 "When I was a senior in high school, I discovered the Biology of Global Health major and was instantly intrigued; while biology is my passion, I felt strongly about learning skills that would allow me to convey science-rich health information in a meaningful way to a wide audience, as no facet of health exists in a vacuum.  I decided to come to Georgetown to be a Biology of Global Health major because I wanted to learn from an array of viewpoints and challenge myself to address health issues that compelled me.  As a researcher in Professor Elmendorf's lab, I've similarly challenged myself to take science beyond the classroom and approach big questions in a team setting.  My absolute favorite aspect of research is the big, messy, question-filled mystery that I get to work on solving with an amazing group of passionate and curious colleagues.  I find myself taking the skills I have learned through research and applying them to both my classes and my life.  I've become a more engaged and active listener, a more questioning conversationalist, and, I feel, a better person in my efforts to pay closer attention to the world around me."

Congratulations to Awardees 2015 

Roughly 2.3 million people worldwide live with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that affects the central nervous system. Assistant Professor of Biology Jeffrey Huang investigates complex interactions in the brain in the hope of improving therapies for MS patients.

A Piece of the MS Puzzle

Heidi Elmendorf, an Associate Professor in Georgetown College’s Biology Department, was honored on November 20 as the 2014 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s District of Columbia Professor of the Year.  Elmendorf, Director of Undergraduate Studies in biology and Director of Science Education Outreach, is also co-founder of the recent innovative Biology of Global Health major.

Heidi Elmendorf named D.C. Professor of the Year

Prof. Shaun BrinsmadeScientists have identified thousands of species of microbes that live in and on the human body. Although microbes can cause disease and infections in humans, they aren’t always harmful. Assistant Professor of Biology Shaun Brinsmade is looking at when and how microbes turn from harmless to harmful.

Microbes: The Good, The Bad, The Harmless

Amy Battocletti was honored by the National Science Foundation as a grad student-veteran and for her studies in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.  She received an NSF graduate research fellowship to study genetic variation in salt march plants.  She is currently a second year graduate student and was previously a aerographer’s mate with the US Navy. 


Veteran  and Graduate Student Honored by the NSF

Environmental Biology major Elena Noyes (C '15) has turned her love for the outdoors into a future career in working with environmental non-profits such as the Wilderness Foundation. 


Going Green for the Long Haul

Neurobiology major Sarah Waye (C '15) recently received a Goldwater Scholarship.  Building on the research she has done in Christopher Albanese’s lab, Waye is looking ahead to doctoral programs in stem cell and regenerative biology, planning a career teaching and conducting research.

Discovering a Career in Science