Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, the Department of Biology offers students the opportunity to participate in hands-on research.

Biology at American University

The Department of Biology provides courses in the life sciences, emphasizing advances in molecular genetics, embryology, development and evolutionary biology. Faculty members conduct research in developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, microbiology, ecology, oceanography, immunology, and molecular biology.

Ecology fieldwork monitoring invertebrate population size in a West Virginia cave.

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects at all levels. Students have the opportunity to visit, observe, and intern in some of the nation's most prestigious biological research centers, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

More than 95% of AU biology graduate students have assistantships, stipends, or other financial aid and finish the program in less than two years. Learn more about our programs — with master's degrees specializing in cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, or biotechnology:

MS Biology MS Biotechnology BS Biology


illustration of human brain, colored.

Research ·

Professor Alex Zestos Unraveling Mysteries of Human Brain

American University's Professor Alexander Zestos is conducting groundbreaking brain research and bringing it from the lab to the marketplace.
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microscopic view of a devil worm

Science ·

What Can a Small Worm Teach Us About Climate Adaptation?

Genome of the Devil Worm has been sequenced.
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Rana Said works at a fume hood in Hurst Hall.

Science ·

I-Corps: The I Is for Innovation, the S Is for Success

In spring 2018, American University became an official I-CORPS site. I-CORPS is a National Science Foundation-sponsored program aimed at developing science and technology entrepreneurship
Full Story

Recent Faculty Publications

Nicole F. Bonan, David Kowalski, Kaitie Kudlac, Kira Flaherty, J. Curtis Gwilliam, Lauren G. Falkenberg, Erik Maradiaga, Kathleen L. DeCicco-Skinner. (2019) Inhibition of HGF/MET signaling decreases overall tumor burden and blocks malignant conversion in Tpl2-related skin cancer. Oncogenesis. 8(1),1-12.

Ballard A, Bieniek S, and Carlini DB. 2019. The fitness consequences of synonymous mutations in Escherichia coli: experimental evidencefor a pleiotropic effect of translational selection. Gene. (In press). 

Gould, CJ, J Wiegand, and VP Connaughton. 2017. Acute developmental exposure to 4-hydroxyandrostenedione has a long-term effect on visually-guided behaviors. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 64: 45-49.

Weinman, L.M., Running, K.L.D., Carey, N.S., Stevenson, E.J., Swaney, D.L., Chow, B.Y., Krogan, N.J. and N.T. Krogan (2019) TCO, a putative transcriptional regulator in Arabidopsis, is a target of the protein kinase CK2. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, 99.

Gorham, S.R., Weiner, A.I., Yamadi, M. and N.T. Krogan (2018) HISTONE DEACETYLASE 19 and the flowering time gene FD maintain reproductive meristem identity in an age-dependent manner. Journal of Experimental Botany 69, 4757-4771.


More Faculty Publications