Focused on the life sciences
In the Department of Biological Sciences, you will find game-changing discoveries and life-changing education, from the molecular to ecosystem levels. We are focused on some of the toughest challenges of our time - fighting cancer, combating infectious diseases, unraveling climate change, and dissecting how we see, hear and interact with our surroundings. Our research and scholarship changes people's lives and the planet.
Studying and working within our welcoming community of life scientists can be the first step to changing your life. You'll find that research and academic pursuits are interwoven as faculty create and share new knowledge.
Research in the Department of Biological Science contributes to developing personalized medicine, unraveling how the human brain functions, combating infectious diseases, understanding genomes at levels never before imagined, and understanding the complex ecosystems that keep our planet healthy. We are responsive to challenges that appear suddenly and need immediate attention – because we prepare persistently for the moments when our knowledge can lead the way.
We are the largest department in the life sciences at Purdue University with degree-granting programs that include:
- Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease
- Neuroscience and Physiology
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Biology Education
- Structural and Computational Biology & Biophysics
We believe that STEM education and careers should be inclusive and accessible. We are deeply committed to mentoring our students and helping them apply their knowledge and develop the skills needed to become leaders in the scientific workforce.
As part of the College of Science, we have capacity for cross-disciplinary partnerships that encourage undergraduate research experiences and empower graduate students who work and publish with renowned faculty. The diverse nature of biological sciences lends itself to collaborations in the physical sciences, agriculture, engineering, education and computational sciences. Partnerships abound as researchers from across campus work together to solve today's toughest challenges.
The Science of Teaching Science
Jacob Adler, assistant professor of practice in biological sciences in the College of Science, is excited to bring meaningful, authentic research opportunities to first year biology students in his classroom. However, he knows that there is always room for improvement in teaching methods, and, through his research, he hopes to help students find a sense of belonging in science and develop their community.
Dr. Leifu Chang and his lab published an article in Cell on, "Molecular mechanism for Tn7-like transposon recruitment by a type I-B CRISPR effector".
With the passing of William (Bill) Pak, biology has lost one of its true pioneers.
When biology Professor Jeff Lucas of Purdue’s College of Science realized that his current grants wouldn’t be sufficient to cover travel for his graduate students, he offered them each $1,000 out of his own pocket to present their research at a conference.
Biological Sciences Graduate Student Awards
With the wrap-up of the academic year, there are a number of graduate student awards and accomplishments that the Biological Sciences department would like to recognize.