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Undergraduate Programs

BMB 490/491: Cellular Dynamics

Cell Biology Undergraduate Research Team Wordmark

Cell Biology Undergraduate Research Team

(BMB 490/491)

Image of a student in BMB 490/491


BMB 490 and 491, that launched in Fall 2020, are designed as a two semester (Fall/Spring) immersive research experience. Each cohort of students will form a research team that pursues a defined hypothesis-driven research question in a fast-tracked version of a start-to-finish research project. Participating students will gain a better understanding of how scientific research is conducted, and whether a research-related career path appeals to them. BMB 490 will include training in research ethics, experimental design, model systems (i.e. C. elegans animal models or mammalian cell culture) and experimental approaches used to study cell and molecular biology. Students will perform data analysis and learn to critically interpret data. By the end of the fall semester, students will have conducted and analyzed 2-3 experiments. In BMB 491, students will focus on communicating their research findings. This will include analysis and discussion of scientific literature, a publication-style written article, and a presentation at the Spring Undergraduate Research Exhibition. In addition to building technical skills and a deeper understanding of cell structure and function, this program will promote student-driven discovery, collaboration, and creative thinking, with the hope that each project will result in submission of a small publication with all participating students listed as authors.



Immunofluorescence Showing Cell Adhesions And ActinCytoskeleton



  •  Pre-requisite: BMB/MICRB 251 or BIOL 230

  • Students from any major can apply, but priority will be given to Change-of-Campus students entering their first year at University Park.




Image of a student in BMB 490/491

Academic Planning

  • BMB 490 (3 credits) can be counted as a 400-level BMB/MICRB selection or may be used in place of BMB 445/448.

  • BMB 491 (3 credits) can be counted as a 400-level BMB/MICRB selection. BMB 491 can be used for GWS credit.

  • Many other life sciences majors outside of BMB will also count 490/491 toward degree requirements. If offered a spot in BMB 490 we encourage you to discuss your options with us and with your academic advisor.




C elegans microscope photo



  • Students will be randomly selected from applicants filling in the below survey.
  • Now accepting applications for Spring 2024
  • Deadline: Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Image of a student in BMB 490/491

BMB 490/491


Submit your application to take part in the (2) semester (Fall / Spring) immersive research experience.