Department of Biological Sciences

About Our Department

Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences! We are a research-­intensive department that also plays an important teaching role within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. We have state-­of-­the-­art research and teaching facilities located in the Wolfe Hall and Bowman-­Oddy buildings on the Main Campus of The University of Toledo.

Our faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned researchers and scholars dedicated to investigating the molecular and cellular biology of organisms in health and disease. We are also deeply committed to providing quality instruction, while developing and implementing the newest instructional techniques. Our department offers a wide-range of undergraduate, pipeline and graduate programs that serve the diverse educational needs of the Biological Sciences students at UToledo!
Biology Research SymposiumOur research programs revolve around the molecular and cell biology of eukaryotic organisms, focusing on development and function in both normal and disease states. Specific areas include:
  • germ cell formation and the partitioning of centrioles into sperm, critical for male fertility
  • cytoskeletal and chromosomal dynamics in cell division, important in development and cancer
  • development of differentiated adult structures such as the intestinal brush border, plant cell walls, muscle attachments and intricately-­wired neural circuits
  • the function of neural circuits controlling locomotion, sensation and fear responses
  • immunology and host-­pathogen interactions focusing on cell signaling in the immune system, viruses, oral fungal infections in humans and parasitic nematodes
  • signaling pathways in cancer cells that drive uncontrolled cell growth and the metastatic spread of tumors throughout the body

These programs are funded by national research grants (e.g. DOD, NIH, NSF, USDA) and provide an excellent opportunity for students at all levels to become involved in biomedical research.

Biology Undergraduate ResearchWe offer both the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) undergraduate degrees. The B.S. degree in Biology is well suited for students considering medicine and other health professions (e.g. dentistry, veterinary practice, etc.), as well as students considering a research career. We are highly successful placing students in Medical Schools with a >75% admission rate for students with a 3.5 or higher GPA. Qualified students may also work for the 'Honors in Biology' citation within the B.S. degree. The B.A. degree in Biology is designed as an alternative pathway, ideal for students pursuing dual major programs in other colleges or considering careers in Occupational Therapy, Chiropractic Medicine and other areas requiring only a subset of the B.S. core course work. 

The B.S. in Neuroscience is a newly added major in the Department of Biological Sciences. The Ohio Department of Higher Education officially approved the program in the 2022 fall semester. Neuroscience is undergoing explosive growth and is making significant inroads into addressing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, drug addiction and many other neurological disorders. The program is jointly administered by our department in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Department of Neuroscience in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. In addition to the combined expertise of outstanding faculty in both departments, students benefit from the synergy the two departments and the two colleges have invested in the joint program!

In ALL degree programs we offer externship opportunities to work with Ohio life sciences-based companies and the opportunity to study abroad through the UToledo-Salford Exchange Program. Our research program contributes an important synergy within these degree programs by providing research training and the opportunity to conduct authentic cutting-edge scientific inquiry at the undergraduate level. The degree of access to undergraduate research is unique in Northwest Ohio and significantly enhances the educational experience and professional development of pre-professional and research-oriented students.

Also for undergraduates, we offer several 'pipeline' programs that prepare students for exciting, high-­demand jobs in the life sciences. The Bioinformatics BS-­MS program is a five-­year dual-­degree program which trains students to analyze large data sets generated by genome sequencing activities. Employment opportunities have been excellent for our graduating students! With the ever-­decreasing costs of genome sequencing, personalized medicine, based on each individual's genomic sequence, is poised to become a standard part of medical care. The Bioinformatics BS-­MS program trains students to take full advantage of these exciting new opportunities. We also offer a Medical Laboratory Science pipeline program. This fully accredited program includes 3 years of baccalaureate course-­work and 12 months of clinical training, including a 21-week externship and prepares students for the Medical Laboratory Scientist certification exam. Medical Laboratory Scientists are well paid and in high demand nationwide! (Additional BS-MS pipeline programs are under review and will be available in the coming years.)

Biology Graduate ResearchWe also offer a vibrant graduate program with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Graduate students, the majority of whom receive tuition waivers and stipends, carry out laboratory research under the direct guidance of a faculty member, publishing their results in top biomedical journals. Our Ph.D. students have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral appointments and many have subsequently become independent scientists at academic institutions, govenment agencies or biotech companies. Our M.S. students have gone on to employment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Graduate students participate in Departmental Seminars, the Annual Graduate Research Symposium and career development activities designed to prepare them for careers in the life sciences after graduation.

Whether your career plans include the health care professions, research or other scientific fields, at the undergraduate or graduate level, the Department of Biological Sciencers is an exciting, welcoming, student-­centered place to be!

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Last Updated: 11/9/23