Department of Biological Sciences

Welcome to the Department of Biology

ChairpersonWelcome 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 laboratory facilities, located in the Wolfe Hall and Bowman-­Oddy buildings on the Main Campus of the University of Toledo. Our faculty include nationally and internationally renowned researchers and scholars, investigating the molecular and cellular biology of organisms in health and disease. We are also deeply committed to providing quality instruction, with several faculty members developing and implementing the newest instructional techniques. We offer a range of undergraduate, pipeline, and graduate programs that serve the diverse educational needs of the Biological Sciences students at the University of Toledo.


Our 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 (NIH, NSF, USDA), and provide an excellent opportunity for students at all levels to become involved in biomedical research.

We offer both the Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) undergraduate degrees, and currently have 600+ Biological Sciences majors. The BS is well suited for students considering medicine and other health professions (eg. dentistry, veterinary practice etc.), as well as students considering a research career. We offer a Pre-Med Concentration that prepares students for the MCAT, taken after the Junior year, and we have with extensive pre-med advising. 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 BS degree. The BA degree 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 BS core course work. In both degree programs we offer externship opportunities to work with Ohio life sciences-based companies, and the opportunity to study abroad through the Salford Exchange Program. Significantly, 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. This degree of access to research is unique in Northwest Ohio, and can significantly enhance the educational experience and professional development of pre-professional and research-oriented students.

Also for undergraduates, we offer two '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 the first of 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 will train students to take full advantage of these exciting new opportunities. We also offer a Medical Technology 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 Technologists are well paid and in high demand nationwide, and our first class of Medical Technology students achieved 100% certification and job placement rates!

We also offer a vibrant graduate program, with MS and Ph. D. degrees. Graduate students receive tuition waivers and stipends, and carry out laboratory research under the direct guidance of individual faculty members, publishing their results in top biomedical journals. Our Ph. D. students have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral appointments at institutions such as Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the Cleveland Clinic, and our MS 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.

In summary, whether your career plans include the health care professions, research, or other scientific fields, at the undergraduate or graduate level, our Department is an exciting, welcoming, student-­centered place to be. Apply today!

Dr. Bruce Bamber
Associate Professor and Chair
Last Updated: 10/10/16