Facts and History

A top institution in receiving funding from the National Science Foundation and from the National Institutes of Health and home to one of the newest medical schools in the country, The University of Texas at Austin offers unmatched opportunities for life sciences students and researchers to meet their potential. The Department of Molecular Biosciences is the largest department in the College of Natural Sciences and home to world-changing scientists.

Our Faculty at a Glance

  • Members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors and the Institute of Medicine
  • Multiple Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Multiple Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award Winners and members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers 
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and multiple Burroughs Wellcome Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
  • Winners of the Asahi Prize, the O'Donnell Award in Medicine, the Norman Hackerman Award, the Stephen Hale Prize, the NAS Award in Molecular Biology, a Guggenheim Fellowship

History

1920: Hermann Joseph Muller, a geneticist joined the faculty at UT Austin. He would go on to do groundbreaking work in radiation genetics that earned him the Nobel Prize.

2013: The Department of Molecular Biosciences is established through the merger of faculty from what was previously the School of Biological Sciences and its Section of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, as well as from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 

2017: Alumnus Michael Young wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on circadian rhythms

2018: Alumnus James Allison wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on cancer immunotherapy

2020: Faculty member Jason McLellan leads a team that is first to publish the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and that develops a stabilized version of the protein used by manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax. 

Key Statistics

60

Tenured/tenure-track and research faculty

197

Ph.D. Students

54

Postdocs and research fellows

Our department is also home to:

  • 18 professional-track faculty

  • 105 research staff
  • 1,406 undergraduate students in related majors
  • 75 university affiliates, volunteers and visiting scholars
  • 17 administrative staff