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Welcome to the main Bioinformatics and Computational Biology portal at Boston College Biology! The Boston College Biology department currently has 23 full-time faculty, with active experimental research in areas spanning cell cycle Biology, infection and immunity, molecular cell Biology, developmental Biology, and neuroscience. The department is housed in Higgins Hall, a new, $80+ million research building on our Chestnut Hill Campus.

Computational Biology / Bioinformatics Research Labs

Bioinformatics is a multidisciplinary field which includes mathematical modeling, the design, implementation and application of algorithms to answer fundamentally important questions in Biology. Bioinformatics is a new research area at Boston College, with a growing number of faculty and substantial investments by the University. Computational Biology research specialities in the department currently include the study of genetic variations, human population and medical genetics (Prof. Gabor Marth), comparative genomics lipidomics, and gene regulation (Prof. Jeffrey Chuang), and computational RNA and protein structure predictions (Prof. Peter Clote). For futher details please visit the web sites of these laboratories:

Peter Clote, Ph.D. (Duke University)
Biomedical structure prediction, RNA and protein folding.
Gabor Marth, D.Sc. ( Washington University in St. Louis)
Polymorphism discovery, population and medical genetics, computational pharmacogenetics.
Prof. Marth has moved to University of Utah, Department of Human Genetics. See the link for more information.
Jeffrey Chuang, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Molecular evolution and gene regulation.
Prof. Chuang has moved to the Jackson Lab. See the link for for more information.

In addition, other faculty members are affiliated with Bioinformatics research at the Biology Department. Computational projects involving these laboratories are possible by arrangement:

Michelle Meyer, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology)
Non-coding RNA discovery, validation, and evolution in microorganisms.
Marc Muskavitch, Ph.D. (Stanford University)
Molecular cell biology of Notch signaling during development. Molecular cell biology of host-pathogen interactions in vector insects.

Graduate Studies in Bioinformatics

The Biology Department at Boston College is accepting applications for students who wish to pursue their studies in the fields of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology towards a Ph.D. degree in Biology. These students will be taking a core of courses in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics that are integrated with a comprehensive Biology curriculum (including graduate Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology). Recent new facilities include a computer teaching laboratory, and a Beowulf style computer cluster. Bioinformatics students will pursue research at the forefront of of modern Computational Biology, while also having the opportunity to complement their studies in experimental Biology laboratories.

Please click here for a PDF format flyer advertising our Bioinformatics graduate studies.

Important Information for Applicants

The deadline for Fall admission is January 2nd. Applications received after this date will be evaluated on a continual basis, provided that openings remain, until April 15th. It is strongly recommended that interested applicants contact at least one of the Bioinformatics / Computational Biology faculty members. This will allow us to give the applicant more detailed information and to guide her/him through the application process. All applicants please make certain that you visit the following links:

Graduate studies main page at the Biology Department: Link Biology PhD requirements: Link Modifications to PhD requirements for bioinformatics students: Link

The Graduate Admissions and Financial aid page at the Biology Department: Link

All applications are to be submitted through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS): Link

Application materials required by the Graduate School: Link

Additionally, Biology Department-specific requirements are at the Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid site: Link

In summary, the application package should contain the following items:

1. BC application form (GSAS requirement)

2. $70 non-refundable application fee (GSAS requirement)

3. Official transcripts (GSAS requirement)

4. Abstract of courses form (GSAS requirement)

5. Three letters of recommendation (GSAS requirement)

6. Statement of purpose, also called Personal Statement (Biology Department requirement)

7. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score (BC will only accept official score reports sent directly from ETS). A subject GRE is recommended but not required (Biology Department requirement)

8. Applicants whose native language is not English must achieve a score of 550 or better (written test) or 213 or better (computer-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


Postdoctoral positions

We occasionally have postdoctoral openings. For information about openings please contact the individual laboratory web sites.


GENERAL INQUIRIES (through the Biology Department at Boston College)

Colette McLaughlin (Telephone: 617.552.3540 Fax: 617.552.2011)


Department of Biology, Room 355, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


Prof. Peter Clote