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Department of Genetics


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Genetics has been at the forefront of biological research for over a century, and advances in genetics continue to be a central agent of discovery. Modern biological research is interdisciplinary, involving a systems-level understanding of biological problems, and this approach binds many of our groups together. Our research covers a wide spectrum from cell biology problems with molecular dimensions about cell mechanics (divisions, migration and communication), to higher order population biology problems which raise questions of ecological and evolutionary significance, and the genetics of diseases and pathogens.

The Department has its core in the Genetics Building on the Downing site. In addition several groups in the Gurdon Institute and the Sainsbury Laboratory for plant sciences are affiliated to the Department. Members of the Department also have close links locally with other Departments in the School of Biology, with the Clinical School, and Departments including Maths and Physics. This reflects our open and interactive spirit, and our belief that students should learn to understand different fields and their scientific languages, which is also reflected in the range of courses and seminars available to students.

We host around 50-65 postgraduate students at any given time. Most undertake a three-year PhD, a few are taking a one-year MPhil, and occasionally some take a Certificate of Post Graduate Education. Applications for all three are made at the same time and in the same way. In addition we participate as members of a number of other graduate programs that applicants apply to directly.

A research degree is a treasure hunt, with the prize not necessarily being the degree, but the opportunity to find something interesting about nature, and in the process, enjoy gazing at your favourite object. The Department in its variety and interactions offers you an environment to do just that during the most interesting years of your academic life.

* Links to further pages on this website are on the left. Please also follow the links on the right for more detailed information on applying to Cambridge.

Below you can view some testimonies from current or recent postgraduate students, and you can find more here.




Image at top credit : James Rice