Susan P. Gilbert Department Head

Modern biology studies life at all scales from individual molecules to single cells, organisms, and ecological networks.  The Department of Biological Sciences is highly interdisciplinary and the core of the life sciences at Rensselaer.  We are a broad-based interactive community of faculty, students, and staff whose research interests encompass nearly every area of modern biology including macromolecular structure and function, computational biology and bioinformatics, biochemistry and bioenergetics, nanobiology and biotechnology, cell and developmental biology and genetics, neuroscience, microbiology and host-pathogen interactions, microbial ecology and evolution, synthetic biology, and freshwater ecology.

Our mission is to achieve excellence in our teaching and training of undergraduate and graduate students, and to provide an environment where each individual can maximize his or her creativity and productivity.  Our curricula and programs are based on the principle of providing the fundamental knowledge as well as the research and analytical skills required for the rapidly changing life sciences landscape.  Our student laboratories include cutting-edge instrumentation and computation approaches to prepare the next generation of scientists that will work at the interface of the physical and biological sciences.

The diversity of scientific interests within the department and the Rensselaer community contributes to an exciting and interdisciplinary environment where we all strive to achieve our goals and dreams.

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  • Cell Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry, Structure-Function Analysis of Kinesins

Blanca L. Barquera

Associate Professor

Research Focus:

bacterial pathogenes, bioenergetics, mechanistic enzymology

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Richard Bonocora

Lecturer

Research Focus:

Genomics, Molecular Biology, Gene Regulation

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Chris Bystroff

Professor

Research Focus:

biochemistry, bioinformatics, biosensors

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Donna E. Crone

Lecturer

Research Focus:

engineered proteins, genetics engineering, genomics

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Scott Forth

Assistant Professor

Research Focus:

Biophysics, Mechanics of Cell Division, Single Molecule Methods

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Susan P. Gilbert

Department Head

Research Focus:

Cell Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry, Structure-Function Analysis of Kinesins

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Michael H. Hanna

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education

Research Focus:

academic advising, eukaryotic organisms, scientific teaching methodologies

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Jennifer M. Hurley Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Focus:

Circadian Rhythms, Neurospora, Macrophages

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Lee Ligon

Associate Professor

Research Focus:

Cell Biology, Neurosocience

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Brad Lister

Lecturer

Research Focus:

ecology and evolutionary biology, ecological impacts of climate change, computational ecology

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George I. Makhatadze

Constellation Chair

Research Focus:

bioinformatics, protein dynamics, protein folding

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Patrick Maxwell

Assistant Professor

Research Focus:

molecular genetics, aging, genome instability

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Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer

Associate Director of DFWI

Research Focus:

environmental remote sensing, invasive species, water resource management

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Rick Relyea

David M. Darrin ’40 Senior Endowed Chair; Director, Darrin Fresh Water Institute; Director, Jefferson Project

Research Focus:

Ecology, Disease ecology, Ecotoxicology

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Kevin Rose

Frederic R. Kolleck ’52 Career Development Chair in Freshwater Ecology

Research Focus:

Aquatic Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Advanced Environmental Sensors

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Catherine Royer

Constellation Chair

Research Focus:

pressure effects on biomolecules, protein folding, protein interaction networks

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Harry Roy

Professor

Research Focus:

Plant Biology, Molecular Chaperones, STEM Education

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Eric Rutledge

Lecturer

Research Focus:

STEM education

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Douglas Swank

Associate Professor

Research Focus:

Heart Disease, Muscle Disease, Cardiac Physiology

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Chunyu Wang

Director, Biochemistry and Biophysics Graduate Program

Research Focus:

Alzheimer's disease: amyloid production, aggregation and interaction, Hedgehog autopocessing: mechanism and relevance to cancer,...

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Affiliated Faculty

Cynthia H. Collins

Associate Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering

Research Focus:

Synthetic Biology, Biochemical Engineering, Microbial Communities

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Jonathan S. Dordick

Howard P. Isermann Professor and Vice President for Research Chemical and Biological Engineering

Research Focus:

Biocatalysis in Nonaqueous Media, Molecular Bioprocessing, Biocatalytic Materials and Coatings

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Yuri Gorby

Associate Professor, Blitman Chair in Environmental Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Focus:

electromicrobiology

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Richard Gross

Professor, Constellation Chair Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Research Focus:

biotechnology, materials

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Mattheos Koffas

Dorothy and Fred Chau ʼ71 Career Development Constellation Professor in Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering Chemical and Biological Engineering

Research Focus:

Metabolic Engineering, Industrial Microbiology, Synthetic Biology

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Robert J. Linhardt

Ann and John H. Broadbent, Jr. ’59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Research Focus:

Glycoscience, Biocatalysis, Metabolic Engineering

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Karyn Rogers

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Research Focus:

geomicrobiology, astrobiology, geochemistry

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Emeritus

Chuck Boylen

Professor Emeritus

Research Focus:

biodefense, biology, fementation

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