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Research Programs

Bio/Computational Evolution in Action Consortium

The BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action is an NSF Science and Technology Center founded with the mission of illuminating and harnessing the power of evolution in action to advance science and technology and benefit society. Research at BEACON focuses on biological evolution, digital evolution, and evolutionary applications in engineering, uniting biologists who study natural evolutionary processes with computer scientists and engineers who are harnessing these processes to solve real-world problems.

Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior

The EEBB Program at MSU has an unusual organization that facilitates interdisciplinary interactions among our students and faculty, while allowing participants to engage in the program's activities at different levels depending on individual interests and availability. Both students and faculty have their primary appointments administered by a home department. Our students pursue either a dual-degree Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior and the home department or, alternatively, a Master's degree in the home department with a specialization in EEBB. Our students take required courses in ecology, evolutionary biology, and relevant quantitative methods as well as any additional coursework required by their home departments. Students and faculty alike participate in the weekly seminar series that features outstanding scientists and scholars from other institutions, as well as occasional student and faculty speakers from our own program.

Molecular Plant Sciences

Michigan State University has one of the highest concentrations of plant scientists in the world and is a leading institution in all areas of plant science research and education. The Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS) graduate program brings together into one coherent program over 50 MSU faculty who apply molecular, biochemical, genomic, and computational approaches to understand the structure and function of photosynthetic organisms.

Program highlights:

  • MPS is a dual major graduate program leading to a PhD degreeAll students are also full members of one of 8 degree-granting departments or programs, spanning two colleges, at MSU.
  • The program provides a solid core of knowledge in molecular plant biology combined with programmatic flexibility adapted to the specific professional objectives of each individual student.

Curriculum highlights:

  • core curriculum in molecular plant biology, genomics, and physiology;
  • First-year rotations in three laboratories;
  • Availability of a wide range of electives including practical and theoretical computational biology, cell biology, plant biochemistry, and plant/microbe interactions;
  • Training in professional development and public presentations;
  • seminar series inviting internationally renowned scientists to present on timely molecular plant sciences topics;
  • Student research leading to the publication of original findings.

Go here for instructions on applying.

MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory

The MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) is a research institute located on the campus of Michigan State University, with major funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE). We bring together a group of experimental biologists to foster the development of cooperative research programs involving multidisciplinary approaches. The PRL is a unique community of scholars with a rare, energizing esprit de corps, dedicated to answering fundamental questions in plant biology. Our goal is to provide a broad and thorough scientific education in modern plant biology. 

Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Program (RDSP)

The overall goal of the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Program at Michigan State University is to leverage and expand ongoing collaborations between faculty working in animal science, human medicine, veterinary medicine, genetics, and regenerative medicine and to further formalize this unique trans disciplinary focus in a manner that will enhance the rate of scientific discovery and the quality of graduate and postdoctoral training.