Our department belongs to the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Geneva. We are one of the oldest molecular biology departments in the world, where restriction enzymes were first discovered - Nobel prize 1978 - and where electron microscopy of biological materials was developed - Nobel prize 2017 (see History).
The research activities of the Department of Molecular Biology address several important areas of molecular and cellular biology, such as tumor suppression and responses to DNA damage and DNA replication stress, the signalling pathways that orchestrate eukaryote cell growth, the regulation of gene expression by non-coding RNAs, molecular mechanisms of the mammalian circadian clock, telomere function and gene silencing in yeast, regulation of chromatin structure, nucleosome organization and kinetochore function, retina development, chromosome/chromatin organization and dynamics, photoreceptor-mediated light signaling in higher plants and assembly of the photosynthetic apparatus in Chlamydomonas.
One of the strengths of the department is to harbor such a wide range of research interests, which often leads to fertile interactions between members of the different research units. That this strategy has been sucessful is shown by the various awards given to different department members:
- Ueli Schibler, Louis Jeantet prizes for medicine 2000 ,
- Ulrich K Laemmli, Louis Jeantet prizes for medicine 1996 ,
- Ueli Schibler, Otto Naegeli prize for medicine 1996,
- Jean-David Rochaix, Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal from the US National Academy of Sciences 1991,
- Ulrich K Laemmli, Marcel Benoist prize 1988 ,
- Werner Arber, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1978 .
- Jacques Dubochet, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 .
In addition to the awards listed above, three members of our faculty are currently funded in part by ERC grants. Two of these are Consolidator grants and one is an Advanced grant.
Our University scores consistently high on various rankings of European Universities. For example, on the ranking from Leiden University , the University of Geneva is on 14th place.
The department is very proud of its doctoral school. Ph.D. students receive an excellent theoretical and practical education in biomedical research, and have a regular opportunity to present their research work in a weekly departmental seminar series (see Ph.D. program).