Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, the Department of Biology offers students the opportunity to participate in hands-on research.

Biology at American University

The Department of Biology provides courses in the life sciences, emphasizing advances in molecular genetics, embryology, development and evolutionary biology. Faculty members conduct research in developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, microbiology, ecology, oceanography, immunology, and molecular biology.

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects at all levels. Students have the opportunity to visit, observe, and intern in some of the nation's most prestigious biological research centers, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

More than 95% of AU biology graduate students have assistantships, stipends, or other financial aid and finish the program in less than two years. Learn more.


microscopic image of devil worm

Science ·

What Can a Small Worm Teach Us About Climate Adaptation?

Genome of the Devil Worm has been sequenced.
Full Story

Rana Said works at a fume hood in Hurst Hall.

Science ·

I-Corps: The I Is for Innovation, the S Is for Success

In spring 2018, American University became an official I-CORPS site. I-CORPS is a National Science Foundation-sponsored program aimed at developing science and technology entrepreneurship
Full Story

Surgicure Technology, Securing Solutions

Science ·

Surgicure Technologies and an Au Graduate’s Innovative Bite Block

AU graduate Irena Volkov's time at American University has served her in developing academic and business portfolios, and her crowning achievement is the founding of her company, Surgicure Technologies.
Full Story

Recent Faculty Publications

Niemiller, M.L.*, M.L. Porter, J. Keany, H. Gilbert, D.W. Fong, D.C. Culver, C. Hobson, K.D. Kendall, M.A. Davis, and S.J. Taylor. 2017. Evaluation of eDNA for groundwater invertebrate detection and monitoring: a case study with endangered Stygobromus (Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae). Conservation Genetics Resources.

Carlini, D.B.*, and D.W. Fong. 2017. The transcriptomes of cave and surface populations of Gammarus minus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) provide evidence for positive selection on cave downregulated transcripts. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186173.

Pedersen, AL. & Saldanha CJ. (2017). Reciprocal interactions between prostaglandin E2- and estradiol-dependent signaling pathways in the injured zebra finch brain. J. Neuroinflammation. 14(1): 262

Gould, CJ, J Wiegand, and VP Connaughton. 2017. Acute developmental exposure to 4-hydroxyandrostenedione has a long-term effect on visually-guided behaviors. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 64: 45-49.

More Faculty Publications