Skip to main content

PDBIO to CELL Fall 2021

PDBio to Become CELL Fall 2021

We are happy to announce a name change for our department and major. The Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, established in 2002, will become The Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. This change, recently approved by the board of trustees, is the culmination of over two years of discussion, debate and planning. We are excited for the broadened focus the name represents.

There will be more information shared in the coming months, including information for current PDBio majors who can elect to stay a PDBio major or adopt the new name. Beginning fall semester, all PDBio course names will change to the new acronym, CELL. We are excited for the expanded focus for our faculty and students.

Why the change?

  1. The name better conveys our identity. Changing the name to begin with the broad field of cell biology (which includes the subdiscipline of developmental biology), while retaining physiology, best describes who we are as a department, most clearly communicates what we teach in our classrooms and study in our labs, and best showcases the strengths and abilities of our students.
  2. Undergraduate student surveys have shown that ‘developmental biology’ is an unfamiliar term for many students choosing a major. On the other hand, the term 'cell biology’ is unique and widely understood. The new name will help incoming students recognize our department identity and allow graduating students to better show graduate/professional schools and employers what they have learned and experienced in their degree.
  3. The new name communicates the evolving research and teaching expertise of our faculty.  Cell Biology is a widely recognized major subdiscipline of biology. The name change helps us more clearly delineate our identity and how we fit with other subdisciplines in the College of Life Science.
  4. Graduate student applicants have expressed a desire to study fundamental cell biology, and have that focus represented in their awarded degree. The new name will provide clarity and will allow us to attract a strong, diverse graduate student population.