Why Iowa?

Our students aren’t passive learners. At Iowa, you’ll go inside the lab and contribute to world-renowned research working alongside faculty experts to explore the diverse realms of the biological sciences.

Undergraduate programs

iBio Graduate Program

Faculty

Why study here?

Whether you aspire to be a research scientist, professor, physician, forensic scientist, biotechnologist, public health professional, natural resource expert, science communicator, or so much more — Iowa’s Department of Biology will prepare you to take your next step through courses, experiential learning, and engagement in research.

Research

Bin Z. He portrait

Stresses strengthen disease-causing yeast

Biologists at the University of Iowa have found that C. glabrata, after being exposed to a mild stress, becomes more resistant to hydrogen peroxide, a chemical weapon employed by the human immune system to eliminate infecting microbes. The biologists further learned that this exposure-to-resistance escalation in C. glabrata does not appear in its close relative, the benign Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer’s or baker’s yeast.

Portrait of John Manak

Biologists show how brain’s immune system response worsens epilepsy

In a new study, the researchers lay out a chain of events that can cause seizures—the most common manifestation of epilepsy—to worsen. The sequence begins when oxidative stress in the body causes the brain’s immune system to react. That activation by the brain’s resident immune cells (called glia) triggers more severe seizures.

Brian Berger working in a lab

Iowa antibody bank stands ready to fight the next pandemic

On the corner of Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue, just a block east from the Old Capitol, thousands of possible clues toward deciphering human diseases are stored in liquid nitrogen. Floating in glass tubes, the hybridomas—cell lines used to create antibodies, the foundational pieces of human and animal immunity—hold clues to how our brains work and our muscles develop. They point the way to treatments for emerging viruses that have yet to be named. They could even help combat a future pandemic.

News and announcements

Stresses strengthen disease-causing yeast

Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Biologists at the University of Iowa have found that C. glabrata, after being exposed to a mild stress, becomes more resistant to hydrogen peroxide, a chemical weapon employed by the human immune system to eliminate infecting microbes.

Former biology graduate student featured in Nature Neuroscience journal

Sunday, December 10, 2023
Ukpong Eyo, an alumnus of the Biology Graduate Program (PhD in Biology, 2012), was featured in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Eyo was mentored by Michael Dailey, Associate Professor of Biology.

Biology professor featured as panelist on March of Dimes event

Thursday, December 7, 2023
University of Iowa Professor of Biology, Maurine Neiman, was featured as a panelist on a March of Dimes event, "It Starts with Mom: Protecting you and your family from Flu and RSV."
biology students on site

$6M

Faculty in the Department of Biology received more than $6 million in grant funding in 2023.

students walking down hallway in Biology building

55 %

of undergraduate students participated in research outside of regular course assignments.

(2017 data)

student at a microscope

1,040

More than 1,000 students are enrolled as biology undergraduate majors at Iowa.

Events

Sciwheel: Peruse Article Recommendations promotional image

Sciwheel: Peruse Article Recommendations

Thursday, April 18, 2024 1:00pm
Virtual
Use Sciwheel to organize your references, receive article suggestions, and more. Come in person to the Sciences Library or register for Zoom.
Synthesis Journal Forum promotional image

Synthesis Journal Forum

Thursday, April 18, 2024 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Van Allen Hall
Students interested in publishing their work related to science outreach and engagement are invited to come to this information session about Synthesis, an online student-run journal. Learn about the application process and hear from authors who will be published in the next issue.
BIO Plant Sale promotional image

BIO Plant Sale

Friday, April 19, 2024 10:30am to 12:30pm
Biology Building East
The BIO student organization will be having its annual Plant Sale this week at the times listed below. Stop by to check out the great prices and support BIO! All proceeds will help support future BIO events and activities.
Biology Seminar: "Adaptive responses to osmotic stress in Drosophila melanogaster" promotional image

Biology Seminar: "Adaptive responses to osmotic stress in Drosophila melanogaster"

Friday, April 19, 2024 4:00pm
Biology Building East
The Department of Biology’s seminar speaker on Friday, April 19, is Aylin Rodan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Rodan’s seminar will be held at 4 p.m. in Kollros Auditorium (Room 101) in Biology Building East (BBE). Alan Kay is the faculty host. Refreshments will be available prior to the seminar in the BBE lobby.
View more events

Seminars

Biology Seminar: "Adaptive responses to osmotic stress in Drosophila melanogaster" promotional image

Biology Seminar: "Adaptive responses to osmotic stress in Drosophila melanogaster"

Friday, April 19, 2024 4:00pm
Biology Building East
The Department of Biology’s seminar speaker on Friday, April 19, is Aylin Rodan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Rodan’s seminar will be held at 4 p.m. in Kollros Auditorium (Room 101) in Biology Building East (BBE). Alan Kay is the faculty host. Refreshments will be available prior to the seminar in the BBE lobby.
Climate Solutions Surround Us promotional image

Climate Solutions Surround Us

Monday, April 22, 2024 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Iowa Memorial Union (IMU)
On Earth Day, join us for an enlightening discussion led by Dr. Heidi Roop, Director of the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership and an Assistant Professor of Climate Science. Dr. Roop’s expertise lies at the intersection of cutting-edge climate science and effective science communication. Her mission? To increase the use and integration of climate change information in decision-making.