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

Neuroscience Graduate Student Defends Thesis

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Congratulations to Camille Hanes on her successful thesis defense!

Biology Graduate Program Ranked in U.S. News & World Report

Monday, May 20, 2024
The Biology graduate program is ranked among the best in the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings.

Biomedical Sciences student receives Hawkeye Excellence Award

Sunday, May 19, 2024
Nicole Boodhoo, a recent graduate with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences, was selected as the 2023-2024 recipient of the Tom Rocklin Meet the Challenge Award in the category of Excel.
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

Art & Write Night promotional image

Art & Write Night

Friday, June 7, 2024 6:00pm to 8:00pm
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Join the long, rich, historical tradition of artists creating in our spaces. Professional, aspiring, and amateur artists alike, make our museum your muse. The return of this popular program series welcomes guests into the Museum of Natural History's magical gallery spaces after-hours to work on sketching or writing projects with other campus and community artists. Tell a friend, grab a notebook, and join us on the first Friday of each month. We'll provide a new inspo prompt for each session...
VENOM Venture: Escape Room! promotional image

VENOM Venture: Escape Room!

Wednesday, June 12 to Saturday, June 15, 2024 (all day)
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Can you solve the science puzzles to save the world from a leafy green end? Find out in this escape-style game!
Art & Write Night promotional image

Art & Write Night

Friday, July 5, 2024 6:00pm to 8:00pm
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Join the long, rich, historical tradition of artists creating in our spaces. Professional, aspiring, and amateur artists alike, make our museum your muse. The return of this popular program series welcomes guests into the Museum of Natural History's magical gallery spaces after-hours to work on sketching or writing projects with other campus and community artists. Tell a friend, grab a notebook, and join us on the first Friday of each month. We'll provide a new inspo prompt for each session...
4th Annual BioBlitz at the Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory promotional image

4th Annual BioBlitz at the Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory

Saturday, July 13, 2024 9:00am to 12:00pm
Ashton Cross Country Course
Join researchers in collecting, observing, and recording biodiversity at the Ashton Prairie Living Laboratory in our 4th Annual BioBlitz. Your findings will inform a major research project and will contribute to the fourth data point in a multi-year documentation of how diversity changes at this site over time. Collections will be housed with the UI Museum of Natural History. Registration is required + free. Sign up link is here: https://uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bduk9LKkk5nSZls
View more events

Seminars

There are currently no events to display.