Introduction to our DRB Program

At all of the campuses of Harvard University, there is interest and expertise in understanding developmental and regenerative biology, ranging from the role of development in evolution to the regulation of stem cell actions in the treatment of disease. We currently have over 80 active DRB faculty members, representing over 40 departments. Visit our research and faculty page to learn more about DRB faculty and their research interests.

In order to better serve student interests in these areas, a formal degree-granting graduate program in Developmental and Regenerative Biology (DRB) was established. The DRB program is administered under the auspices of the Graduate Programs in BBS, and admitted its first graduate students during the AY 2009-2010. The mission of this newly formed DRB graduate program is to provide a well-defined, rigorous, and innovative training experience in developmental and regenerative biology for our students. In addition to world famous scientists and exceptional research resources, our program includes a curriculum that will equip our students with a comprehensive understanding of developmental and regnerative biology, and provide them with mentoring and other activities that will prepare them for careers in academic and clinical scientific research. Visit our current students page to learn more about life as a DRB student.

The DRB program in BBS has a truly cross-campus and interdepartmental character, providing a mechanism for students to access and engage with DRB faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), the Harvard Medical School (HMS), or any of the affiliated hospitals. Given the scientific and medical advances of the past decade, the DRB program seeks to train its students to approach developmental biology in an integrative manner and connect basic research science with medicine.

DRB Program History

The DRB program was formalized in 2008 as a degree-granting program in order to provide students, post-doctoral trainees and faculty interested in studying developmental and regenerative biology a formal structure in which to train. Exceptional faculty expertise exists in these research areas at Harvard University, but was disparate until the formalization of the DRB. With its approval and formation, Harvard University is now in a position to rigorously train new researchers in this discipline.

Before DRB was an official Harvard program, faculty and staff from the Department of Cell Biology pioneered innovative curricular and mentoring formats to supplement training in developmental biology. Under the name iDB (Integrative Developmental Biology), this educational initiative launched nanocourses and intensive hands-on laboratory courses in order to augment the curriculum associated with developmental and regenerative biology. The University has further strengthened its efforts to capitalize on the broad expertise and interest in developmental biology throughout FAS, HMS, and the affiliated Hospitals through the establishment of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and the new cross-campus Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB). With approval in 2008, the iDB educational initiative evolved into what is today the DRB Graduate Program within the Biomedical and Biological Sciences (BBS).

While the DRB Program is administered under the auspices of the BBS program, there are faculty and staff whose primary responsibilities are to strengthen the DRB program and the experience of its students. If you are interested in learning more about the program and their efforts, please contact them directly.

The DRB program was officially launched in fall of 2009, and our first students graduated in 2014!

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