The Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences is comprised of four departments focused in the following areas of biological research and education: Developmental & Cell Biology; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Neurobiology & Behavior, all highlighted below.
All of these programs are ranked in the top 20 percent or higher of national institutions according to National Research Council data. Each department has a comprehensive series of core courses for undergraduates that reflect the ever-expanding and developing field of biological sciences.
The Ayala School of Biological Sciences also collaborates with many other units on campus to help further research in important fields. The research centers and institutes that have significant participation from Biological Sciences faculty are either school centers, campus organized research units, system-wide centers or state-wide centers.
The Department of Developmental & Cell Biology ranks among the top 20 percent of comparable programs nationwide according to National Research Council data. The Department of Developmental & Cell Biology at UC Irvine incorporates the diverse of computational biology, bioengineering and physical sciences to comprise a highly integrative approach for the study of developmental and cell biology. The department is focused on maintaining excellence in research and educating students for the future. The department consists of eight programs that focus on the genetic control of cell growth, differentiation and morphogenesis that gives rise to tissues and organs of animals. The department partners with many research institutes focusing on areas including cancer, biological systems, genomics, stem cells, etc.
The Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCI Irvine is in the top 10 percent of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology programs nationwide, as determined by National Research Council data. Eco and Evo is comprised of four major programs focusing on understanding ecological organisms, how they work in environments as well as evolutionary organisms and how they develop and interact with other organisms and their environment over time. The department partners with multiple research centers focusing on the environment, environmental biology, evolution and conservancy.
The Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry ranks in the top 15 percent of programs in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology according to National Research Council data.
The Department focuses on research in structure and synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins, regulation, virology, biochemical genetics, gene organization, nucleic acids and proteins, cell and developmental biology, molecular genetics, biomedical genetics and immunology. The Department offers undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and also Microbiology & Immunology. Graduates study in conjunction with the program in Cellular and Molecular BioSciences and the department partners with research centers focusing on cancers, viruses, immunology and biomembrane systems.
The Department of Neurobiology & Behavior is one of the most highly ranked programs on the Irvine campus and in the UC system and easily in the top five percent of Neuroscience programs, according to National Research Council data. Only three other nationally-ranked Neuroscience programs received equal scores.
The Department of Neurobiology & Behavior collaborates with laboratories, research centers to provide excellence in research and teaching within a wide range of areas in the broad spectrum of neuroscience. These areas of focus include learning and memory, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, sensory and integrative neuroscience (at molecular, genetic, synaptic and systems levels), neuronal development, neurocomputation, and the neurobiology of substance abuse. The department collaborates with many research centers in the areas of learning and memory, memory impairments and neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries and diseases that impair neurological function and more.