The Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology (PDBio) is changing its name to the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology (CELL). The faculty hope that renaming the department will not only reflect the students’ learning experience more accurately but will also clarify the department goals toward major selection, graduate student recruitment, and faculty hiring.
Since its original formation in 2001, the PDBio department has shifted its focus to include more non-developmental biologists. Many pre-med and pre-health-professional students are attracted to the department because of the anatomy, physiology, and cell biology classes offered. Pathophysiology professor Benjamin Bikman believes the department name change will make graduating students “more marketable as they apply for competitive jobs and graduate programs.”
Developmental biology professor Arminda Suli believes Cell Biology and Physiology more accurately reflects the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, the evolving and expanding research expertise of the faculty, and the skillsets and knowledge of the program’s graduating students. Department chair Michael Stark says the new name will expand the department’s reach and “give it a richer, broader footprint of cell biology.”
Required coursework will most likely remain the same after the name change. Students who have already declared PDBio as their major will have the option to graduate with the physiology and developmental biology major or the new cell biology and physiology major. Students should register for classes under the prefix CELL rather than PDBio.