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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Biomolecular Science and Engineering

Division of Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences
2703 Ellison Hall
Telephone: (805) 893-2290
Admission Inquiries Email:
General Program Inquiries Email:
Program Director: Joel Rothman


The interdepartmental graduate program in Biomolecular Science and Engineering (BMSE) offers studies leading to the Ph.D. degree. The program is administered by faculty with joint appointments in the following departments: Chemical Engineering, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Computer Science, Ecology, Evolution, & Marine Biology, Materials, Mechanical & Environmental Engineering, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology (MCDB), and Physics. BMSE provides unique opportunities for intensive research training at the interface between the physical and life sciences and engineering disciplines in highly interactive and collaborative laboratories. The diverse group of program faculty provides students with an exceptionally broad range of challenging opportunities for multidisciplinary research in biomolecular structure, function, and engineering. Research areas currently under active investigation on campus include kinetics and regulation of enzyme catalysis, chromosome structure and cell cycle regulation, the cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix, mechanisms regulating signal transduction and cellular differentiation, protein structure and structure-function relationships, protein-nucleic acid interactions, biomolecular materials (biominerals and adhesives), biosensors and biomolecular electronics, biomimetics, biophysics, molecular neurobiology, plant molecular biology, bacterial pathogenesis, and molecular virology and immunology. A complete listing of research interests of the participating faculty can be obtained by writing to the above address, or from the BMSE website at

The program accommodates students with a diversity of backgrounds and career goals who are interested in multidisciplinary research training. Qualified students with undergraduate degrees in one of the life or physical sciences or engineering disciplines are accepted into the program. In addition to specific program requirements, candidates for graduate degrees must meet all university degree requirements found in the chapter “Graduate Education at UCSB.” Highly individualized programs of instruction can be undertaken by a student enrolled in the program after consultation with and approval by the graduate committee and a research mentor. Approximately 40 faculty members from the affiliated departments are available to direct approved research projects under the auspices of the BMSE program.

BMSE Adjunct Faculty

Lois Jovanovic, MD, Director & Chief Scientific Officer, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Santa Barbara, CA