GDCB Graduate Mentoring and Education



The Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology (GDCB) considers graduate education to be a cornerstone of the university and is a major participant in the development and offering of several excellent interdepartmental graduate majors, including BCB, Genetics and Genomics, Microbiology, MCDB, Neuroscience, Plant Biology and Toxicology.  GDCB is responsible for the development of graduate level courses, in consultation with the Directors of Graduate Education (DOGE) for the interdepartmental graduate majors; and with the administration of these courses and with providing instructors.

The DOGE for an interdepartmental graduate program is usually appointed to a two-year term.  Currently, GDCB has five faculty participating in the role of DOGE for an interdepartmental program:

Carolyn Lawrence-Dill
Professor Carolyn

Professor Carolyn Lawrence Dill

Professor Carolyn J. Lawrence Dill  was elected to serve as Associate Chair for the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) Interdepartmental Graduate Program starting fall 2015.  Professor Lawrence Dill is also member of the supervisory committee for the BCBio undergraduate program.

Go to the twitter feed on Bioinformatics Jobs, which is a service the former BCB Chair, Professor Karin Dorman, developed to help us answer the common student question of “what can I do with this degree?”




Clark Coffman
Professor Clark Coffman

Professor Clark Coffman

Professor Clark Coffman is in his final year as DOGE for the Interdepartmental Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program.

The Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology Interdepartmental Graduate Program is a multidisciplinary major that allows students to explore the mechanisms of life processes in cutting-edge research labs.  MCDB students perform independent research under the guidance of top faculty investigating a diverse range of questions in the sciences of molecular, cellular and developmental biology.



Jeffrey Essner
Professor Jeff Essner

Professor Jeff Essner

Professor Jeff Essner is the DOGE of the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program.

Professor Essner believes “the field of Genetics is a rapidly evolving discipline. I view one of my roles as associate DOGE is to maintain the Genetics graduate program as cutting edge program with a high degree excellence.  I am also very committed to being responsive to the concerns of graduate students and to mentor students to ensure they reach their full potential.”



Tom Peterson
Professor Tom Peterson

Professor Tom Peterson

Professor Tom Peterson continues his two-year term as Associate Chair of the Genetics and Genomics graduate program.






Diane Bassham
Professor Diane Bassham

Professor Diane Bassham

Professor Diane Bassham is the new DOGE effective fall 2015 for the Interdepartmental Plant Biology Graduate Program.

The Interdepartmental Plant Biology (IPB) educates scientists in basic plant biology, including but not limiting to plant molecular biology, plant cell biology, plant physiology, and plant organismal biology and provides training in the most state of the art methods and technologies.