Mar 29, 2023  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences (Graduate Program)


For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here.   

Program Overview

The Department of Biological Sciences offers research-oriented Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in two areas: Biochemistry and Biological Sciences. A major goal of the faculty in Biological Sciences is to provide training for graduate students who are interested in independent careers in the biological sciences and biochemistry. Biological sciences graduate students prepare for careers that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to biology and undertake their degrees in one of the three divisions within the department. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) offers research opportunities in areas such as the analysis of structure and function of complex carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins; DNA repair; and study of extremophiles. In Cellular Developmental and Integrative Biology (CDIB), faculty conduct research in sensory and endocrine systems at the molecular, cellular, and systems level; developmental biology and cell differentiation; transcriptional regulation; intra- and inter-cellular signaling; functional and comparative morphology; neurobiology; comparative and environmental physiology. The Systematics, Ecology and Evolution (SEE) division facilitates advanced study of the ecological and evolutional processes of a broad range of organisms and habitats across the globe and contributes to building a complete phylogenetic Tree of Life. Our biochemistry graduate degrees prepare students for professional careers in biochemical research and teaching in the areas of cell and molecular biology; virology; plant biochemistry; enzymology; protein/DNA interactions, structural biology and biophysics. 


Evanna L. Gleason, Chair
Michael E. Hellberg, Associate Chair and Graduate Advisor
TELEPHONE 225-578-1765
FAX 225-578-7299


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying for graduate study.

Applications for admission are received and evaluated by the department in early January for fall admission and in mid-October for spring admission. Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School. Note that department deadlines are earlier than those of the Graduate School. It is suggested that applications for fall admission be submitted by December 20.

Students seeking admission must be admitted to the Graduate School at LSU and have earned one of the following degrees: BS, BA, or MS in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related fields. Candidates holding other degrees (e.g., DVM or MD) may also apply. Three letters of recommendation are required, and a minimum GPA from the undergraduate program of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 is expected. Prospective students are required to take the GRE general test, and a score of 305 (verbal and quantitative combined) or better is expected. International students whose native language is not English must also submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to all full-time students in the form of research or teaching assistantships or fellowships. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted in accordance with deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School.

Graduate Faculty

(Check current faculty listings by department here)

Christopher C. Austin (M) • Herpetology, systematics
John R. Battista (M) • Mechanisms of microbial mutagenesis
Mark A. Batzer (M) • Comparative genomics mobile element biology
K. Adam Bohnert (6A) • Aging biology, the molecular basis for transgenerational age-resetting
Terry M. Bricker (M) • Structural and functional properties of photosystem II
Jeremy M. Brown (M) • Computational phylogenetics and molecular evolution
Robb Brumfield (M) • Genetic resources and ornithology
Michal Brylinski (M) • Computational molecular biology
John T. Caprio (M) • Neurobiology, olfaction and taste
Prosanta Chakrabarty (M) • Ichthyology, biogeography, systematics
SeYeon Chung (6A)  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying tissue morphogenesis
Stephania Cormier (M) •  Respiratory immunology and toxicology
James T. Cronin (M) • Population and community ecology, plant-herbivore interactions, biological pest management
Tad Dallas (6A) • Population, community and metacommunity ecology
Maheshi Dassanayake (M) • Comparative genomics and adaptation tostress absorptionin plants
Patrick J. DiMario (M) • Interactions of nucleolar proteins involved in RNA and ribosome processing and assembly
Huangen Ding (M) • Regulatory function and metabolism of iron sulfur proteins
William T. Doerrler (M) • Membrane biogenesis in Escherichia coli
David Donze (M) • Chromatin structure and gene expression
Jessica Eberhard (3F) • Behavioral ecology, especially of parrots
Brett Elderd (M) • Quantitative population, disease, and community ecology
Jacob Esselstyn (M) • Mammalogy, biogeography, and evolution
Brant Faircloth (M) • Molecular systematics, computational biology
Fernando Galvez (M) • Integrative fish biology, environmental physiology, aquatic toxicology
Evanna Gleason (M) • Cellular and synaptic neurophysiology of the vertebrate retina
Christopher Gregg (3F) • Science education
Anne Grove (M) • Protein-nucleic acid interactions, DNA bendability, RNA polymerase III from yeast
Steven C. Hand (M) • Bioenergetics, environmental control of gene expression, comparative biochemistry
Kyle Harms (M) • Tropical evolutionary ecology of plants and their interactions with other organisms
Craig M. Hart (M) • Chromosome organization, chromatin structure, gene expression
Michael E. Hellberg (M) • Marine invertebrate speciation and molecular evolution
Dominique G. Homberger (M) • Functional morphology of vertebrates, especially birds
Alyssa Johnson (6A) • Genetic and molecular causes of age-related degenerative diseases
Naohiro Kato (M) • Visualization of genomic function dynamics
Morgan W. Kelly (M) • Marine evolution and ecology
Joomyeong Kim (M) • Mammalian genomic imprinting, genome evolution and function
Gary King (M) • Roles of gas-producing or consuming bacteria
Laura Lagomarsino (6A) plant systematics
Roger A. Laine (M) • Carbohydrate, glycolipid, and glycoprotein structural analysis
Christine Lattin (6A) • Role of hormones and neurotransmitters in stress adaptation
John C. Larkin (M) • Molecular plant developmental biology
Yong-Hwan Lee (M) • Macromolecular x-ray crystallography, environmental regulation of cellular metabolism, protein biochemistry
Vincent LiCata (M) • Protein structure and function, energy management in proteins, solvent in protein function and stability
Yuchen Liu (6A) • Physiology and biochemistry of methanogenic archaea
Rui Lu (M) • RNAi mediated antiviral mechanisms and transmembrane protein signaling
Bing-Hao Luo (M) • Signal transduction, cancer pathology and immunology
Sarah Matthews (M) • Biodiversity of plants
Karen P. Maruska (M) • Neural basis of social behavior
James V. Moroney (M) • Role of membrane transport and CO2 fixation in photosynthesis and bioenergetics
Marcia Newcomer (M) • Protein crystallography
Cynthia B. Peterson (M) • Interactions among circulatory proteins and their role in regulating hemostasis, the inflammatory response, infectious disease, and the biological clock
Gregg S. Pettis (M) • Mechanism of conjugation in gram positive bacteria
Frederick H. Sheldon (M) • Molecular systematics of birds
Joseph F. Siebenaller (M) • Comparative biochemistry of marine organisms
Aaron P. Smith (M) • Environmental control of gene regulation, biotechnology
Paul South (6A) • Plant physiology and synthetic biology
Jacqueline M. Stephens (M) • adipocytes, obesity and Type 2 diabetes
Ryoichi Teruyama (M) • Neuroendocrinology
David J. Vinyard (6A) • Photosynthesis and reactive oxygen species formation
Anastasios Vourekas (6A) • RNA biology
Grover L. Waldrop (M) • Mechanistic enzymology and structure/function relationships in proteins
E. William Wischusen (M) • Student learning and success in biological sciences


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Science