Cellular and Molecular Biology celebrates its 50th on May 27

The Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has too much science to fit into a single department.

Try three dozen departments instead.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the CMB program, one of the largest biology graduate programs on campus. The program will celebrate its golden anniversary with a full day of presentations and discussions with alumni, friends, students and faculty on Friday, May 27, at the Memorial Union.

The event will include a breakfast, scientific talks (including one delivered by Raymond Erikson from Harvard University, the second graduate of the program, who earned a Ph.D. in 1963), career discussions, poster sessions, and a dinner and reception. Christopher Kintner, a 1981 graduate of the program who is now a professor at the Salk Institute in California, will give the keynote address.

The anniversary celebration is open to anyone, with a fee, with a registration deadline of Sunday, May 1. Online registration, a full schedule and more information are available at

The program was developed in the late 1950s at the suggestion of renowned microbiologist and Nobel laureate Salvador Luria to train students in the emerging field of molecular biology. In 1984, “cellular” was added to its name to better reflect its increasing scope.

The CMB program currently has 119 graduate students and 173 faculty trainers representing more than 35 departments, and it has awarded 558 Ph.D. degrees since 1961.