Studying genetics and molecular biology at COA may include biomedical research fellowships at nea... Studying genetics and molecular biology at COA may include biomedical research fellowships at nearby, world-class scientific laboratories.COA offers courses and research experiences so that students can learn the state-of-the-art in genetics and molecular biology and how ideas and techniques from these fields are used for improving public health and the conservation of biodiversity. In these efforts we work closely with two local partners, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL).

Every spring break students participate in a one-week intensive molecular genetics workshop at MDIBL, where they learn molecular genetics techniques. Many of these students then work as research assistants in labs at JAX and MDIBL during the academic year. In addition, each summer we provide funding via a National Institute of Health INBRE grant for several students to work full-time in a lab.

In addition to conducing biomedical research, students also pursue their interest in medicine by pursuing ethnography—understanding the social and cultural dimensions of health. Recently students have done senior projects doing ethnographic work in biomedicine and public health in Maine, Europe, and Nepal.

Students working in biomedical science and molecular biology at COA choose a range of careers: some become doctors, nurses, or  veterinarians. Others pursue science and biomedical research, while some go into public health.


  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Reminder</strong>: ‘Areas of Study’ aren’t the only way to think about courses.  Browse and explore <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Reminder</strong>: Areas of Study at COA aren’t majors or formal concentrations. All COA students design their own <a href="/academics/human-ecology-degree/">major in human ecology</a> and are free to chart their own path. Your major is defined by you, not us.</p></div>