Faculty in the Division of Molecular Therapeutics (MTx) pursue research to provide an understanding of biochemical and cellular mechanisms that are affected in disease and can be exploited for the development of new therapeutic modalities. This includes research into mechanisms of gene editing and genome engineering; neural development; gene expression; redox signaling; protein folding and degradation; cell growth and survival signaling; or host viral interactions. Faculty in MTx develop new diagnostic, delivery, and therapeutic approaches to detect and target a range of diseases, including sickle cell disease, retinal diseases, neural disease or cancer. These problems are being investigated using biochemical, structural, and cellular approaches, including stem cell and organoid models. The division holds a seminar series with speakers from academia and biotech as well as fireside chats to connect students, postdocs and faculty with the rich biotech environment of the Bay Area.


The following is an alphabetical list of active MCB faculty members in the division and brief descriptions of their research. Additional faculty lists are available using the following links:

Emeriti and Professors of the Graduate School | Secondary Divisional Affiliates


Helen Bateup
Associate Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Molecular mechanisms of synapse and circuit plasticity

Michael Botchan
Dean of Biological Sciences Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Eukaryote DNA replication and control of S phase

Christopher Chang
Class of 1942 Chair and Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Deciphering roles for metals and redox signals in neurobiology, metabolism, and cancer enabled by activity-based sensing and related chemical technologies

Xavier Darzacq
Associate Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Transcription regulation during cellular differentiation

Jennifer A. Doudna
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
RNA-mediated gene regulation

John G. Flannery
Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Molecular mechanisms underlying diseases of the retina

Britt Glaunsinger
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Virology; messenger RNA processing and degradation

Susan Marqusee
Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Determinants of protein structure and folding

Daniel K. Nomura
Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Using chemoproteomic platforms for drug discovery against the undruggable proteome and incurable diseases

James Olzmann
Associate Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Regulation of cellular lipid homeostasis: lipid droplets, lipotoxicity, and ferroptosis

Michael Rape
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Protein ubiquitination, degradation and the control of cell division and differentiation

Alanna Schepartz
CZ and Irmgard Distinguished Chair of Chemistry, Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Chemical and synthetic biology; how cellular molecules and machines function and how this information can be used to design new and useful molecules.

Robert Tjian
Howard Hughes Medical Institute President and Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Eukaryotic molecular biology; biochemistry

Fyodor Urnov
Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Understanding and editing the human epigenome for molecular therapeutic development

Ross Wilson
Assistant Adjunct Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
Molecular mechanisms and therapeutic delivery of genome editing enzymes

Ziyang Zhang
Assistant Professor (Affiliated) of Molecular Therapeutics

Roberto Zoncu
Professor of Molecular Therapeutics
How organelles sense nutrients and regulate cellular growth

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Secondary Divisional Affiliates

The following faculty have a secondary affiliation with the Molecular Therapeutics division.

James Hurley
Kirsch Springer Chair in Biological Sciences and Professor of Cell Biology, Development and Physiology
Structural membrane biology

Robert Saxton
Assistant Professor of Immunology and Molecular Medicine
Mechanisms of cell signaling controlling tissue inflammation, repair, and homeostasis

MTx Division Affiliates

Markita Landry
Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Ziyang Zhang
Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

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