As an interdisciplinary program CMB relies on faculty from participating departments to oversee various aspects of the program. Faculty effort devoted to supporting CMB by serving on committees, advising students and coordinating CMB courses is considered during the promotion and tenure process.

There are five committees of faculty supporting the mission of the CMB program and the qCMB T32 training award.  The administrative structure is shown below.


Elected to a three year term by the faculty. Elections held in May.

Carol Wilusz (2018 – 2024)

Roles & Responsibilities
  • Executes the policies established by the Program
  • Coordinates activities within the Program
  • Represents the Program to the Administrative Oversight Committee, and to the University
  • Informs the members of the Program on matters relating to Program Activities and Member Responsibilities
  • Prepares reports on program expenditures and activities
  • Prepares training grant applications and oversees training grants
  • Appoints members of Standing Committees and oversees elections to select Chairs of Standing Committees.

Program Assistant


Roles and Responsibilities
  • Provides administrative support for the Program including student appointments, academic advising, budget oversight, seminar speaker travel support and admissions process
  • Plans and supports CMB Program activities and events
  • Connects students with appropriate University support and provides information on CMB and University Policies & Procedures
  • Assists in preparation of reports
  • Website updates and maintenance

Associate Director

Elected to a three year term by the faculty.  Elections held in May.

Jessica Metcalf (2021 – 2024)

Jessica Metcalf
Roles & Responsibilities
  • Chair of the Academic Committee
  • Oversees development, improvement and coordination of the graduate course offerings of the CMB Program
  • Oversees the Preliminary Exam Process
  • Acts as the Director when Director is unavailable




Program Manager

Mercedes Cooper

Roles & Responsibilities:
  • Manage Cell & Molecular Biology Program (including National Institutes Of Health qCMB T32).
  • Facilitate scheduling and coordinate discussion topics of trainings, including annual science communication and inclusion efforts.
  • Support course curriculum and professional development initiatives.
  • Provide academic advising and career counseling.
  • Produce annual project report, track academic progress, research activities and awards, training participation and outcomes.
  • Coordinated annual symposiums, student retreats, career paths, and networking events.
  • Supervise student hourly employee.

Student Worker – Office Assistant


Roles & Responsibilities:
  • Provides support for the Program and Staff
  • Supports CMB Program activities and events
  • Assists in preparation of reports
  • Website updates and maintenance

CMB Department and College Acronyms

AgBio – Agriculture Biology
AS – Animal Sciences
BIO – Biology
BMB – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
BMS -Biomedical Sciences
CAS – College of Agricultural Sciences
CBE – Chemical and Biological Engineering
CHHS – College of Health and Human Sciences
ClinSci – Clinical Sciences
CNS – College of Natural Sciences

CMB Department and College Acronyms

CompSci – Computer Sciences
CVMBS – College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
ERHS – Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
FSHN – Food Science and Human Nutrition
HES – Health and Exercise Science
MATH – Mathematics
MIP – Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology
RICRO – Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office
SCS – Soil and Crop Sciences
WSCOE – Walter Scott College of Engineering

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee comprises the Director, the Associate Director (who also serves as Chair of the Academic Committee), and the Chairs of the Research, Admissions, Seminar, and qCMB T32 Steering committees.

Roles & Responsibilities:
  • Advises the Director regarding the broad policy and plans of the program and the most effective means to implement them
  • Approves appointment and dismissal of faculty from the program
  • Makes recommendations for changes to the curriculum

Carol Wilusz, Jessica Metcalf, Lucas Argueso, Erin Nishimura, Tom Santangelo, Jean Peccoud

Academic Committee

Roles & Responsibilities
  • Oversees preparation and distribution of promotional material and websites describing the program
  • Formulates and reviews entrance requirements
  • Evaluates student performance in courses and progress towards the degree
  • Recommends policy and curricular changes to the Executive Committee

Chair: Jessica Metcalf (AniSci / CAS)
Faculty:  Doug Thamm (ClinSci, CVMBS), Karyn Hamilton (HES, CHHS) , Dan Sloan (BIO)
Students:  Noelia Altina (MIP, CVMBS)

Admissions Committee

Roles & Responsibilities
  • Evaluates applicants for graduate study
  • Participates in recruiting activities
  • Selects candidates for offers of admission and financial support

Chair: Lucas Argueso (ERHS, CVMBS) – 2019 – 2022
Faculty: Tai Montgomery (BIO, CNS), Dawn Duval (ClinSci, CVMBS), Zaid Abdo (MIP, CVMBS)
Students: Valerie Seitz (HLA, CAS), Logan Dean (ERHS, CVMBS), Diana Lowe (MIP, CVMBS), Gaby Ramirez (MIP, CVMBS), Kaz Knight (BMS, CVMBS), and Thomas Lee (ERHS, CVMBS)

DEI & Outreach Committee

Roles & Responsibilities

Creates and supports an inclusive and welcoming environment for all CMB members
Publicizes the accomplishments and activities of CMB Program Members
Encourages and supports CMB student outreach

Read more…


Faculty Chair: Erin Nishimura (BMB/CNS) (2022-25)
DEI Advisor: Naomi Nishi (Dean’s Office/CVMBS)
Student Chair: Kayl Ecton (MIP/CVMBS)
Student members: Connor King (CBE/WSCOE), Xutong Shi (MIP/CVMBS), Timofiy Lutsiv (HLA, CAS), Thomas Lee (ClinSci, CVMBS), Carlos Juarez-Guzman (AgBio, CAS)

Seminar Committee

Roles & Responsibilities
  • Coordinate the Seminar Course (CM 792)
  • Work with CMB students to identify and approve speakers for the seminar series
  • Work with program coordinator to schedule seminars within the budget
  • Actively participate in the seminar series
  • Grade and provide feedback on student reports on seminar

Chair: Tom Santangelo (BMB, CNS) – 2019 – 2022
Faculty: Stephen Coleman (AS, CAS), Erika Szymanski (English, CLA), Kelly Wrighton (SCS, CAS)

Quantitative Cell and Molecular Biology (qCMB T32) Steering Committee

The qCMB T32 Steering Committee was created to oversee administration of the T32 training award.

Chair: Jean Peccoud (CBE, WSCOE)

Faculty: Carol Wilusz (MIP, CVMBS), Dan Sloan (Biology, CNS), Lucas Argueso (ERHS, CVMBS), Erin Nishimura (BMB, CNS), Kim Cox-York (RICRO), Naomi Nishi (Associate Dean for Diversity, CVMBS), Rachel Kiemele (SLiCE)