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Rensselaer Polytechnic institute, is a private research university. It is a broad-based interactive community of faculty, students, and staff whose interests encompass nearly every area of modern biology, including macromolecular structure and function, computational biology and bioinformatics, biochemistry and bioenergetics, nanobiology and biotechnology, cell and developmental biology, genetics of model organism systems, neuroscience, microbiology and host-pathogen interactions, molecular microbial ecology/evolution, synthetic biology, and freshwater ecology. The aim is to achieve excellence in our teaching and training of undergraduate and graduate students, and to provide an environment where each individual can maximize his or her creativity and productivity. Currently, the department has approximately 300 undergraduate students, 28 graduate students, and 31 faculty members. Recently, the science of biology has undergone revolutionary changes. Many problems once handled only descriptively are now analyzed molecularly, biological systems are now being understood as the sum of the interactions between biomolecules. The undergraduate biology curriculum thoroughly trains in the fundamentals of the life sciences, as well as the chemistry and physics of the life processes, providing the background necessary for professional training in research or medicine.