Program Overview

Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology (HDRB) is a life science concentration that educates students on how human beings develop from a fertilized egg, are maintained and repaired throughout adulthood, and age till life’s end. Students will be given a broad education in modern life sciences by studying important biological principles within the specific rubric of the developing and regenerating body.

By adding an explicit and heavy emphasis on hands-on research opportunities in all four undergraduate years, HDRB will engage students with an interest in research and take advantage of Harvard’s special strengths as a teaching college and research university.

To the extent that “translational” or “applied” research focuses on the application of discoveries made in model systems to humans, the HDRB concentration will embrace the opposite approach. Its emphasis will be on rigorous basic science with a focus on what the study of humans reveals about fundamental biology and reciprocally, what a greater understanding of biology teaches us about ourselves. We believe that a fundamental understanding of how the human organism develops and maintains itself requires foundational knowledge in life sciences, chemistry, and physical sciences, which are in turn dependent on a fundamental knowledge of mathematics. The requirements for the concentration reflect this view.

The framework of the concentration takes advantage of faculty strength in both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard Medical School. HDRB concentrators will focus on human biology with significant emphasis on hands-on research. The curriculum provides a range of courses that will benefit students interested in medicine and biomedical research, as well as other fields in which a comprehensive understanding of human biology is needed.

The requirements for the HDRB concentration can be found here.

Departmental course offerings for the current academic year can be found here.