The Catholic University of America

Welcome to the Department of Biology

News and Events

  • Nov 7. 2016  7 p.m. Meet a real-live author. Dr. Frank Portugal, Clinical Associate Professor and Director, M.S. in Biotechnology Program, will be talking and signing copies of his latest book The Least Likely Man (MIT Press). Hear how an average student won the Nobel Prize. Show your biology pride.  If you wear a biology T shirt from any era or show proof of purchase of a T shirt this year, get a 10% discount on the book.

  • Nov 7. 2016  6 - 7.30 p.m. A Women in Science interactive event featuring Ann K. Corsi, Ph.D, associate professor, Department of Biology. 

  •  Jan. 2015  Members of the Biology Department, our alumni and friends attend a retirement party for professor Michael Mullins. Thank you, Jenn Groebner and Masashi Waga for the wonderful photographs
  • March 2014 Biology's Bacteriophage T4 Lab, led by Dr. Venigalla Rao is featured by the CUA Magazine.

Biology Department Seminar Series

Each semester the Biology Department graduate students host a seminar series where invited speakers from other institutions present the results of their research.  
Seminars are held on Monday at 11:10 am in Rm. 215 McCort-Ward. Pizza is served at 12:00 pm in Rm. 200 following the seminar.  
The event is sponsored by the Graduate Student Association.  

Job Openings

No open positions at this time.

Contact Us

Department of Biology
103 McCort-Ward
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue NE.
Washington, DC 20064

Phone: (202) 319-5267
Fax: (202) 319-5721


  • Oct. 2018 In a study published in the journal mBio, Dr. Rao laboratory reports on the development of a new vaccine that could protect against both anthrax and the plague.  Newsweek article describes the study.
  • Oct. 2018 "Renowned Biologist Discusses Stem Cell Research". The Tower on Dr. Rick Horwirz Keynote address at the annual Biology Graduate Student Research Symposium.
  • Sept. 2017. Nobel Prize Winner Addresses Biology Symposium". Dr. Louis J. Ignarro gives a Keynote address at the Biology Graduate Student Symposium.
  • Sept. 2016 "Science Superstar Relates to Students".  A story about the Robert Gallo Biology Graduate Symposium visit.
  • Apr. 2016 Nnanya Kalu, Biology Department graduate student (Nestorovich's lab) wins CUA Research Day student award for his poster "Lipid Composition Regulates Anthrax Toxin Uptake".
  • March 2016 John Choy, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was interviewed by Washington Post.   

  • Nov. 2015 In his interview to the CUA Public Affairs, professor Rao, head of Bacteriophage T4 Lab, highlights his lab's finding that may lead to potential HIV vaccine. 

  • Nov. 2014 Ann Corsi, associate professor in the Department of Biology, was honored for Overall Teaching Excellence, for 10 or more years of excellent teaching.

  •  May 2014 Paige Hicks, B.A. Biology is featured on the CUA Success stories for her research, career and for pursuing an unending love for aminals. 

Research Highlights

2018 Rao's lab article on using CRISPR-Cas9 to engineer bacteriophage T4 genome is published in ACS SyntheticBiology.
2018 Rao's lab article on role of CRISPR-Cas system in phage evolution is published in ScienceAdvances.
2015 Rao's lab article "A New Approach to Produce HIV-1 Envelope Trimers: both cleavage and proper glycosylation are essential to generate authentic trimers" is published in J. Biol. Chem. 
2015 Rao's lab article "Cryo-EM structure of the bacteriophage T4 portal protein assembly at near-atomic resolution" appears in Nature Communications.