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Quantitative Biology
at the University of Delaware


"I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics; for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense." Charles Darwin

Students graduating with a UD Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Biology (QBIO) will have a wide range of possible paths to follow, from graduate studies, to medical school, to academic and government jobs, and to industry employment working in several areas of the life sciences, as well as in other fields. Their strong quantitative background, knowledge of biology, chemistry, mathematics and mathematical modeling will constitute a valuable asset for tackling complex problems, for communicating with people working in diverse areas, and for playing a strong role in decision making processes. We could say that quantitative investigation of biological systems is the "extra sense" needed for a burst into a new era of great discoveries in life sciences, including disease mechanisms, drug discovery and biomedical engineering.

Careers diagram

Medical School

The QBIO degree is suitable for students planning to pursue medical school, and it should serve them well in their medical careers, as strong quantitative skills will make them more able to solve complex medical problems, and better qualified in decision-making processes. A better understanding of the delicate balance of biological processes from a quantitative as well as from a qualitative perspective will lead to better decisions (better understanding of symptoms, treatment choices and regiments, etc.). For a recent set of recommendations from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) on the scientific foundations for future physicians consult the Report of the AAMC-HHMI Committee.

Graduate Studies

Graduates of the QBIO Program will be well prepared to pursue graduate studies in diverse fields such as

Academic Jobs

Among possible academic jobs immediately following graduation, depending on course choices for technical or integrative electives, are

Government Jobs

Several branches of government need people with the skills acquired by QBIO majors. Among these are

Industrial Jobs

Dr. Anastasia Christianson, senior director and global discipline leader for biomedical informatics, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, remarked: "Application of systems biology is certainly on the incline and requires strong connection between quantitative and phenotypic aspects of biology. Miniaturization and high throughput capabilities for generation and interpretation of data such as genetic, genomic, metabolomic, proteomic, etc. require more complex data manipulation and analysis skills than what is now covered in a standard Biology degree curriculum. Moreover, there is increased demand for analysis of complex biological data such as biomedical image data, acoustic data, and whole cell/organ measurements, to name a few, and all of these measurements require more sophisticated algorithms and analysis skills than are currently available. The current practice of collaborations between experts in different fields needs to be improved by ensuring better understanding of each other's fields through additional training (namely computational training for biologists)."

There are numerous and far-ranging prospects for employment in industry, in health related and other areas. Some examples are