Molecular and cellular biologists in our department examine biological processes such as metabolism, replication, transcription, development, and stress responses at the molecular level. Experimentally, this equates to the study of the genes, proteins, RNAs, metabolites, and cellular structures associated with particular processes or phenotypes of viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, and plants. Molecular studies contribute to a broader understanding of how organisms function and interact in the environment, including insight that might be applied to the betterment of the environment and the human condition. For example, the work of several researchers in the department focuses on understanding the role of proteins that control transcription during developmental processes and stress responses. Several others department members use molecular readouts to understand the responses and interactions among organisms that contribute to ecosystem function. A number of our faculty are members of a campus wide group of researcher with an emphasis in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.