Jeff Moore, PhD

Associate Professor and Director

Cell Biology, Stem Cells & Development Graduate Program
Contact Jeff Moore


Thank you for your interest in the Graduate Program in Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development (CSD). By exploring our website you can find out most of the details of our PhD program, but here I emphasize several highlights that our past and current students have found most important in selecting CSD for their graduate training.


  • CSD students and faculty have common interests in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie development, disease, stem cell biology and regeneration. This common curiosity promotes extensive interaction among labs and creates a fantastic intellectual environment.
  • Our CSD Program is structured to provide training in hypothesis-driven experimental approaches coupled with cutting edge technologies. We foster creativity and independence, enabling students to pursue important questions at the junctures between the fields of cell, developmental, and stem cell biology.
  • Among our most distinctive and important characteristics are that we are unusually collegial and collaborative. Numerous program activities, such as weekly seminars, journal clubs, research update talks and annual retreats foster a sense of community and provide a foundation for our shared research interests.
  • Our program is broad, but intimate. Our more than 50 training faculty and over 30 graduate students investigate problems ranging from basic mechanisms in developmental and cell biology to translational applications of stem cell biology. We are large enough to provide numerous and distinctive research opportunities but yet we maintain a close-knit and supportive learning environment.
  • The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a new (2004), state-of-the-art biomedical research campus with numerous cutting edge core facilities, all of which are available for student use toward the PhD. The design of the office and lab space is open, prompting more cooperation and collaboration. Our research buildings are close to Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Hospital, facilitating interactions among basic scientists, clinicians and patients and promoting translational research.
  • Denver is a great city within an hour’s drive of the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Our students and faculty work hard, but they also play hard – taking full advantage of the outdoors throughout the year, like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and more.

Please take some time to look through our website to learn about the specific research areas of our internationally recognized faculty and CSD students. You can also find all the details about our curriculum, program events, student and faculty publications and information on how to apply for admission.

I look forward to reading your application!


Jeff Moore, PhD

Director, Graduate Program in Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development
Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology



Mountains to Denver airport skyline

Goals of the Program

The CSD program thus trains PhD students in 3 interrelated disciplines: Stem Cells, Cell Biology, and Development. Our doctoral students:

  • Complete an integrated curriculum
  • Interact with international and national research leaders via our seminar series, and our student run research retreat, and through stipends for travel to conferences
  • Receive training in hypothesis testing, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, grant writing, and oral and written presentation skills


Learning Outcomes

The PhD program in Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences.
  2. Understand the current concepts in Cell Biology, Stem Cell Biology and Development.
  3. Read and critically evaluate the scientific literature.
  4. Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects.
  5. Present research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation.
  6. Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues.
  7. Write a competitive application for research funding.
  8. Develop ancillary skills, where necessary, to obtain positions outside of scientific research.


Student Support

Students accepted in the PhD program are provided full tuition, health and dental insurance, and a stipend of $37,000 per year for living expenses. Continued support is contingent upon satisfactory academic and research performance by the student. When a student enters a thesis lab, the thesis mentor assumes complete responsibility for the student’s stipend, tuition, fees, and associated research costs.


Program Committees


  • Katherine Fantauzzo, Chair
  • Kelly Sullivan
  • Jessica Nelson
  • Sylvia Nunez, Student
  • Mikaela Follmer, Student


  • Julie Siegenthaler, Chair
  • Olivia Rissland
  • Rytis Prekeris
  • Chad Pearson
  • Judy Cheng, Student
  • Sophia Kim, Student

DEI Coordinator

  • Santos Franco
  • Omar Ochoa, Student

CSD 2022 Retreat

  • Sue Majka, Chair
  • Addison Rains, Student
  • Wolf Schleicher, Student

Student Executive

  • Katie Alemany, Chair
  • Judy Cheng
  • Omar Ochoa
  • Ian Purvis
  • Addison Rains
  • Wolf Schleicher
  • Trevor Isner
  • Sylvia Nunez
  • Sophia Kim
  • Mikaela Follmer
  • Abi Mumme-Monheit
  • Mike Lippincott
  • Lily Folts

Graduate Advisory

  • Joe Brzezinski, Chair
  • Jim Bridges
  • Charles Sagerstrom
  • Suja Jagannathan
  • Ethan Hughes
  • Katie Alemany, Student
  • Trevor Isner, Student


  • David Clouthier, Chair
  • Joan Hooper
  • Matthew Taliaferro
  • Eszter Vladar
  • Peter Dempsey
  • Sophia Kim, Student
  • Lily Folts, Student

CSD Voices & ORE Representatives

  • Mikaela Follmer
  • Abi Mumme-Monheit

CSD Seminar Series

  • Linda Barlow (Chair)
  • Katherine Fantauzzo
  • Chad Pearson
  • Peter Dempsey


  • Jeff Moore
  • David Clouthier
  • Joe Brzezinski
  • Linda Barlow
  • Julie Siegenthaler
  • Santos Franco
  • Katherine Fantauzzo
  • Sue Majka

Journal Club

  • Trevor Isner
  • Mike Lippincott

Program Curriculum

Lab Rotations

Students complete a minimum of three and a maximum of four research rotations in the laboratories of program faculty during the first 12 months of the program. The rotations provide the student a broad experimental experience and help the student to select a laboratory in which to pursue thesis research.

Candidacy for the PhD

The Preliminary Exam is taken at the end of the first year. The general format of a preliminary examination for the Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development Graduate Program is a written grant proposal followed by an oral examination by a preliminary examination committee consisting of five faculty members representing different aspects of the research within CSD, such as Development, Cell Biology and Stem Cell Biology.


Year 1 | In the Fall semester, our students take the required Core Course. In Spring, our students are required to take our course in Developmental Biology (CSDV 7605) and Critical Analysis of Research (CSDV 7606). Also during that first year, each of our students performs three, 11 week long, laboratory rotations. At the end of the first year, students take a written preliminary examination covering all course materials (from all Fall and Spring semester courses), and then choose a thesis laboratory in which to do their doctoral work.

Year 2 | Second year students register for 5 or more research credits (CSCV 7650) per Fall and Spring semester, as they begin work in their thesis lab. Students also take a course on statistics and bioinformatics, and one Advanced Topics or Elective course in their 2nd year. To be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree, students must pass an oral comprehensive examination around the end of their 2nd year in the program (but it must be taken by December of the 3rd year). This exam comprises a public seminar, followed by an oral defense of a written proposal based on the students thesis research. 

Year 3 and Beyond | Following a successful comprehensive examination, students register for 5 doctoral thesis research credits, CSDV 8990, per Fall and Spring semesters. Additionally, students are required to take one Advanced Topics or Elective course each year.

PhD Thesis

After passing the Comprehensive Examination, the student enters PhD candidacy. During the following years the students perform research towards a thesis defense. Students must give annual reports on the progress of their thesis research to the CSD faculty in the form of 30-minute seminars, and meet at least annually with their Thesis Committee. The Chairman of the Thesis Committee will meet with the GAC to discuss the student’s progress and will submit a brief written summary of the outcome of each meeting with the student.

Upon completion of a body of original research that constitutes a significant contribution of new knowledge to the field of cell and developmental biology, students will write a PhD thesis containing this information, and defend this document at an oral examination scheduled by the Graduate School. Check with the Graduate School for current deadlines, thesis format requirements and required paperwork prior to writing the thesis and scheduling the defense.

Explore the CSD handbook for more information about curriculum requirements

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