Duke Biology’s Mission Statement

The mission of Duke Biology is the study of life in all of its complexity. In Duke Biology, our scholars spend their days discovering how biological systems work. We work across all levels of biological organization, fascinated by the structural complexity of individual proteins to the emergent properties of entire ecosystems, and we examine processes that range from ultrafast movements that last nanoseconds to the evolutionary processes that span eons.

Whether we use microscopes, sequencers, mass spectrometers, hand lenses or the naked eye, members of the Duke Biology community are attentive to the enormous variety of life on Earth. We seek to understand how the variety and complexity of life have been derived and maintained over time. It is through our research that we come to know what is conserved and what is changing through the course of biological evolution. It is through our research that we understand how much information is shared across the tree of life, and how dependent every organism is on the same shortlist of resources often in limited supply.

 It is our job to ask and answer new questions about how biological systems work and to share that knowledge with the world through our writing, teaching, and outreach. It is our job to engage young people in our process of discovery and to provide them with opportunities to contemplate and study the natural world. It is our goal that alumni of our department will feel confident in interpreting and applying novel insights in biology in any career path they ultimately choose to pursue.

 In the course of our work together, all members of our community, will be provided with clear expectations and support for fulfilling those expectations in a climate of transparency, equity, accountability, and kindness.