Advising Services


MCB offers three types of undergraduate advising; staff advisors, faculty advisors, and peer advisors. Each type of advisor provides a unique perspective on the MCB experience, and thus, it's important to review below to see what type of advisor will be able to address your questions. Staff advisors are usually the main resources for intended and declared MCB students. 

Staff Advisors

Staff academic advisors are trained to support students and assist them in successfully completing their MCB major. They are excellent resources for questions concerning administration and academics, or finding out about other available services. Students should see a staff advisor in order to:

  • ask questions about major requirements;
  • ask advice about schedule planning;
  • declare the MCB major;
  • consult about research opportunities, graduate & professional schools, career opportunities, scholarships and internships;
  • get their advisor code (AC) number to access Tele-BEARS registration;
  • get information and course control numbers for independent research;
  • request general assistance, advice or information; and
  • find out about upcoming events and programs.

Staff advisors are primarily available for drop-in advising, though limited appointments are available for more complex issues such as probation, academic difficulty and re-admission. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 510.643.8895 during drop-in advising hours. Our general email address is We check this email daily, M-F, so you'll receive an answer to questions within one business day. Other contact information shows below.

Name Title Phone number Advisor Profile
Katie Carson Academic Advisor 643-8895 View Profile
Clara Ng-Quinn Academic Advisor  643-8895  View Profile

James Depelteau

Manager 643-7473 View Profile

Faculty Advisors

Faculty advisors are MCB professors assigned to advise students about the MCB department, its courses, research, and other academic issues. Students are assigned a faculty advisor when they declare an MCB major. Students should see their faculty advisors in order to:

  • receive guidance toward achieving academic and career goals,
  • ask questions about the content of MCB courses,
  • request exceptions to MCB major requirements and policies (obtain their signature on MCB Substitution Form),
  • ask questions about biological research and about the field of biology in general,
  • ask for recommendations on which graduate schools to attend, and
  • get their signature on the Curriculum Planning Form, after speaking with a UAO staff advisor first (see above).  

Office hours listed below are designated for drop-in advising unless otherwise noted. Faculty advisor office hours are effective from the first day of instruction until the final day of instruction for the fall and spring semesters. Faculty advisors are not available for office hours during winter or summer break. Students may refer to staff drop-in advising hours during summer sessions and non-instructional periods.

Emphasis in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

(assigned by last name of student)
Room Phone E-mail Office hours
Andy Martin (A-C)* 570 Stanley 510.666.2763 Thurs 1-2pm
Dan Portnoy (D-K) 508 Barker 510.643.3925 Fri 1-2pm
Peter Duesberg (L-O) 353 Donner 510.642.6549 Wed 2-3pm
Michael Marletta (P-S) 374B Stanley 510.666.8758 Fri 2-3pm
Qiang Zhou (T-Z) 585A LKS 510.643.1697 Fri 11am-12pm by email appt only

Emphasis in Genetics, Genomics & Development

Advisor Room Phone E-mail Office Hours
Georjana Barnes 608 Barker 642-5962 Fri 3:30-4:30pm by appt only
Gian Garriga* 141 Koshland 510.642.5859 Tues 10-11am
Henk Roelink 171A Koshland 510.642-5126 Fri 11am-12pm

Emphasis in Immunology

Advisor Room Phone E-mail Office Hours
Robert Beatty* 176 LSA 510.642.0671

 Thurs 11:10am12pm & Fri 11:10am-12pm

 Emphasis in Neurobiology

Advisors Room Phone
Office hours
David Larue 134 LSA 510.642.9637
Fri 11am-12pm
David Presti 249 LSA 510.643.2111 Wed 2:30-3pm & Thurs 2-2:30pm
Robert Zucker* 111 LSA 510.642.3407    Wed 4:15-5:30pm or by phone appt

***LSA locks at 5pm. If you arrive after 5p, call 2-3407 from the phone in the yellow box and Dr Zucker will come out to meet you.

Emphasis in Cell & Developmental Biology

Advisors Room Phone E-mail Office hours
Diana Bautista 355 LSA 510.642.8460  Mon 2-3pm
Terry Machen 231A LSA 510.642.2983

Mon 1-2pm

Abby Dernburg* 470 Stanley 510.666.3615 Mon 10:30-11:30am or by appt

* indicates the head advisor for the emphasis

***All office hours for faculty advisors are effective starting on the first day of instruction and do not apply during the summer term.

PAWS - Peer Advisor Walk-in Services

Peer advisors are junior & senior MCB majors who volunteer their time to complement the UAO advising services by sharing their knowledge of and experience with lower division requirements and upper division classes, experience with student groups on campus, preparation for life beyond the B.A., and use of various campus resources. To see the schedule and more information about who our peer advisors are and which courses they've taken, click here.