Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology

Brief Description of Concentration

human developmental and regenerative biologyHuman Developmental and Regenerative Biology (HDRB) is a life science concentration that educates students on how human beings develop from a fertilized egg, are maintained and repaired throughout adulthood, and age till life’s end. Students will be given a broad education in modern life sciences by studying important biological principles within the specific rubric of the developing and regenerating body. By adding an explicit and heavy emphasis on hands-on research opportunities in all four undergraduate years, HDRB will engage students with an interest in research and take advantage of Harvard’s special strengths as a teaching college and research university.

Learning Objectives

The HDRB concentration embraces ‘basic’ science.

Life science: Our students develop a profound understanding of human biology to gain a better understanding of disease, and apply what they learn in laboratory settings. They learn important biological principles that give insights into human biology, specifically in development and regeneration.
Foundational disciplines: We encourage our students to incorporate not only life science disciplines, but also chemistry, the physical sciences, and mathematics into their learning.

Research: The HDRB concentration emphasizes hands-on research, both through coursework and independent projects. Our students conduct experimental research in HSCRB laboratories throughout their undergraduate years, so they take full advantage of Harvard’s unique strengths as a teaching college and research university.

Translation: This foundation our students gain in human biology and the mechanisms of disease dovetails with some of the ‘translational’ research conducted in our labs, which is focused on clinical applications.

Gateway Courses

  • LS 1A: An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences - Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology OR LPS A: Foundational Chemistry and Biology
  • LS 1B: An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences - Genetics, Genomics, and Evolution
  • PHYSCI 1: An Introduction to the Physical Sciences
  • STAT 102: Introduction to Statistics for Life Sciences
  • SCRB 10: Human Developmental and Re- generative Biology
  • SCRB 50: Building a Human Body: From Gene to Cell to Organism



HDRB alumni have gone on to varied careers utilizing the critical thinking skills they learned. Some of these include academic science, biotech, pharma, medicine, consulting, software technology, criminal law, intellectual property, and public policy, among others.