I'm a medical student (who is halfway through med school) looking for a textbook that will consolidate some of the biology I already know. While I've read a lot of books that go into great detail about genetics, immunology and cell signaling, I've not found many books that focus on clear insights.

After recently having perused a very well-written nanotechnology book geared towards bionanotechnology ("Bionanotechnology: lessons from nature," by Goodsell), I found many cell biology topics very well explained. For example, it states simply that "lipids are used for infrastructure [in the body]", and that "polysaccharides are used in specialized structural roles". Such sentences I've personally never really come across in any of the "standard" molecular biology texts (Alberts, Cooper, etc); I found that they focus far too much on detailing exactly the components of the DNA polymerase, or the ribosome (which are very important, but also something I'd like to go "beyond".)

Clarification on what type of book I seek:

  • A book within cell or molecular biology
  • Scope of book; a book that covers any of the following: biochemistry, genetics (replication, translation, transcription, gene expression and its regulation, epigenetics, heredity, genetic engineering), developmental biology, cell biology (cell structure, organelles, cellular processes, cell signaling) and molecular biology (techniques such as high-throughput biology; concepts such as enhancers, repressors) and molecular evolution.
  • Level of the book doesn't matter, although I have completed all the subjects above at an undergraduate (bachelor) level - the book could thus be directed towards graduate/masters students.

Any books/texts that will hone one's knowledge on the subjects mentioned will be warmly received!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ my opinion... but, if you're half finished with medical school I'd work on understanding clinical medicine - there is plenty to work on there and you can always come back to intensive molecular biology/etc after you've mastered clinical medicine $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2016 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ While I find this has little relevance to my original question, I'm currently looking to do systems biology research alongside medical school. I feel that a stronger intuition for cellular processes will probably do some good for an aspiring clinician-scientist. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2016 at 7:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please have a look the tag-wiki for book-recommendation. If you do not address all the points mentioned there then your question may be put on hold. These kinds of questions often lead to opinon-based answers. $\endgroup$
    Feb 24, 2016 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


Campbell's Biology is, I quote my biology teacher, "the Bible of AP Biology". I know you're a medical student and therefore far past that introductory college level, but Campbell's does quite a good and thorough job of explaining a plethora of biology topics. It's a fairly reliable textbook, I think you might like it. It also gives a good deal of examples for the various concepts and avoids such abstract statements as those you quoted from your textbook. I would suggest skimming through the book at a local bookstore if you can and seeing if it fits your criteria.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .