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The department was established on 5 June 1968 under the name of the Department of Molecular Biology. The department has changed its name several times (Institute for Molecular Biology and Plant Physiology, Department of of Molecular and Structural Biology, Department of Molecular Biology) in connection with mergers with other sections and departments.

On 1 July 2011, the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) was created by merging the Department of Molecular Biology (excluding the research groups within Lipid Biochemistry and Engineering) and the research groups within Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, Molecular Genetics and System Biology, Quantitative Genetics and Biostatistics from the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology localised at Foulum (by Viborg) and  Flakkebjerg (by Slagelse).

The department's activities are currently spread over six different locations (Research Centre Foulum, Research Centre Flakkebjerg and in five different buildings in Aarhus - the "Biokæden" (Campus), at Biomedicine (Campus), the Science Park and the iNANO house at Gustav Wieds Vej), but in 2022, the whole department (except for the groups in Flakkebjerg and at iNANO) will move to a building complex at the municipal hospital ("Kommunehospitalet") as all the activities of the hospital have been moved to the new hospital in Skejby.

In 2019, it was decided that the groups from the Foulum and Flakkebjerg that the department had merged with in 2011 should no longer be part of the department. The department chose to keep the name Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, even though the geneticists were no longer part of the department, as the department was now known as MBG.

Today, the department's activities are housed in three different locations, but from 5 January 2022, all the the groups of the department will move together in a common building complex of the former municipal hospital ("Kommunehospitalet"). All the department's students will be housed together with the rest of the department as well

Staff and students - 1976