Best Molecular Biology Textbook – Expert’s Pick of 2021

Molecular Biology is a branch of biology that helps understand the composition, structure and interactions of the cells. It gives a broad understanding of the processes taking place at cellular and molecular levels. In the last three decades, there have been many advances in this field. It is also one of the fields that have been in demand, given its applications and uses in our day-to-day life.

While the subject might seem challenging to understand at first, with the right textbook and learning zeal, one can learn molecular biology. Having a degree in cell and molecular biology, I know which books could help in better learning, and hence I am sharing my top picks for the molecular biology textbooks in this blog. Check out this article and opt for the one that covers all the topics you want to learn. 

Textbook Our review
Molecular Biology of the Cell (Sixth Edition) Best buy for learning the basics of molecular biology. 
The Problems Book: for Molecular Biology of the Cell Our recommendation for the best molecular biology textbook
Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function 2nd Edition Good alternative for learning molecular biology and its implications
Molecular and Cellular Biology of Viruses Great pick for graduates and postgraduates
Molecular Biology of Cancer: Mechanisms, Targets, and Therapeutics 4th Edition Recommended for advanced molecular biology courses

Best Molecular Biology Textbook

1. Molecular Biology of the Cell (Sixth Edition)

Molecular Biology of the CellMy first pick for getting a textbook that can help you understand molecular biology basics is this Molecular Biology of the Cell book. Bruce Alberts, along with six other co-authors have done a fantastic job at explaining the molecular structures, biochemical processes and lesser-known findings of molecular biology. This textbook covers the basic cell biology, genetic mechanisms, internal organization of the cell along with cells in their social extent.  

Key features of the book:

  • This molecular biology textbook covers all the information regarding the basic concepts and principles of molecular biology.
  • As the book also has colourful illustrations, it can make it easy for the students to understand the concepts.
  • This version of the book has revised and updated information regarding the advances of cell biology.
  • Students and professionals can invest in this book as it has the perfect framework to learn and teach. 
  • The book is available in various variants such as Etextbook, Paperback, Hardcover and Loose leaves. You can select the suitable option for you. 
  • Some sellers also offer the option of renting the book for a limited period.


2. The Problems Book: for Molecular Biology of the Cell

The Problems Book- for Molecular Biology of the CellIf you are looking for a book that offers an extensive understanding of molecular biology concepts, this book can become your go-to book. The textbook is well-written and user-engaging. The chapters have comprehensive questions as well as elaborated explanations. The information is presented interestingly. This version of the book is a revised and updated version of the book that was available previously. 

Key features of the book:

  • This textbook helps students in understanding the concepts of cell biology and molecular biology with detailed explanations.
  • The readers have liked the approach of authors to integrate experiments and calculations while explaining the concepts.
  • It helps students to learn how cells work and also lay the foundation of molecular biology.
  • Every chapter in the textbook has review key terms, tests and research-based problems so that students can self-learn and revise the concepts.
  • The book is available in two types: Etextbook and Paperback.


3. Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function 2nd Edition

Molecular Biology- Principles of Genome Function 2nd EditionMy next recommendation for getting a molecular biology book is this second edition of this book that covers all the concepts of molecular biology. The textbook provides an accurate description of the concepts and uses an integrated approach to elaborate on the molecular phenomenon and its impacts on the genome function. The information is highlighted quite well in the book, and authors have kept it as a recurring theme so that students can learn about the advances of the field along with their impacts. 

Key features of the book:

  • The textbook focuses on making it easy for students to understand the underlying concepts of molecular biology.
  • The book has a lot of colour illustrations that equip students with better learning.
  • Each chapter in the book has questions, summaries, a glossary of key terms, and suggested topics to read that enhance the learning experience. 
  • The authors have kept the framework of the book quite conceptual that aids students with learning quickly.
  • It shows the similarities between the organisms and their processes that can help in molecular phylogeny too. 
  • The book features experimental approach panels that explain the importance of experimental evidence and its research and experiments that have played a vital role in the field. 


4. Molecular and Cellular Biology of Viruses

Molecular and Cellular Biology of VirusesMany students struggle to find a book that primarily focuses on the molecular biology of the viruses. Well, now with this book you have an option that you can opt for. It engages students with its interactive approach and covers the information regarding the viruses, its relationship with the host cells and their effects. The textbook also has a chapter on the medical applications that explain anti-viral drugs and vaccines’ development. The authors have also included the final chapter on the Virus diversity, and its evolution by integrating the research’s insights throughout these years. 

Key features of the book:

  • The book covers all the concepts of molecular and cellular biology of the viruses.
  • It features quality and colourful illustrations that can help the professionals to teach their students with ease.
  • Each chapter in the book has a section of extensive questions and answers for a quick revision of the chapter. This can also be helpful while prepping for exams or tests to do last-minute revisions.
  • The textbook covers the molecular mechanisms of all virus groups, including bacteriophages and plant viruses.
  • It also covers the medical implications of the concepts, along with its consequences. 


5. Molecular Biology of Cancer: Mechanisms, Targets, and Therapeutics 4th Edition

Molecular Biology of Cancer- Mechanisms, Targets, and Therapeutics 4th EditionMy last recommendation is for the people who are already thorough with molecular biology basics and want to study advanced topics such as cancer cell biology, its mechanisms, targets and more. Lauren Pecorino,  the author of this book, is the Principal Lecturer in Cancer Biology at the University of Greenwich. She has focused on providing detailed information by using scientific papers, reports and more to help students know the latest development in the cancer cell biology. 

Key features of the book:

  • This book provides a broad understanding of cancer biology and its mechanisms. 
  • The author uses an interactive approach to make the learning process fun and engaging.
  • The book is quite interesting to read, and it focuses on the underlying molecular mechanisms during the transformation of cells into cancer cells.
  • Each chapter in the book highlights the knowledge that can be used to develop new target therapies that can help in understanding the future advances of the theory.
  • Students have also enjoyed the self-test and activities in the book, which makes learning more interactive. 


Concluding Remarks

I have tried to cover the textbooks for different topics and concepts so that you a range of options to select from. All these molecular textbooks are well-written, and readers have enjoyed reading these books. Apart from students, professionals can go for any of the books stated above to learn new advances in molecular biology. 

Starting from the top, the first book is recommended for learning the basics and other suggestions are in the order of the difficulty in learning the basics. Once you are thorough with the basics, you can opt for advanced topics such as cancer biology. Instead of opting for any one book, you can opt for more books to learn complete molecular biology starting from the fundamentals first. I hope you find the one that best suits your criteria. 


To read, write and know something new every day is the only way I see my day! Well, that rhymed. Hey folks, this is me, Priyanka, writer at Geometry of Molecules where I want to make Chemistry easy to learn and quick to understand. Having an MSc degree helps me explain these concepts better. I write all the blogs after thorough research, analysis and review of the topics. And if not writing you will find me reading a book in some cosy cafe!

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