The purpose of training in the Graduate Program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is to learn how to ask scientific questions and what to do to answer them.  For that reason, the program heavily emphasizes laboratory research.  To provide a foundation of knowledge, formal coursework is concentrated in the first year, including General Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology, Virology, Bacteriology, Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases, Genetics, Molecular Methods, and Biochemistry. During the first year of graduate study, the student becomes acquainted with the research activities of each faculty member by attending faculty seminars and by rotating through research laboratories selected by the student. Students may select research areas from a variety of disciplines in Molecular Biology, Virology, Immunology, and Bacteriology. Topics currently being investigated are listed here. 

An individualized program of study is developed for each graduate student through regular consultation with a faculty Advisory Committee. This program consists of lecture and laboratory courses, seminars, journal clubs, preparation of research proposals, and independent research.

By giving seminars, journal clubs, and other presentations, students learn the art of teaching and oral scientific communication.  Through preliminary and qualifying examinations, they gain experience in written communication, with an emphasis on NIH-style research proposals.  Throughout the program, students learn the skills and habits needed to become effective professional research scientists.

Graduate Courses

Formal Program Learning Objectives

YEAR #1:  FALL SEMESTER

Initiate Laboratory Rotations with Three Faculty Members Selected by the Student

IDSP #111: Basic Biochemistry: Molecular and Cellular Biology I (2 cr.)

IDSP #112: Basic Biochemistry: Molecular and Cellular Biology II (2 cr.)

IDSP #116: Methods in Biomedical Sciences:  Biochemical and Molecular Methods (1 cr.)

IDSP #117: Methods in Biomedical Sciences:  Recombinant DNA and Cell Biology (1 cr.)

Micro #291: Bacteriology and Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (3 cr.)

Micro #297: Immunology (3 cr.)

Micro #298: Weekly Department Seminar

  • Rotations through the Journal Clubs
  • Roundtable on How to Prepare and Present a Seminar
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers
  • By Mid-December, the Student Selects his/her Faculty Advisor

 

YEAR #1:  SPRING SEMESTER

IDSP #113: Genetics (1 cr.)

IDSP #114: Cell Biology (2 cr.)

IDSP #115: Molecular Signaling (1 cr.)

IDSP #119: Gene Expression (1 cr.)

Micro #276: General and Molecular Virology (3 cr.)

Micro #289: Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases II (3 cr.)

Micro #298: Seminar, Present First Seminar on a Library Topic (1 cr.)

  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers
  • Develop and Initiate the Dissertation Research Project
  • Join a Journal Club and Attend Weekly Meeting
  • Establish the Advisory Committee of Five Faculty Members by March 1st
  • Have Initial Meeting with Advisory Committee by May 1st

YEAR #1:  SUMMER

IDSP #240: Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Science (1 cr.)

  • Weekly Research Conference with Advisor and Members of the Laboratory
  • Conduct Research at the Bench on the Dissertation Project
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers

 

YEAR #2: FALL SEMESTER

Micro #298:Seminar, Present Second Seminar on a Library Topic (1 cr.)

  • Research at the Bench on the Dissertation Project
  • Weekly Journal Club
  • Weekly Research Conference with Advisor and Members of the Laboratory
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers


YEAR #2:  SPRING SEMESTER

Micro #298: Seminar, Present First Research Seminar (1 cr.)

  • Research at the Bench on the Dissertation Research
  • Weekly Journal Club
    Weekly Research Conference with Advisor and Members of the Laboratory
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers

YEAR #2:  SUMMER

Qualifying Examination: an NIH-style research proposal on a topic not related to the student's research. Deadline is September of Year #3

  • Preliminary Examination: an oral defense of the Qualifying Examination proposal before the student's advisory committee.
  • Research at the Bench
  • Weekly Journal Club
  • Weekly Research Conference with Advisor and Members of the Laboratory
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers

 

YEAR #3:  FALL SEMESTER

Personal Research Proposal: An NIH-style proposal on the student's doctoral project. 

  • Public seminar on Personal Research Proposal
  • Oral examination to defend Personal Research Proposal before the Advisory Committee and Outside Reviewer
  • Research at the Bench
  • Weekly Journal Club
  • Weekly Research Conference with Advisor and Members of the Laboratory
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers

 

YEARS #3 to #5:  SPRING SEMESTER UNTIL GRADUATION

Outside Reviewer Visits to Review Research Proposal

  • Research at the Bench
  • Annual Seminar on Research
  • Weekly Journal Club
  • Write Manuscripts for Publication
  • Presentation of Research at Regional, National, and International Meetings
  • Write and Defend Dissertation
  • Weekly Research Conference with Advisor and Members of the Laboratory
  • Interaction with All Visiting Scientists and Seminar Speakers