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. 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 Bacterioogy. Topics
currently being investigated are listed in the research section.
The program leading to the Ph. D. emphasizes research training at the molecular and cellular levels in several disciplines to prepare the student for a challenging career directing original independent research activities. While the program of study is tailored to the individual needs of the student, he or she is required to complete a series of core courses which provide a broad background in the following areas: General Microbiology; Cell and Molecular Biology; Immunology; Virology; Bacteriology; Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases and Biochemistry. The program also emphasizes the written and oral communication skills needed to excel in the scientific community. Active participation in departmental seminars and at least one of the three weekly journal clubs is required of all students. In addition, each student must prepare two research proposals as part of the process of learning how to design experiments, to evaluate the scientific literature in a critical manner, and to master the skills of scientific writing. The most important aspects of the Ph. D. training program are the research project and dissertation. They are completed under the guidance of the student's Faculty Advisor and Advisory Committee and must represent original and independent scholarly work.