Program Curriculum

The graduate experience in MMG begins with an introduction to the faculty, current students, and their research through a series of short talks, discussions and a poster session. The students then choose the first of three research rotations which are designed to provide exposure to different areas and to varied techniques, and to enable the student to choose a laboratory for thesis research. These rotations, which often begin in the summer prior to matriculation in the Program, are usually completed in the second semester. 

Each student is assigned a pre-research advisor for consultation in design of his/her individual curriculum. The Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Program is small and therefore can be tailored to the needs of each individual student. Therefore, after the first semester, in which all students take the same required courses, with the help of an advisor, each student selects different elective courses to fulfill the requirements for the Ph.D. Currently, most students take 3-4 full courses (> 4 credit hour) in the first year and 2-3 in year two.

IBS 504: Introduction to Prokaryotic Genetics - Dr. Moran and Dr. Rather

This is an introductory course in bacterial genetics for students who have had, or are currently taking, Biochemistry. It is designed to help students make the transition between large lecture courses and independent creative scientific thought. It also emphasizes oral communication. In the first third of the course, students are introduced to the basic terms and concepts in molecular genetics of bacteria and their viruses, including the mechanisms of genetic exchange and regulation of gene expression. The following segments of the course are devoted to reading and interpreting original papers in the field, both classical and contemporary. In discussion format, the students are encouraged to question conclusions in the papers and to design experiments to test "facts". Small sessions (voluntary) explain and discuss techniques in molecular biology and genetics applied to bacteria. 
In addition to the Course Director, Drs. Moran and Rather actively participate in the course. 

IBS 513: Graduate Virology - Dr. David Steinhauer and Dr. Anice Lowen

A sound fundamental knowledge of molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology are recommended prerequisites. The course is taught in Spring, so most first year students will be prepared if they have taken Biochemistry in the previous Fall semester. 
The graduate virology course is designed to provide a strong background in the basic concepts involving viral replication, pathogenesis, and immunity. This is an interactive course in which several MMG and IMP faculty members are active participants. The first half of the course focuses on concepts that are applicable to viruses in general, and includes classes that cover virus structure, host cell entry, RNA virus transcription and replication, DNA virus transcription and replication, Retroviruses and retroviral integration, processing and translation of viral RNAs, virus assembly and exit, chronic infections, viral pathogenesis, viral immunity, and immune evasion. The second half of the course concentrates on specific virus families with an emphasis on human pathogens. In this half of the course faculty members generally lecture on the viruses that their individual research programs are focused on. In addition to the Course Directors, Professors Speck, Hunter, Spearman, Weiss, Jacob, Moore, Anderson, Derdeyn, Grakoui, Mocarski, and Steel are actively involved in the course, and several guest lecturers from the CDC participate as well. 

MMG 792r: Colloquium - MMG Program Faculty

This course instructs first and second year MMG students in the organization and presentation of research endeavors. Students are trained in computer programs for figure and slide preparation and use of photo documentation systems. Presentations of journal articles and personal research in progress are evaluated by both attending students and the faculty organizers. 

IBS 545r: Introduction to Research - MMG Program Faculty

This course familiarizes entering students with the research programs of the MMG faculty and facilitates the choice of laboratory rotations. Teaches research interests, methods and procedures for genetics, immunology and virology. Emphasis is placed by the faculty on the research and laboratory techniques applicable to respective research areas. 

MMG 570r: Introductory Graduate Seminar

The seminar consists of presentation and critical evaluation of scientific material which can be obtained from a variety of sources including contemporary scientific literature. The course is designed to teach students how to analyze and interpret data, and importantly, to prepare and deliver oral presentations. After a student advances to candidacy, he or she may elect to take this course on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis. Advanced students will, in general, present material relevant to his/her thesis project.

MMG 597r: Lab Rotations - MMG Program Faculty

The following courses (or their equivalents) are required of all students in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Program:

Fall Semester - Year 1
IBS 504 Introduction to Prokaryotic Genetics 6
IBS 555 Principles of Basic Biomedical & Biological Science 6
IBS 545r Introduction to Faculty Research 1
MMG 570r Introductory Graduate Seminar 1
MMG 597r Laboratory Rotations 1
MMG 792r Colloquium in Microbiology 1
JPE 600 Jones Program in Ethics 0
Spring Semester - Year 1
IBS 513 Virology 5
MMG 570r Introductory Graduate Seminar 1
MMG 792r Colloquium in Microbiology 1
MMG 597r Laboratory Rotations


Fall Semester - Year 2
IBS 522r Grant Writing & Professional Development 4
MMG 792r Colloquium in Microbiology 1
MMG 790r Advanced Graduate Seminar 1
IBS 699r Advanced Graduate Research Varies
Spring Semester - Year 2
MMG 792r Colloquium in Microbiology 1
MMG 790r Advanced Graduate Seminar 1
IBS 699r Advanced Graduate Research Varies
The only specific requirements in the program are those listed above. All students are required to take these courses. However, each Ph.D. student must meet minimum requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with regard to total credit hours in course work. For each Ph.D. student an individualized program of advanced courses will be organized in consultation with the student's advisory committee and the Program Director. However, some courses are particularly appropriate for students in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Program. Following is a list of electives. * Note that some of the courses are not offered every year. It is recommended that students use the registrar's record to obtain an updated list of electives.

IBS 515r Current Topics in Molecular Genetics 4 Fall
IBS 542 Concepts of Immunology 4 Fall
IBS 556 Principles of Basic Biomedical and Biological Sciences II 6 Spring
IBS 560 Model Genetic Systems 4 Fall
IBS 568 Principles of Anti-infectives 4 Fall
IBS 725 Prokaryotic Gene Expression 6 Spring
IBS 727 Genetics of Bacterial Pathogenicity 6 Spring
(every 3 years)
IBS 742 Regulation of Cell Growth 6 Spring
(every 3 years)
last taught 2011
IBS 777r Annual Reviews of Immunology 2 Fall
MMG 797r Directed Study VC Fall & Spring