Program in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Program Director: Dr. Richard Baker
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Homepage
Molecular Genetics & Microbiology boasts:
- research focused on the pathogenesis of infectious disease, host defense mechanisms and fundamental cellular controls;
- nationally and internationally known investigators who exploit classic, molecular and genomic approaches in a variety of model systems; and
- the interdisciplinary Bacterial Genetics and Pathogenesis Group, interested in basic biological processes in bacteria and the molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis
The Program in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology (MGM) offers research training in fundamental cellular and molecular biology with an emphasis on the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Students entering the program are introduced to microbial pathogenesis in the program’s core course, Infection and Immune Response, which focuses on the mammalian immune system, and the bacterial and viral pathogens that have shaped it. Students then specialize in one or more of the following subject areas: bacterial or viral pathogenesis; immunology; or, basic cell/molecular biology. Each of these tracks of study is supported by highly interactive advanced topics classes and is represented by a core group of the research faculty. Students are kept up to date with current scientific advances through journal clubs and a weekly seminar series, which attracts distinguished speakers from around the world. The student’s ability to evaluate and present their own work is fostered in a weekly intradepartmental seminar series. Together, these activities are designed to prepare the student to conduct an independent research program and to teach cellular and molecular biology at the highest level.
All MGM students are required to take the program’s introductory advanced topics course, Infection and Immune Response, and a second GSBS advanced topics course. Students will select the second course according to their needs and background, in consultation with the graduate advisor and/or research advisor. Students in their second year are required to participate in a journal club or regular lab meeting at which they give an oral presentation, while students in the third year and beyond must give a yearly research presentation in the internal seminar program. For the qualifying examination, normally taken during the spring semester of the second year, students write and orally defend a research proposal on a topic related to their thesis research or other topic of interest.