Classes

The degree requirements for the MCB Ph.D. degree are:

Molecular and Cellular Biology Track

MCB 572A - Cell Systems: consists of topics and an unusual and very interactive format, capturing the feeling of science as well as its content. The topics emphasize how systems work, be it in MAP kinase pathways, actin induced motility, cell cycle changes, evolution from mutation and selection, and more. We look for the Big Picture in each topic; map kinase cascades are not just three proteins signaling, but a network conferring a dose-response that dampens noise and sharpens commitment. We emphasize being able to read and summarize in a large way and work in small groups to figure out what you can't figure out yourself. The format replicates the way we think and interact; very few lectures, rather mostly reading and discussing papers in small and then larger groups. You Read, you think, you talk, you listen, you question, you discover. No question is dumb. You get good at communication and figuring out what you don't know, and Ask! Communication is what modern day biology is increasingly about. Modeling? We touch on it, get you comfortable with it.

MCB 546 - Genetic & Molecular Networks:  is an advanced course intended for beginning graduate students. Its focus is on cutting-edge genetic, molecular, and computational modeling approaches that are helping scientists reveal the fascinating nature of biological networks that govern cell function in multiple contexts.  The mechanisms and regulation of basic cellular processes involving nucleic acids (synthesis, structure, maintenance and transmission) and proteins (synthesis, maturation, transport, function) and the integration of those processes into more complex circuits (signaling, organelle function, cell cycle control, cell-to-cell communication, and cell migration) will be presented through study and interactive discussion of exceptional papers in the field.  Expected outcomes of the course include a high-level understanding of biological networks and cellular biology, coupled with improved problem solving, communication, critical- and creative-thinking skills.

MCB 695E - Science, Society & Ethics: Practical colloquium focusing on ethical issues raised in the research laboratory setting.

MCB 575 - Scientific Communication: Take in year two, to prepare for qualifying examinations.

MCB 585 - Multidisciplinary Approaches to Solving Biological Problems: Take in year two. Students explore the integration of classic and modern approaches to biological problem solving through a critical and integrated analysis of existing research and through active learning exercises based on hypothesis-building and testing at the edges of current knowledge.

Plus one course: BIOC 585 (A & B) - Biological Structure; BIOC 555 - Methods of Physical Biochemistry; ECOL 553 - Functional and Evolutionary Genomics; PHYS 531 - Molecular Biophysics; one course from other BMCB track; Other specialized electives

We also offer a science education focus within the MCB track.

Biochemistry Track

BIOC 565 - Proteins & Enzymes:  Advanced consideration of enzyme structure and function.

BIOC 568 - Nucleic Acids, Metabolism and Signaling:  Fundamental principles of nucleic acid and metabolic biochemistry including signaling and regulatory systems as applied to model organisms of central importance.  This course is designed for students pursuing a graduate degree in biochemistry or related chemistry or biology disciplines.

MCB 695E - Science, Society & Ethics: Practical colloquium focusing on ethical issues raised in the research laboratory setting.

Plus one course: BIOC 585 (A & B) - Biological Structure; BIOC 555 - Methods of Physical Biochemistry; ECOL 553 - Functional and Evolutionary Genomics; PHYS 531 - Molecular Biophysics; one course from other BMCB track; Other specialized electives

Computational Track

In addition to the MCB or BIOC requirements listed above, choose two of the following:

MCB 516A - Statistical Bioinformatics & Genomic Analysis:  The course introduces statistical methods and algorithms for analysis of high-throughput experiments in molecular biology using analysis of gene expression microarrays as a leading example. The course provides hands-on experience with data analysis, critical review of literature and communication of the results. Graduate-level requirement include a research project, written report, and a class presentation.

MCB 580 - Intro to Systems Biology:  The proteins in a cell are organized into networks and circuits that act to process information and control cell activity. In this course we will explore the structure and function of these circuits discussion through of the relevant literature and by building and testing mathematical models of simple/toy circuits. Emphasis will be placed on key concepts such as hysteresis, ultrasensitivity, adaptation, robustness and noise propagation.  Graduate-level requirements include more complex independent projects and a formal presentation to the class.

PSIO 572 - Quantitative Modeling of Biological Systems:  Techniques for development of mathematical models.  Examples of molecular, cellular, and tissue level processes are considered. Underlying mathematical and biological concepts are introduced as needed.  Graduate-level requirements include in addition to the homework and examination requirements, development of a mathematical model on a topic chosen in consultation with the instruction, to write a written report, and to make a short oral presentation on their work in class. The performance on this project will form part of the grade.