Graduate Course Descriptions

Please contact the department’s Graduate Advisor, Jonathan Orsini, by email or by phone at 352-846-1330 if you have questions regarding Microbiology and Cell Science Graduate Courses.

BSC 6459 Fundamentals in Bioinformatics (Fall) Credits: 2

Introduction to the basic bioinformatics tools used in computational biology for life science research.  The course will use web-based resources that analyze gene and protein sequences as pertinent data examples. (Dr. Valerie de Crecy-Lagard)


MCB 5205 Microbiology of Human Pathogens (Fall) Credits: 3; Prereq: MCB 3020 or MCB 3023 and Instructor Permission;
Surveying advanced topics and current scientific literature related to human host-pathogen interactions and microbial pathogenesis, focusing on emerging bacterial and viral pathogens as agents of human disease, biosecurity, molecular identification methods, spread of multi-drug resistance among bacterial pathogens, drug discovery and alternative treatment research. (Dr. Kelly Rice)


MCB 5252 Microbiology, Immunology, and Immunotherapeutics (Spring) Credits: 4; Prereq: CHM 2210, CHM 2211, and consent of instructor;
This course will provide a basic understanding of microbial structure and function with regards to their role in pathogenesis and infection. General principles of pathogenesis and infection will be discussed. The course will examine the mechanism of microbial diseases, modes of entry, circumventing host defense system, and transmission. The role of immune system in defending the host against infection, and what happens when it breaks down will be examined. Both specific and non-specific defense mechanisms will be discussed. General therapeutic principles and mechanisms of bacterial resistance to anti-microbial drugs will be covered. The discussion regarding anti-microbial agents will be limited, but will include: class, mode of action of antimicrobial agents. At the end of the term students should have good understanding of the infectious diseases, their causative agents, available treatments, and preventive measures against them. The students will also have a feeling for the immune system and its role in preventing and warding off the microbial infection.  (Dr. Karim Asghari)


MCB 5505 General Virology (Spring) Credits: 3; Prereq: MCB 3020/3020L or MCB 3023/3023L with grade of C or higher;
This course is for beginning graduate and honor students in microbiology and related disciplines. The course teaches basic information on families of viruses from humans, plants, insects, animals and bacteria. Lectures cover the basic information of the medical, clinical, diagnostic, biotechnological, and molecular aspects of these viruses. (Dr. James Maruniak)


MCB 6317 Molecular Biology of Gene Expression (Fall) Credits: 1

Synthesis, processing, transport, and translation of RNA in microorganisms and eukaryotes. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression will be the main topic; however, a review of the general mechanisms of eukaryotic gene activation and repression will also be covered. (Dr. William Gurley and Dr. Nemat Keyhani)

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM – October 1, 2015 to October 27, 2015 (8 meetings) (If there is a break after the first period, the class extends to 10:15 AM) Room 1054, MCS Building


MCB 6318 Comparative Microbial Genomics (Fall) Credits: 1 Prereq: PCB 4522 Molecular Genetics and BSC4942 or BSC6459 

Methods to allow experimental scientists lacking computer programming skills to efficiently use the genomic and post-genomic data that is freely available over the web. Examples will be mainly taken from the field of microbial metabolism and regulation. (Dr. Valerie de Crecy-Lagard and Dr. Graciela Lorca)

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM – November 5, 2015 to December 3, 2015 (8 meetings) off on Nov 26th for Thanksgiving (If there is a break after the first period, the class extends to 9:15 AM) Room 1054, MCS Building


MCB 6355 Microbial/Host Defense (Spring) Credits: 1; Prereq: MCB 4203 and PCB 5235: Immunology or equivalents, with the minimum grade of a C.      

Principles of bacterial virulence, host defense to microbial invasion and host-microbe interactions will be examined in a context of molecular and cellular biology involving both plants and animals. Current scientific research that incorporates these principles will also be discussed. (Dr. Joseph Larkin and Dr. Nian Wang)


MCB 6417 Microbial Metabolism and Energetics (Fall) Credits: 1; Prereq: MCB 4403 and BCH 4024 or CHM 3218 or equivalent.      

Principles of energy and biosynthetic metabolism in aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Current biotechnology which incorporates these principles. (Dr. Claudio Gonzalez and Dr. Julie Maupin-Furlow)

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM – August 27, 2015 to September 22, 2015 (8 meetings) (If there is a break after the first period, the class extends to 10:15 AM) Room 1054, MCS Building

Syllabus – Coming Soon

MCB 6457 Metabolic Regulation (Spring) Credits: 1; Prereq: MCB 4403 and BCH 4024 or CHM 3218 or equivalent.      

Environmental sensing and mechanisms of microbial response. Molecular signaling, regulation of genetic information at posttranscriptional and transcriptional levels, effects on metabolism and physiology. (Dr. Wayne Nicholson and Dr. Tony Romeo)


MCB 6465 Microbial Metabolic Engineering (Spring) Credits: 1; Prereq: MCB 4403 and BCH 4024 or CHM 3218 or equivalent.      

Principles of anaerobic fermentation and its role in production of fuels and chemicals from various feedstocks including lignocellulosic biomass. Evaluation of methods of depolymerization of complex carbohydrate feedstocks to simple sugars for fermentation. (Dr. James Preston III and Dr. K. T. Shanmugam)

Syllabus – Coming Soon


MCB 6772 Advanced Topics in Cell Biology (Spring) Credits: 1

Specific topics about cell structure and function published in recent journal articles and reviews with microbiological interest will be considered in a comparative discussion of animal and plant systems. Spring 2015 Topic (for example): We will discuss how cell surface receptors were discovered and how they are involved in transferring extracellular signals. The role of cell surface receptors in host-microbe interactions will be the focus of this semester. (Dr. Peter Kima and Dr. Zhonglin Mou)


MCB 6905 Experimental Microbiology (Fall, Spring, Sum A/C) Credits: 1-8; Max: 12; Prereq: eight credits in microbiology and cell science.      

Application of physical, chemical and biological techniques to experimental problems in microbiology. Individual laboratory study. (Dr. Tony Romeo)

MCB 6930 Seminar (Fall, Spring) Credits: 1; Max: 8

Attendance required of all graduate majors at all weekly research presentations.

MCB 6937 – Special Topics – Molecular Genetics (Fall, Spring, Summer A) Credits: 3

Molecular Genetics; transcription, translation, replication, gene regulation, RNA structure and function, chromosome structure and function, prokaryotic/eukaryotic (and human) molecular genetics and evolution.

MCB4304/MCB6937 Genetics of Microorganisms/Molecular Genetics-Dr. Nemat Keyhani


PCB4522/MCB3967 Molecular Genetics-Dr. William Gurley


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MCB 6937 – Special Topics – Prokaryotic Cell Structure and Function (Fall) Credits: 3

This course explores the structure and physiology of bacterial cells. The principles of energy and biosynthetic metabolism will be examined in aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Several current research topics in microbiology will also be covered including quorum sensing, proteases, chaperones, and microbes in extreme environments. Topics in microbial biotechnology will be discussed such as improvements in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals and bioremediation. (Dr. Julie Maupin-Furlow)


MCB 6940 Supervised Teaching (Fall, Spring, Sum A,B,C) Credits: 1-5; Max 5

All doctoral students are required to complete at least two teaching rotations (one for MS) in Microbiology and Cell Science. Possible courses include MCB 2000L, MCB 3020L, MCB 3023L, and MCB 4034L.

MCB 6971 Research for Master’s Thesis (Fall, Spring, Sum A/C) Credits (1-15) Note: Only 6 credits may count towards degree requirements for graduation

Research for Master’s students. A minimum of 3 credits must be taken in the semester prior to graduation.

MCB 7922 Journal Colloquy (Fall, Spring) Credits: 1; Max 8

Critical presentation and discussion of recent original articles in the microbiological literature. Participation required.

MCB 7979 Advanced Research

Research for doctoral students before admission to candidacy. Designed for students with a master’s degree in the field of study or for students who have been accepted for a doctoral program. Not appropriate for students who have been admitted to candidacy.

MCB 7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation

Research for doctoral students after admission to candidacy. Must be taken in the semester prior to graduation.

PCB 5235 Immunology. S. Credits: 3; Prereq: C grade or higher in MCB 3023L.
PCB 5235 is a comprehensive course in basic immunology designed for graduate students. Emphasis will be placed on fundamental aspects of immunology, and its application to real-world immunological research and concerns. Upon successful completion of the course, students will have a solid immunological information foundation suitable for future educational endeavors in the areas of biomedical research, or human/veterinary clinical applications. In addition, students will have a fundamental understanding of basic immunological experimental design. Student assessments in PCB 5235 will focus heavily on immunological facts, concepts, and problem solving based on the application of concepts. PCB 5235 will be co-taught with PCB 4233. (Dr. Joseph Larkin)