Graduate Course Descriptions

All Graduate courses in Microbiology and Cell Science are Departmentally controlled. Microbiology Graduate majors must submit registration requests to the MCS Graduate Advisor. All other students must receive instructor permission via email before seeking registration from the MCS Graduate Advisor.

Traditional Full-Semester Microbiology and Cell Science Graduate Courses

Course Number Course Name Instructor Course Description Credits Semester
BSC 6459 Fundamentals of Bioinformatics Valerie de Crecy-Lagard 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. 3 Fall
MCB 5205 Microbiology of Human Pathogens

Kelly Rice &

Mariola Edelmann

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.
3 Fall
MCB 5252 Microbiology, Immunology, and Immuno-therapeutics Karim Asghari 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.
4 Spring,        Summer A
MCB 5505 General Virology Melissa Jones 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.
3 Spring
MCB 6905 Experimental Microbiology Varies Individual laboratory study. Microbiology majors only. Var Fall, Spring, Summer A/C
MCB 6930 Seminar Varies Non-MCS majors must contact the MCS Graduate Advsior for permission to take this course for credit.
All Microbiology and Cell Science Ph.D. students are required to participate in the department’s seminar course each semester (fall and spring). The seminar schedule is posted each semester on the departmental website, and takes place in the MCS Seminar room every Monday at 4:00 PM.
1 Fall, Spring
MCB 6940 Supervised Teaching Varies Reserved for Microbiology and Cell Science PhD Students. Possible courses include MCB 2000L, MCB 3020L, MCB 3023L, and MCB 4034L. For questions about teaching responsibilities, contact the MCS Undergraduate Coordinator for more information. Var Fall, Spring, Summer A/C
MCB 6940 Career Seminar Bryan Korithoski This course is intended to benefit students making career decisions and organizing their academic credentials to support these decisions. The class will be taught as a lecture/presentation and discussion/activity/hands-on course with emphasis on exploring a wide variety of career opportunities in academia, industry, and alternative professions for (micro)biology majors and related fields. 1 Fall, Spring, Summer A
MCB 6781 Extremophiles Julie Maupin-Furlow Prereq: CHM 2211 (C) & (MCB 3020 or 3023) (C) & (MCB 3020L or 3023L) (C).
Students will learn about the evolution, physiology, and molecular biology of Archaea including extremophiles. Principles of energy production and biosynthesis will be examined in aerobic and anaerobic habitats. Research that incorporates cutting-edge techniques and biotechnology applications for using archaea to solve real world problems will also be explored.
3 Fall
MCB 6937 Advanced Bacterial Genetics Nemat Keyhani Prereq: MCB 3020/3023, & MCB 3020L/3023L with minimum grade of C; Recommended: BCH 4024
Molecular Genetics; transcription, translation, replication, organization and regulation of genes, gene transfer, mutations and DNA repair, plasmids, phages, chromosome structure and function.
3 Fall
MCB 6937 Bacterial Physiology Julie Maupin Prereq: CHM 2211, MCB 3020/3023, & MCB 3020L/3023L w/ minimum grades of C; Recommended: BCH 4024
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.
3 Fall
MCB 6937 Basic Biology of Microorganisms Karim Asghari Course limited to Online M.S. Intro Track Students: contact the MCS Graduate Advisor for more Information
Structure, nutrition and growth of microorganisms; characterization of representative microorganisms and viruses; metabolic properties and introduction to microbial genetics, immunology and pathogenesis of microorganisms.
3 Fall, Spring, Summer A
MCB 6937 Human Genomics Jennifer Drew Two semesters of college biology or equivalent, M.S. or Ph.D. student in a life sciences program
Increasingly, researchers and health care providers are mining the genome to uncover the basis of disease susceptibility and treatment. Genome-based strategies are used for the detection, treatment, and prevention of many diseases. This course will discuss the field of genomics, how genome sequence data is obtained and analyzed, and most importantly, what can be learned from an individual’s genome. The course will address cutting-edge research in epigenetics, pharmacogenomics, molecular diagnostics, and the microbiome. The course will also include timely topics such as GMO’s, stem cells, genetic testing and genome editing. This course will reinforce fundamental concepts in molecular biology and genetics.
3 Fall
MCB 6937 Microbial Applications of Synthetic Biology Chris Reisch MCB 3020 or 3023 with a grade of C or better.  An undergraduate course in biochemistry is recommended.
This course will introduce the concept of synthetic biology, which is loosely defined as the construction and reconstruction of biological systems, and its practical applications in research and industry.  Advanced molecular biology tools for DNA assembly, the construction of biological pathways and circuits, genome editing, and strategies for transcriptional control will be examined in the course.
3 Fall
MCB 6151 Prokaryotic Diversity Brent Christner MCB 3020 or MCB 3023 with minimum grades of C.
This course is an introduction to the diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Discussions will provide a conceptual and historical framework for understanding their 1) origin and evolution; 2) morphological, metabolic, and molecular characteristics; 3) genetic and physiological diversity; 4) importance in human/animal/plant health; and 5) roles in elemental cycling.
3 Summer C
MCB 6937 Molecular Genetics William Gurley This course will discuss the synthesis and manipulation of DNA and the principles of gene expression at the molecular level in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The topics covered will include an introduction to the concepts of DNA replication, repair and packaging of the genome into chromosomes. In preparation for this course, you should have an understanding of basic college level introductory biology and it is recommended to have at least one other more specialized biology course such as Microbiology, Botany, Zoology, Genetics or Biochemistry. 3 Spring,    Summer C
MCB 6937 Post-translational Modifications in Microbiology Mariola Edelmann Prereq: CHM 2211 (C) & (MCB 3020 or 3023) (C) & (MCB 3020L or 3023L) (C).
Students will learn about post-translational modifications (PTMs) in microbiology. Topics will include: i) the different types, functions, and mechanisms of PTM, ii) the methods used to identify PTMs, and iii) the impact PTMs have on cell biology, human health, and biotechnology.
2 Summer C
MCB 7922 Journal Colloquy Varies Critical presentation and discussion of recent original articles in the microbiological literature. Participation required. Students should contact the MCS Graduate Advisor for assistance in choosing a faculty member’s Journal Colloquy section. Most MCS Faculty teach a section of this course related to their area of research. 1 Fall, Spring
MCB 7979 Advanced Research Varies 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. var Fall, Spring, Summer A/C
MCB 7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation Varies Research for doctoral students after admission to candidacy. Must be taken in the semester prior to graduation. var Fall, Spring, Summer A/C
PCB 5235 Immunology Joe Larkin 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.
3 Spring

Off-Calendar Microbiology and Cell Science Module Courses

Course Number Course Name Instructor Course Description Credits Semester
MCB 6317 Molecular Biology of Gene Expression William Gurley & Nemat Keyahni 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. 1 Fall
MCB 6318 Comparative Microbial Genomics Valerie de Crecy-Lagard 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)
2 Spring
MCB 6355 Microbial/Host Defense Joe Larkin & Nian Wang 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.
1 Spring
MCB 6417 Microbial Metabolism and Energetics Julie Maupin-Furlow & Claudio Gonzalez 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.
1 Fall
MCB 6457 Metabolic Regulation Tony Romeo & Wayne Nicholson 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.
1 Spring
MCB 6772 Advanced Topics in Cell Biology Peter Kima and Zhonlin Mou 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. 1 Spring