New advances in our understanding of biological function can be expected from a synthesis of molecular genetics, biochemistry, and insights gained from molecular structural information. Individuals with a quantitative, physical approach will be best placed to be innovators in the field. Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics programs complement more traditional graduate programs in biology, chemistry and physics by offering an integrated, molecular-based approach to understanding biological problems, taking insights from all three disciplines.
A major focus of the program is on biophysical approaches to determining the structure of macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies. Faculty advisers are chosen from any of the participating departmental faculty regardless of their affiliation to a particular discipline; a particular strength of the participating faculty is structural studies. Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics students will have access to state-of-the-art x-ray facilities at the nearby Advanced Photon Source, currently one of the most intense x-ray sources in the world.
Along with the required coursework listed below, students will be required to complete a comprehensive exam. Students also must complete a thesis or a library research project.
The thesis option is designed for individuals planning careers as experimental biologists, including those who may wish to pursue a Ph.D. This option is available on a competitive basis. Students choosing the thesis option must complete six credit hours of thesis research. Students must also prepare a written thesis based on laboratory research.
The non-thesis option is intended as a degree to meet the needs of teachers, science administrators, policy makers in the life sciences, patent attorneys and others. Students who elect the non-thesis option must complete a library research project in BIOL 572, Literature in Biochemistry.
Required Courses (22 hours):
Additional Requirements (7 hours):
|BIOL 595 Biology Colloquium|
|BIOL 591 Research; or BIOL 572 Literature in Biochemistry and one additional elective; orBIOL 522 Research Techniques in Biological Sciences and BIOL 597 Special Projects|
Elective Courses (3 hours):
|BIOL 410 Medical Microbiology|
|BIOL 426 Cancer Biology|
|BIOL 430 Animal Physiology|
|BIOL 503 Virology|
|BIOL 514 Toxicology|
|BIOL 520 Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory|
|BIOL 526 Developmental Biology|
|BIOL 527 Immunology and Immunochemistry|
|BIOL 539 Advanced Cell Biology Laboratory|
|BIOL 542 Advanced Microbiology|
|BIOL 545 Advanced Cell Biology|
|BIOL 550 Bioinformatics|
|BIOL 562 Functional Genomics|
|BIOL 580 Rotation in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics|
The elective is chosen in consultation with an academic advisor. Research for the dissertation must be carried out under the direct supervision of a participating faculty member; the faculty research adviser also acts as the candidate's academic adviser.