• A
  • A
  • A

Curriculum

First-year students rotate in three laboratories of their choice during the first and second semesters of year one (HBM 509/510 Experimental Molecular Genetics and Microbiology) with the option to rotate in an additional laboratory during the summer. At the end of year one, students join a laboratory in which they will conduct their dissertation research.


First Year

Fall Semester

HBM 503 Molecular Genetics
Introduces the classical work and current developments in lower and higher genetic systems. Covers gene structure and regulation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, mutational analysis and mapping, transposable elements, and biological DNA transfer mechanisms. Bacteriophage as well as lower and higher eukaryotic systems are used to illustrate aspects of molecular genetic structure and function.
MCB 520 Graduate Biochemistry I
Several topics in modern biochemistry are treated at an advanced level. Topics covered will include protein structure, enzyme kinetics and mechanisms, and enzyme regulation.
HBM 509 Experimental Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
An introduction to modern research in molecular genetics and microbiology. The selection of laboritories is made in consultation with the student's advisory committee. By taking part in ongoing projects the student will learn experimental produres and techniques and become acquainted with research opportunities in the department.
MCB 517 Biomembranes (elective)
Examines the molecular architecture of membranes; the organization, functions, and assembly of lipids and proteins in biological membranes.
HBM 690 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
A weekly meeting devoted to current work performed by students in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program.
BSB 515 Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology (elective)
A short course that introduces programming in R with emphasis on the use of R for graphing, plotting and statistical analysis.

Spring Semester

MCB 656 Cell Biology
Introduction to the structural and functional organization of cells and tissues and to the way structure relates to function. Particular emphasis is placed on nuclear and chromosomal structure, signal transduction, protein translocation, the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. The interaction of cellular structures and components and their regulation is stressed as is the organization and interaction of cells in tissues. The course is comparative and includes examples of cells and tissues from vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and prokaryotic systems.
HBM 692 Experimental Methods in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Students are introduced to the theory behind a variety of experimental methods used in modern molecular genetics laboratories through a series of formal lectures given by faculty in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program as well as faculty from other biomedical graduate programs at Stony Brook University. Journal club-style classes alternate with these lectures in which the applications of these experimental methods are explored through discussions of papers from the literature.
HBM 510 Experimental Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
An introduction to modern research in molecular genetics and microbiology. The selection of laboratories is made in consultation with the student's advisory committee. By taking part in ongoing projects the student will learn experimental procedures and techniques and become acquainted with research opportunities in the department.
HBM 690 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
A weekly meeting devoted to current work performed by students in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program.
GRD 500 Integrity in Science
This short course is designed to introduce students to the major issues in the ethics of science and research. Using a combination of readings - written and web-based - videos, lectures, case discussion and other exercises, students will investigate the moral values intrinsic to science and the professional and social values with which scientists must comply. Each class will begin with an introductory lecture followed by discipline-based, small group discussions designed and managed by faculty from the department or program from which the graduate students come.
HBM 522 Biology of Cancer
A course on the biology of cancer with the emphasis on cancer as a disease of man. Lectures address human cancer as seen by the clinician and as basic research relates to human diseases. This course provides students with a link between courses in cell and molecular biology and the application of this basic information to tumor management.

Second Year

Fall Semester

HBM 640 Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
This course covers the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of a selected group of very important viral and bacterial pathogens. While much of the course is taught by MGM faculty, a significant portion of the material is presented by invited lecturers who are leaders in their fields. Rather than present a "bug parade," the course focuses on principles of microbial pathogenesis as illustrated by the best understood viral and bacterial pathogens. The course is directed to graduate students, post-doctoral and medical fellows, and advanced medical students who are contemplating careers in infectious disease research.
HBM 533 Immunology
Principles of immunology for graduate students in the biological sciences, including definition of antigens and antibodies, specificity of the immune response, immunoglobulin structure, the genetics of immunoglobulin synthesis, cellular cooperation in the immune response, hypersensitivity, tolerance immunogenetics.
HBM 599 Graduate Research in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Original investigations under faculty supervision.
HBM 690 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
A weekly meeting devoted to current work performed by students in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program.
HBM 691 Readings in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Literature
Readings in microbiology literature covering areas of molecular biology and genetics.

Spring Semester

HBM 599 Graduate Research in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Original investigations under faculty supervision.
HBM 690 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
A weekly meeting devoted to current work performed by students in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program.
HBM 693 Research Proposal Preparation in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
A course, based upon the literature in molecular genetics and microbiology, to instruct students in scientific writing and the preparation of research proposals. The course will be organized in three parts. In the first section of the course, students will become familiar with the components of the research proposal and will read and evaluate proposals written by the training faculty. Lectures given by the course co-directors will cover the basics of scientific writing, research proposal preparation and the problems and concerns commonly voiced by reviewers of research proposals. In the second section, students will develop two short proposals in the area of molecular genetics and microbiology that are unrelated to their graduate research. One of these short proposals will be selected for development into a full proposal. In the third section, students will develop and write the full proposal. The students’ skills in proposal preparation will be enhanced by critiquing the short and full proposals presented by other students in the second and third sections of the course.

Third Year and on (before advancement to candidacy)

HBM 599 Graduate Research in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Original investigations under faculty supervision.
HBM 690 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
A weekly meeting devoted to current work performed by students in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program.
HBM 695 Advanced Readings in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (elective)
A seminar in changing topics in molecular genetics and microbiology such as virology, bacteriology, cancer biology, vaccines, drug discovery, mycology and parasitology.

Years 3 and on (after advancement to candidacy)

HBM 699 Dissertation Research in Microbiology
For the student who has advanced to candidacy. Original research will be under the supervision of the dissertation advisor and advisory committee.
HBM 690 Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Seminar
A weekly meeting devoted to current work performed by students in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Graduate Program.
HBM 695 Advanced Readings in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (elective)
A seminar in changing topics in molecular genetics and microbiology such as virology, bacteriology, cancer biology, vaccines, drug discovery, mycology and parasitology.
BME 509 Fundamentals of the Bioscience Industry (elective)
A 4-module course set up to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the complexities of the bioscience business environment. Registration in BME 509 is by permission of the Graduate Program Director.
JRN 501 Communicating Science: Distilling Your Message (elective)
Current and future scientists and health professionals will learn to communicate clearly and engagingly with different kinds of audiences, at different levels of complexity, using different forms. We'll examine the basics of clear, two-way communication, including knowing and being responsive to your audience, overcoming "the curse of knowledge," having a point, avoiding jargon, using storytelling techniques, being personal, asking questions, and introducing complexity in stages. Students will start by crafting a short, controversial statement about their work and why it matters. We'll expand that to a longer statement, convert it into a brief piece of writing, such as a letter to the editor or a blog post, practice answering questions about it from the public and from the media, plan a public presentation, and learn to apply these skills in the classroom. Skills learned in this course can help scientists and health professionals communicate more effectively with students, potential employers or funders, public officials, family and friends, the press, and colleagues in other disciplines.

JRN501, JRN502, and JRN503 are 1-credit modules, each lasting four or five weeks. Students may take all three consecutively in one semester or may take only one or two offerings. Fall, Spring, and Summer, 1 credit, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
JRN 502 Communicating Science: Writing for the Public (elective)
Students will practice writing about science and health material clearly and vividly, and in ways non-scientists can understand. They will learn to use analogies, examples and metaphors to illuminate unfamiliar concepts, practice using numbers clearly and translating statistics into conversational English, learn about scientific terms and concepts that are commonly misunderstood by the public. They will learn to introduce complexity gradually, to avoid overwhelming the reader while not "dumbing down" their material. Students will learn to write for different formats, including blogs, letters to the editor or to funders, and op-eds or commentary pieces.

JRN501, JRN502, and JRN503 are 1-credit modules, each lasting four or five weeks. Students may take all three consecutively in one semester or may take only one or two offerings.
Fall, Spring, and Summer, 1 credit, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
JRN 503 Communicating Science: Improvisation for Scientists (elective)
This innovative course uses improvisational theater techniques to help students speak more spontaneously and connect more directly and responsively with their audience and with each other. After warm-up exercises, emphasizing physical freedom and verbal spontaneity, students take part in two- and three-person exercises and situational improvisations that focus on paying attention to your listeners, and altering your approach to meet their needs. At the beginning and end of this course, students will deliver a short oral statement about their research or a scientific topic that interests them, so they can measure their progress. This course is not about acting; it's about helping current and future scientists and health professionals connect with their audiences. Science graduate students who had several sessions of improvisation training in a pilot session reported communicating better as teachers, researchers, students, and family members. A glimpse of the process can be seen in a short video on the web page of Stony Brook's Center for Communicating Science: www.stonybrook.edu/journalism/science.

JRN501, JRN502, and JRN503 are 1-credit modules, each lasting four or five weeks. Students may take all three consecutively in one semester or may take only one or two offerings. Fall, Spring, and Summer, 1 credit, S/U grading
JRN 504 Communicating Science: Using Digital Media (elective)
Science and health information increasingly travels by digital media, as new ways emerge for scientists to communicate directly with the public, without the intermediaries of press or public relations. Students will learn how to use blogs, podcasts, Twitter and other forms of social media for two-way communication with different segments of the public, including colleagues in other disciplines. The course will include hands-on instruction in working with digital media, tailored to students' interests and levels of experience.

Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer, 1 credit, S/U grading
May be repeated 2 times for credit.
JRN 505 Communicating Science: Connecting with the Community (elective)
Students will learn how to use communication techniques, cultural competency, and health literacy concepts to reach and mobilize the community and key stakeholders on health- and science-related issues related to their research, outreach or community education objectives. The course will incorporate role-playing and community networking skills to help students make connections with key people and groups relevant to their current interests and work. This will require contact with the instructor before the start of the course to discuss students' projects, plans or interests.

Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer, 1 credit, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)
May be repeated 2 times for credit.
JRN 506 Communicating Science: Advanced Writing for the Public (elective)
This course is for graduate students in the sciences who have taken JRN 502, Communicating Science: Writing To Be Understood, and want to continue developing and practicing their ability to write about science clearly and vividly for non-expert readers.

Offered Spring, 1 credit, S/U grading
May be repeated for credit.
GRD 520 Introduction to Science Policy for STEM (elective).
This elective course, offered by the Department of Technology & Society, introduces students to major concepts in science, technology, and innovation policy.

Offered Spring, 0-1 credits, S/U grading
May be repeated for credit.