Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation — M.S., Ph.D.

Program director
Ubaldo Soto

Associate program director
Mark Johnson

The core curriculum provides a broad background in molecular biology, immunology, and medical microbiology and infectious diseases. Advanced courses allow each student to fully develop an area of interest. Research strengths of the program include: signal transduction in bacteria, molecular genetics of virulence in bacteria, mechanisms of oxidative stress resistance, mechanisms of cell death, cellular and tumor immunology, normal and malignant immune cell development, autoimmunity, chaperonins and protein folding, mechanisms of posttranslational modification, and DNA restriction modification.

The thesis or research Master of Science degree provides training for individuals who will become technicians involved in biomedical research in universities or in the biotechnology industry, as well as medical technologists seeking specialized research training. The non-thesis Master of Science degree provides content appropriate for medical technologists preparing for the specialist in microbiology certification; for secondary teachers seeking advanced training in areas such as molecular biology, immunology, or microbiology; and for students seeking admission to professional schools, such as medicine or dentistry.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to prepare students for careers in independent research as well as teaching in a university, clinical, or biotechnology environment. Doctoral degree students are expected to develop creativity and independence in addition to technical skills.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the biomedical sciences;
  2. Demonstrate subject mastery in molecular, cellular, and integrative aspects of microbiology and immunity/inflammation;
  3. Interpret the current literature in microbiology and immunity/inflammation;
  4. Make original contributions to the body of biomedical knowledge;
  5. Exhibit the principles of scientific and professional ethics;
  6. Demonstrate the process of applying for external funding.*

*This learning outcome is not applicable to M.S. degree students.

A minimum of 45 units is required for the M.S. degree, as detailed in the table below. Two options, a research track and a coursework track, are available. Students must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 3.0. Students must adhere to all University and program policies as published in the Student Handbook, University CATALOG, or "Student Guide." Policies and requirements are subject to change.

Basic science core
IBGS 501Biomedical Communication and Integrity2
IBGS 502Biomedical Information and Statistics2
IBGS 511Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems I6
IBGS 512Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems II6
IBGS 522Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems II Journal Club2
IBGS 523Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems III Journal Club2
Seminars (all required)
IBGS 604Introduction to Integrative Biology Presentation Seminar1
IBGS 605Integrative Biology Presentation Seminar1
IBGS 607Integrated Biomedical Graduate Studies Seminar 11
Religion
REL_ ____Graduate-level religion course (RELE, RELR, or RELT)3
Program specific courses
Choose from the following:9
Introductory Flow Cytometry 3
Introduction to Bioinformatics and Genomics
Medical Microbiology 2
Immunology 3
Physiology and Molecular Genetics of Microbes 2
Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis 2
Special Problems in Microbiology
Independent Study in Microbiology Literature
Degree completion options11
Coursework track:
Electives (Choose 11 additional units from available electives listed below or from program-specific courses above)
Research track:
Elective (3)
Research (5 units)
Thesis (1-3 units)
Total Units45
Available Electives
ANAT 507Stem Cell Biology and Medicine4
BCHM 515Introduction to Bioinformatics2
BCHM 544Advanced Topics in Biochemistry2-4
IBGS 525Translational Research Training2
MICR 537Selected Topics in Molecular Biology 2, 31-3
PHRM 584Drug Metabolism and Biochemical Pharmacology4

Service learning requirement

This requirement may be met by taking IBGS 525 Translational Research Training or a religion course designated as a service learning course. For more information about this requirement and a list of religion courses that fulfill it, see section on academic service learning in this CATALOG.

Noncourse requirements

Coursework track:  a comprehensive written examination over the graduate coursework in lieu of preparing a thesis.

Research track: pass an oral examination given by their graduate guidance committee after the thesis has been completed.

Normal time to complete the program

Two (2) years — based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted

Comparison

See the comparison of the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs.

For the Ph.D. degree, students must complete a minimum of 60 units—as detailed in the table below—and must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 3.0.  Students must adhere to all University and program policies as published in the Student Handbook, University CATALOG, or "Student Guide." Policies and requirements are subject to change.

Basic science core
IBGS 501Biomedical Communication and Integrity2
IBGS 502Biomedical Information and Statistics2
IBGS 503Biomedical Grant Writing2
IBGS 511Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems I6
IBGS 512Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems II6
IBGS 522Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems II Journal Club2
IBGS 523Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems III Journal Club2
Seminars (all required)
IBGS 604Introduction to Integrative Biology Presentation Seminar1
IBGS 605Integrative Biology Presentation Seminar 12
IBGS 607Integrated Biomedical Graduate Studies Seminar 11
Religion
RELE 5__ Must be numbered 500 or above3
RELR 5__ Must be numbered 500 or above3
RELT 5__ Must be numbered 500 or above3
Program specific courses
Choose from the following:12
Introductory Flow Cytometry 3
Introduction to Bioinformatics and Genomics
Medical Microbiology 2
Immunology 3
Physiology and Molecular Genetics of Microbes 2
Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis 2
Special Problems in Microbiology
Independent Study in Microbiology Literature (2-4)
Research
IBGS 696Research Rotations (1)2
MICR 697Research (1-7)12
IBGS 699Dissertation (1-5)2-5
Total Units62
Available Electives
ANAT 507Stem Cell Biology and Medicine4
BCHM 515Introduction to Bioinformatics2
BCHM 544Advanced Topics in Biochemistry2-4
IBGS 525Translational Research Training2
MICR 537Selected Topics in Molecular Biology 2, 31-3
PHRM 584Drug Metabolism and Biochemical Pharmacology4

Service learning requirement

This requirement may be met by taking IBGS 525 Translational Research Training or a religion course designated as a service learning course. For more information about this requirement and a list of religion courses that fulfill it, see section on academic service learning in this CATALOG.

Noncourse requirements

  • Pass both written and oral comprehensive examinations in order to advance to candidacy.
  • Successfully defend the dissertation before their guidance committee prior to being awarded the Ph.D. degree.

Normal time to complete the program

Five (5) years — based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted

Comparison

See the comparison of the M.S. and Ph.D.degree programs.