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Program of Study

The Program in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology offers a structured 5-year inter-disciplinary program leading to the Ph.D. degree and is designed to provide training in immunology, bacteriology, virology, parasitology, fungal pathogenesis, and microbial genomics, as well as cellular and molecular biology. The aim of the program is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching, as well as other leadership positions in science

The required core curriculum includes an introductory course in molecular and cell biology and biochemistry, and specialty courses in immunology, microbial pathogenesis and virology. Students may elect additional advanced courses in their particular areas of interest and, in keeping with the standards of the UMB Graduate School, they must complete a minimum of 38 semester hours of course work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. During the first three semesters, a series of laboratory rotations familiarizes students with faculty research interests and sharpens their independent benchtop laboratory skills. Following completion of the core curriculum in the third semester of study, students must pass a comprehensive examination prior to admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Upon the successful completion of the qualifying examination, students are accepted into the laboratory of a faculty adviser and begin dissertation research. By the end of the third year in the program, students must present and defend their research proposal to a thesis committee. Completion of the Ph.D. program, including the final thesis defense, usually requires five years. Throughout the period of study in the program, various seminar series and journal clubs provide opportunities for students to keep abreast of current work and thinking in the field.

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Research Spotlight:

UM SOM Researchers Unravel Mechanism That Plays Key Role in Sexual Differentiation of Brain

McCarthyDuring prenatal development, the brains of most animals, including humans, develop specifically male or female characteristics. In most species, some portions of male and female brains are a different size, and often have a different number of neurons and synapses. However, scientists have known little about the details of how this differentiation occurs. Now, a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has illuminated some details about how this occurs.‌


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