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PhD Curriculum

Semester 1 (Fall)

Mechanisms in Biomedical Sciences:

From Genes to Disease GPLS601-603

Semester 2 (Spring)

Principles of Microbial Pathogenesis GPLS 710 (3 credits)

Course Directors – Mark Shirtliff, Bob Ernst and John Sacci  

This course is intended to provide a groundwork in basic principles of, and research approaches to, microbial (bacterial and parasite) pathogenesis, including adherence, toxins, secretion mechanisms, immune evasion, genetics and evolution, gene discovery, genomics and proteomics, and host-pathogen interactions. This course is based on a combination of lectures and discussion of the current research literature, and requires student presentations, 2 exams, and participation in class discussions of assigned research papers.

Basic Immunology GPLS 702 (3 credits)

Course Director – Martin Flajnik  

This course introduces basic concepts of immunity and the immune system, including evolutionary and comparative studies, specific and nonspecific immunity, the biology of T and B lymphocytes, the genetics of the antigen-receptor and MHC loci, immunochemistry, and the role and action of cytokines. The course is lecture-oriented, but student presentations and research paper discussions are also required.

Semester 3 (Fall)

Principles of Virology GPLS 704 (3 credits)

Course Director – Ricardo Feldman  

This course serves as an introduction to the general field of virology with a concentration on pathogenesis, molecular biology and immunology of select, medically important viruses. Lecture material is drawn from both the classical and current literature. Students actively participate in and lead discussions based on assigned readings and problem sets.

Required Elective Course (3 credits)

Second year students are required to choose an additional course that is most appropriate for their future area of thesis research study. Possible courses include:

  • GPLS 769 Advanced Immunology (3 credits)
  • GPLS 725 Advanced Microbial Pathogenesis (3 credits)
  • GPLS 719 Advanced Parasitology (3 credits)
  • GPLS 616 Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction  (3 credits)

Additional courses offered by other GPILS programs may also be considered if appropriate to the student’s research goals.  

Disclaimer: This website is not a contract and all information is subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of the Program. 

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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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