http://bm.med.miami.edu/

Overview

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are sciences at the epicenter of modern biomedical research. Understanding basic biochemical pathways is key to gaining new knowledge for the prevention and combating of disease, allowing for the expansion of current boundaries in medicine and science.  In addition to medical applications, molecular biology is indispensable for the development of tools implemented for environmental and bionanotechnology problems. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) at the University of Miami is committed to maintaining our discipline as a central science and strives for excellence by sustaining the current areas of strength, fostering interdisciplinary and clinical translational research, and expanding the research portfolio to evolving areas of inquiry and discovery. Our expertise in RNA biology, understanding DNA stability and repair, studying the biophysical nature of biomolecules, and gaining insight into cellular signaling pathways has been recently expanded by the arrival of researchers specialized in the design of natural and semi-synthetic biomolecules, as well as molecular-based devices that can be employed in translational medicine and other bionanotechnology applications. The commitment of the Miller School to increase growth in the basic sciences will continue to provide our department with new and exciting opportunities to enhance our prominence in biomedical research.

A chief mission of our department is to educate future generations of investigators and medical students to become critical thinkers and the leaders in their fields.  The diverse composition of our department in regards to research interests creates a unique and intellectually stimulating learning environment for students at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels.  We offer a host of courses to fulfill the curriculum to obtain a BS in Biochemistry, a MS and a PhD in Biochemistry, as well as the basic science requirements for MD and MD / PhD students. Our courses address the basic principles of biochemistry and molecular biology as well as the emerging science and future of the fields.

The department serves the worldwide scientific community through leadership roles and active participation in national and international conferences, serving in study sections and on federal agency panels. Additionally, our department’s faculty roster encompasses editors of journals and members of editorial boards, as well as board members of national and international governmental centers and members of advisory boards of companies in the private sector. Moreover, the Department is committed to serve the community by participating in a variety of outreach events to promote awareness of the importance of science and technology in relation to public health and the environment.

Our department is also unique for hosting the internationally recognized annual Miami Winter Symposium, created by Professor William Whelan, the first leader and Chair of the Department. The Miami Winter Symposium is currently managed by Nature Publishing and features world-renowned speakers in emerging areas of science and technology. This event cements our department’s goal of furthering education and discovery in biochemistry and molecular biology on an international level.

Contact Information

Sapna Deo, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
Diane Dames, Senior Program Coordinator

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
1600 NW 10th Avenue (M-857), Suite 1128-A
Miami, Florida 33136
305 243 2468
 

Admission Requirements

Applicants to biomedical programs should have a bachelor degree in a biological or related discipline (e.g., psychology, chemistry, engineering, physics). Although there are no prerequisite requirements, courses in general biology, cell/molecular biology, calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are encouraged. Applications are generally accepted from September to December for fall entry only. Select applicants will be offered an interview.

COMPETITIVE CANDIDATES WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING:
  • Excellent academic record
  • Competitive GRE exam scores
  • Research experience in a laboratory setting
  • Publications of abstract and / or papers
  • Co-authorship in a peer-reviewed journal is recommended
  • Strong letters of recommendation from research scientists who know the candidate well
  • Motivation to pursue state-of-the-art biomedical research
     
APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING:
  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • GRE General Test
  • English Proficiency Exam (non-native speakers)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume / CV
Full application instructions can be found at: http://biomed.med.miami.edu/apply

Program Plan

The BMB graduate program director assists each entering student in tailoring a program to match his or her interests. First year students take courses in a core curriculum taught by the faculties from the basic science departments. Courses are taught not only by formal lectures but also as seminars and informal discussions. The BMB graduate program’s curriculum is designed to provide broad knowledge in the various aspects of molecular biology and biochemistry in addition to intensive training in certain specialized areas of research according to the student's interests.

Please note that the following is only a sample curriculum plan. Current students must discuss their plan with their program director to make adjustments as needed. It is the student's responsibility to contact the program to verify the information.
Year One
FallCredit Hours
PIB 701 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences 5
PIB 702 Scientific Reasoning 3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 1
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 780 Research Ethics 1
PIB 782 Professional Development: Skills for Success I 1
 Term Credit Hours: 12
Spring
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 1
PIB 783 Professional Development: Skills for Success II 1
EPH 601 Medical Biostatistics I 3
BMB 714 Molecular Genetics (Spring I Course) 2
BMB 715 Structural Biology and Applications to Drug Discovery (Spring II Course) 2
BMB 716 Analysis And Prediction Of Gene Regulation And Prole In Function 4
 Term Credit Hours: 14
Summer
PIB 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
 Term Credit Hours: 1
Year Two
Fall
BMB 701 Research Journal Club. 1
BMB 702 Biochemical Science Seminar 1
BMB 710 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry 3
BMB 830 Doctoral Dissertation 3
 Term Credit Hours: 8
Summer
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 1
 Term Credit Hours: 1
Year Three
Fall
BMB 701 Research Journal Club. 1
BMB 702 Biochemical Science Seminar 1
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 3
 Term Credit Hours: 5
Summer
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 1
 Term Credit Hours: 1
Year Four
Fall
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 3
BMB 701 Research Journal Club. 1
BMB 702 Biochemical Science Seminar 1
 Term Credit Hours: 5
Spring
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 3
BMB 701 Research Journal Club. 1
BMB 702 Biochemical Science Seminar 1
 Term Credit Hours: 5
Summer
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 1
 Term Credit Hours: 1
Year Five
Fall
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 3
BMB 701 Research Journal Club. 1
BMB 702 Biochemical Science Seminar 1
 Term Credit Hours: 5
Spring
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 3
BMB 701 Research Journal Club. 1
BMB 702 Biochemical Science Seminar 1
 Term Credit Hours: 5
Summer
BMB 840 Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy 1
 Term Credit Hours: 1
 Total Credit Hours: 64

BMB 617. Readings in Molecular Biology. 1 Credit Hour.

Discussion of classical papers in molecular biology beginning with the concept of the gene and continuing into modern studies. Format consists of student presentations and group discussions.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BMB 645. Research Problems in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. 2-3 Credit Hours.

Laboratory research problems in various areas of biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology, including literature search, experimental design, data gathering, and evaluation of results. This course is the mechanism by which graduate laboratory rotations are done in preparation for selection of Ph.D. mentor.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

BMB 680. Research Ethics. 0 Credit Hours.

The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts stipulates that Institutions receiving support for National Research Service Award Training Grants are required to develop a program in the principles of Scientific Integrity. This program should be an integral part of the proposed training effort. The University of Miami School of Medicine has chosen to respond to this requirement with this course. This course must be taken during the first semester in the Department or Program. This is a six-hour course and will be given in two sessions of three hours each.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BMB 701. Research Journal Club.. 1 Credit Hour.

All registered BMB students must participate in the Journal Club/Seminar. Stud ents are required to critically review published paper(s) of their choice and d escribe in detail the findings described therein. Senior students will present their own research.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 702. Biochemical Science Seminar. 1 Credit Hour.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BMB 709. Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a continuation course for BMB 616. It covers essentially the same topics as BMB 616 but at a more advanced level. It brings the student to the forefront of research in Molecular Biology. The course material is discussed exclusively in the form of original research papers. Based on this experience, students are required to propose experimental approaches to biological problems and defend them.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BMB 710. Advanced Topics in Biochemistry. 1-5 Credit Hours.

Senior seminars designed to cover in depth recent developments in the field of biochemistry with the purpose of keeping advanced graduate students abreast with new theoretical and experimental findings. General subjects such as mechanisms of enzyme action, oxidative phosphorylation, active transport, metabolic controls and disorders, steroid biochemistry, and biochemical genetics are discussed. The detailed program is announced annually. Majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are expected to take this course each semester in their second and third years.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 714. Molecular Genetics. 2 Credit Hours.

This course deals with mechanisms and fundamental concepts of genetic inheritan ce. The first part of the ocurse is devoted to the genetics of bacteria and bac teriophages. Topics include genetic complementation, recombination, suppression , transposition, conjugation, transformation, transduction, and regulation of p rokaryotic gene expression. The second part of the course covers selected topic s in eukaryotic genetics (including molecular genetics of yeast, mitochondria, Drosphila, mice and humans). Problem solving is emphasized in homework and exam s. The objective of the course is to provide studetns with an appreciation of t he value of molecular genetics as a tool they can use to solve a wide variety o f problems in biomedical research.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 715. Structural Biology and Applications to Drug Discovery. 2 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on the relationships between structure and function in biol ogical macromolecules, and how this knowledge has led to the discoveries of new drugs.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 716. Analysis And Prediction Of Gene Regulation And Prole In Function. 4 Credit Hours.

This course will introduce to a diverse array of biophysical methods employed to study macromolecular interactions at structural, thermodynamic, hydrodynamic and kinetic level.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 720. Research in Residence. 0 Credit Hours.

Used to establish research in residence for the thesis for the master's degree after the student has enrolled for the permissible cumulative total in BMB 710 (usually six credits). Credit not granted. May be regarded as full time residence.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

BMB 731. Special Work. 1-3 Credit Hours.

Special work, lecture, or laboratory or a combination of these, as determined by advisor in accord with student's individual interest.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

BMB 830. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Required of all candidates for the Ph.D. The student will enroll for credit as determined by his/her advisor but not for less than a total of 24. Not more than 12 hours of BMB 730 may be taken in a regular semester, nor more than six in a summer session. Where a student has passed his/her (a) qualifying examinations, and (b) is engaged in an assistantship, he/she may still take the maximum allowable credit stated above.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

BMB 840. Doctoral Dissertation- Post Candidacy. 1-12 Credit Hours.


Components: DIL.
Grading: SUS.

BMB 850. Research In Residence. 1 Credit Hour.

Used to establish research in residence for the Ph.D., after the student has been enrolled for the permissible cumulative total in appropriate doctoral research. Credit not granted. May be regarded as full-time residence as determined by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.