http://biomed.med.miami.edu

Overview

Microbiology and Immunology is a multidisciplinary program encompassing the areas of cellular and molecular immunology, virology, microbial genetics, and pathogenic bacteriology.

The goals of the department’s graduate program are to provide each student with the opportunity to acquire the theoretical background and conceptual framework with the technical research skills necessary to attain a PhD. During the first year of study, a broad educational base in all disciplines together with laboratory rotations introduce students to the diverse array of research topics. Students then choose one area of concentration for their research. The varied interests of the faculty provide numerous opportunities for student participation and a broad choice in dissertation research.

Active research in immunology includes the areas of cytotoxicity, programmed cell death, cytokine receptor signaling, clinical and experimental bone marrow transplantation, stem cell biology, gene therapy for cancer treatment, antigen recognition, cell differentiation and communication, aging of the immune system, interleukins, genetic control of immunoglobulin production, gene activation, and evolution of the immune response. Research in other areas includes molecular biology of virus-host interaction in both animal and human systems, control and regulation of bacterial pathogenesis, selective tumor chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and therapy of parasitic infections.

Goals

The goals of the MIC Graduate Program include training and acquisition of:

  • A broad scientific reasoning ability and knowledge base in Microbiology and Immunology
  • Technical skills required for experiments in the area of specialization
  • Presentation skills required for teaching, scientific talks, manuscripts, and grants  
  • A preparation for a scientific career in academia, industry, or teaching within 5 ½ years

Contact Information

Enrique Mesri, PhD, Graduate Program Director
Theresa Votolato, MS, Senior Program Coordinator

Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Rosenstiel Medical Sciences Building, Suite 1128-A
1600 NW 10th Avenue, M857
Miami, FL 33136
305 243 2478

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 here.

MIC 202. Your Health and Immune System/ Microbiome. 3 Credit Hours.

Recent advances in the prevention and treatment of diseases that we and loved ones' experience. Many of these advances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies are our based on immunological principles. The course will examine how advances in our understanding of the immune system are having unprecedented effects on both health care and society. The immune system must shield us from bacterial, fungal, and viral invasion while harmoniously co-existing with beneficial microbes in our Microbiotas. The immune system is also a surveillance system that recognizes and kills the emerging enemies within: cancer cells. The course will discuss recent advances in immunology, genetic manipulation, and the Microbiota; their consequences on emerging notions of personalized health and medications; the creation of tailored biological therapies against cancer and other maladies; and what all this means for the cost healthcare, the difficult choices, and the politics of medicine. We will critically examine popular of representations of these medical advances, being careful to distinguish fact from fiction and accurate representation from exaggerated claims.
Requisite: Not for Microbiology and Immunology Majors or Minors.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MIC 601. Medical Microbiology. 5 Credit Hours.

Course discusses the nature of microbial agents of infectious disease as well as relationship of virulence to host resistance and fundamental immunologic concepts. Microbial physiology and genetics, the structure, design, and mechanism of action on antimicrobials.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 623. Mechanisms of Microbial Virulence. 2 Credit Hours.

This course will focus on the mechanisms employed by bacterial and viral pathogens to produce disease in animals and humans. The course is divided into two 3 week modules. The first module (1 credit) will cover bacterial pathogens with an emphasis on the bacteria-host cell interaction. Specific topics will include: bacterial attachment and invasion of eukaryotic cells, virulence gene regulation, secretion of virulence factors, bacterial toxins and obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens. The second module (1 credit) will cover viruses and human viral diseases with an emphasis on viral replication, gene expression, virus-host cell interactions and viral oncology. Classes will consist of a mixture of lectures and discussions of recent or classic papers. There will be one exam per module.
Prerequisites: MIC 775 and MIC 755.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MIC 705. Faculty Research and Discussions. 1 Credit Hour.

Forum for the discussion of the current research projects and interests of the faculty. This course provides students with the opportunity to exchange ideas about important scientific questions and the technologies being applied to experimentally address the hypotheses being tested.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MIC 711. Accelerated Basic Science Medical Curriculum. 1-18 Credit Hours.

Beginning in the latter part of June each year, extending to the middle of February of the ensuing year, the following accelerated and intensive complete basic science medical curriculum is offered: Embryology, Gross Anatomy, Histology, Biochemistry, Neuroanatomy, Biophysics and Neurophysiology, Systemic Physiology, Pathology, Medical Microbiology, and Pharmacology. single grade will be entered on the graduate transcript for this course.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

MIC 716. Advanced Molecular Biology. 3 Credit Hours.

The molecular basis of cellular function and regulation in both procaryotic and eucaryotic systems. The molecular genetics and biochemistry of the genetic material and its utilization during replication, transcription, translation, cellular growth, division, and differentiation. Recombinant DNA technology and molecular genetics are discussed. This course is designed for graduate students in biological sciences. A good background in biology or biochemistry is recommended.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MIC 726. Laboratory Experimentation. 4 Credit Hours.

One or two laboratory training sessions of 6-12 weeks each. Each student rotates through faculty research laboratories in the areas of immunology, molecular biology, and microbiology, (bacteriology, virology, parasitology) where they receive "hands on" experience by participating in ongoing research projects.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MIC 727. Laboratory Experimentation. 6 Credit Hours.

Two or three laboratory training sessions of 6-12 weeks each. Each student rotates through faculty research laboratories in the areas of immunology, molecular biology and microbiology, (bacteriology, virology, parasitology) where they receive "hands on" experience by participating in ongoing research projects.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MIC 728. Principles of Immunology. 3 Credit Hours.

This team-taught course will present core concepts in immunology and scientific reasoning in immunological research. The course is offered with seven weekly modules. Each module has a common theme and consists of three lectures on fundamental immunological concepts and one session where students present and discuss a research paper related to the theme of each module. The paper discussion session will include the use of disease models as a portal to understand the function of immune system in health and disease. The module topics are: (1) Molecular basis of immune recognition, (2) Innate immunity, (3) Lymphoid cell development, (4) Initiation of immune responses, (5) T cell differentiation and interaction with other immune cells, (6) B cell immunity and tolerance, and (7) T cell tolerance. There will be one exam following the first four modules and the second exam after the remaining three modules. One credit can be awarded for completion of any three modules and their related exam questions. On credit can also be awarded for completion of any two modules, their related exam questions, and a self study of a current research article on immunology or immune-based therapy using a self-designed question list in a format similar to that used in the paper discussion sessions.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MIC 731. Special Work. 1-5 Credit Hours.

With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students will choose a focused topic in the area of immune therapy, survey the research findings from the literature and write a review article. Students may then design a translation or clinical study that can be integrated as an Aim or a sub-Aim into their thesis proposal.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 751. Advance Topics in Microbiology and Virology. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This advanced level course is intended to explore complex interactions of microbial pathogens and hosts at the systemic, cellular, subcellular and molecular levels. This course consists of three modules focusing on the following topics: (1) Ubiquitin molecules at the host/pathogen interface and inflammasomes (1 credit); (2) Microbes, emergency hematopoiesis and autoimmunity (1 credit); and (3) The role of microbes in cancer initiation, progression and therapy (1 credit).
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

MIC 755. Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies. 1-6 Credit Hours.

This is a longitudinal training course delivered throughout all years of training. Students start taking it upon joining the Microbiology and Immunology Program to perform research under the mentorship of participating faculty. Up to six credits may be awarded commensurate with attendance and participation in the four modules. The four modules include: Teaching assistance (TA) experience (3 credits); Attendance and participation in the weekly departmental seminars and completing written assignments on the seminars topics (1 credit); Attendance, participation and presentation in Journal Clubs (1 credit); Research Forums on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and career skills (1 credit).
Components: LEC.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

MIC 761. Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology of Animal Viruses. 2 Credit Hours.

This course is organized around four major themes of virological studies: (i) v iral genome transcription, replication, and virus assembly; (ii) viral pathogen esis; (iii) virus cell interactions; and (iv) antiviral strategies. Most recent research developments in these areas are covered through lectures by participating faculty members as well as paper presentations by students.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 775. Advanced Topics in Immunology. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This course will explore in depth the current and advanced concepts and topics in selected areas of Immunology. We will cover recent advances and cutting edge experimental approaches in cellular and molecular immunology and also expose students to concepts and themes that link the various cell types into an effective immune system. The classes will consist of a mixture of lectures and discussions of recent papers and be divided into three modules: (1) Cellular and molecular networks of Immune System (1 credit); (2) Molecular regulation of Adaptive Immunity (1 credit); (3) Immunopathologies and Immunotherapies (1 credit).
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MIC 780. Research Ethics. 1 Credit Hour.

The focus of this course will be on the principles of scientific integrity, in particular how to optimize rigor and reproducibility in study designs, experimentations / trials, data collection, data management, and reporting. The class will discuss how biological variables such as sex and age impact the interpretation of research outcomes, and how those variables should be considered in experimental model systems as well as in human subject recruitment and protections in clinical trials. The course will be offered in a mixed format of lectures, seminars, small group discussion and / or workshops. Throughout the class, students will initiate dialogs with clinicians who are involved in treating patients and / or clinical trials with immune therapy.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 799. Advanced Topics. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This team-taught course will present core concepts in immune therapy and scientific reasoning underlying the therapeutic approaches. The focus will be the mechanistic understanding of the mode of action (MOA) for the major types of immune-based therapeutic agents in autoimmune diseases, cancer and infectious diseases. The types of immune therapy discussed in this class will include molecular targeting with antibodies, fusion proteins or aptamers, cell therapy and gene therapy. The course will also include the use of human diseases as a portal to understand the function of human immunology. This course will be offered in a mixed format of lectures, seminars, problem-based learning in small groups, student-led discussion of a research and/or clinical trial article on immune-based therapy, with the guidance of faculty facilitator.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 810. Master's Thesis. 1-6 Credit Hours.

The student working on his/her master's thesis enrolls for credit, in most departments not to exceed six, as determined by his/her advisor. Credit is not awarded until the thesis has been accepted.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 820. Research in Residence. 1 Credit Hour.

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 MIC 710 (usually six credits). Credit not granted. May be regarded as full time residence.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

MIC 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 MIC 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.

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

Required for all PhD candidates. The student will enroll for credits as determined by their advisor/ Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies but not less than a total of 24. No more than 12 hours of research may be taken in a regular semester, and no more than six in a summer session.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall.

MIC 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.