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,  evolution of the immune response and immune therapy against cancer, infection and autoimmune diseases. 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.

Contact Information

Zhibin Chen, MD, PhD, Graduate Program Director
Theresa Votolato, MS, Senior Program Coordinator

Office of Graduate 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.

Curriculum Requirements

Biomedical Science Core
Journal Club 1, 32
Journal Club
PIB 701Introduction to Biomedical Sciences 35
PIB 702Scientific Reasoning3
PIB 705Biostatistics for the Biosciences3
PIB 731Laboratory Research3-6
PIB 780Research Ethics1
PIB 782Professional Development: Skills for Success I1
PIB 783Professional Development: Skills for Success II1
PIB 785PIBS Bioinformatics Workshop 21
PIB 830Doctoral Dissertation1
Microbiology & Immunology Required Courses
MIC 623Mechanisms of Microbial Virulence2
MIC 728Principles of Immunology3
MIC 775Advanced Topics in Immunology3
MIC 751Advance Topics in Microbiology and Virology3
MIC 755Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies1-6
Research Credits24
MIC 830Doctoral Dissertation1-12
MIC 840Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy1-12
MIC 850Research in Residence1
Total Credit Hours60-90

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
PIB 701 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences 1-5
PIB 702 Scientific Reasoning 3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 1-2
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 780 Research Ethics 1
PIB 782 Professional Development: Skills for Success I 1
 Credit Hours8-12
Spring
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 1-2
PIB 783 Professional Development: Skills for Success II 1
EPH 601 Medical Biostatistics I 4
MIC 728 Principles of Immunology 3
MIC 623 Mechanisms of Microbial Virulence 2
 Credit Hours12
Summer
PIB 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
 Credit Hours1
Second Year
Fall
MIC 775 Advanced Topics in Immunology 1-3
MIC 830 Doctoral Dissertation 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-6
Spring
MIC 830 Doctoral Dissertation 3
Teaching Assistant
 
Qualifying Examination
 
 Credit Hours3
Summer
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 1
 Credit Hours1
Third Year
Fall
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4
Spring
MIC 751 Advance Topics in Microbiology and Virology 1-3
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-6
Summer
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 1
 Credit Hours1
Fourth Year
Fall
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours3
Spring
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours3
Summer
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 1
 Credit Hours1
Fifth Year
Fall
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours3
Spring
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours3
Summer
MIC 850 Research in Residence 1
 Credit Hours1
 Total Credit Hours52-60

Suggested Plan of Study

Accelerated B.S. to Ph.D. Track

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
PIB 701 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences 1 1-5
PIB 702 Scientific Reasoning 3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 2
PIB 700 Journal Club 1 1
PIB 780 Research Ethics 1
PIB 782 Professional Development: Skills for Success I 1
 Credit Hours9-13
Spring
PIB 705 Biostatistics for the Biosciences 3
PIB 700 Journal Club 1 1
PIB 731 Laboratory Research 1-2
PIB 783 Professional Development: Skills for Success II 1
MIC 728 Principles of Immunology 3
MIC 623 Mechanisms of Microbial Virulence 2
 Credit Hours11-12
Summer
PIB 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
 Credit Hours1
Second Year
Fall
MIC 775 Advanced Topics in Immunology 1-3
MIC 830 Doctoral Dissertation 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-6
Spring
MIC 830 Doctoral Dissertation 3
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
MIC 751 Advance Topics in Microbiology and Virology 3.00
Qualifying Examination
 
 Credit Hours7-12
Summer
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 1
 Credit Hours1
Third Year
Fall
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours8
Spring
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-9
Summer
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 1
 Credit Hours1
Fourth Year
Fall
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-9
Spring
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-9
Summer
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 1
 Credit Hours1
Fifth Year
Fall
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-9
Spring
MIC 840 Doctoral Dissertation - Post Candidacy 3
MIC 755 Microbiology and Immunology Research- Career Skills and Proficiencies 1-6
Students may elect to take additional basic science courses.
 
 Credit Hours4-9
Summer
MIC 850 Research in Residence 1
 Credit Hours1
 Total Credit Hours64-101

Mission

The mission and objectives of the Microbiology and Immunology Ph.D. Graduate Program are to train students who wish to attain the PhD degree by active engagement in the design and performance of basic Microbiology and Immunology research with a Biomedical Focus that is intended to provide each PhD student with:

  • A broad scientific reasoning ability and knowledge base in Microbiology and Immunology with a focus on its application in human health; 
  • Creative, technical, analytical and ethical skills required for carrying out and interpreting experiments in a responsible manner in the area of Microbiology and Immunology; 
  • The ability to successfully design, produce and publish scientific discoveries emanated from their own research in Microbiology and Immunology; and
  • The ability to respond to the increasing demands of collaborative and interdisciplinary research, presentation and communication skills required for presenting results in scientific talks, writing manuscripts and seeking funding through grants and proposals, teaching skills and experience, and professional preparation for a scientific career in academia, industry, health care, patent law or teaching within five years or less. 

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

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students in the Microbiology and Immunology graduate program will complete their training within 5 years of starting graduate school with mastery in “Knowledge of Discipline”, “Responsible Conduct of Research”, “Use of Appropriate Methodology”, “Application of Knowledge/Methodology”, Critical Thinking”, Effective Written Communication”, and “Effective Oral Communication”.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills and the application of the Scientific Method by showing the capability to develop hypotheses, and the ability to evaluate their hypotheses, paying attention to responsible conduct of research as appropriate.