Cell Biology, Immunology, and Microbiology

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Rance Berg, PhD, Graduate Advisor

Center for BioHealth, Room 361 | Phone: 817-735-2121 | E-mail: Rance.Berg@unthsc.edu

Graduate Faculty: Allen, Berg, Bunnell, Hodge, Jones, Krishnamoorthy, Malaer, P. Mathew, S. Mathew, Mathis, Ortega, Park, Sankpal, Simecka, Su, Vishwanatha, Woerner, Zhang, Zascavage

Cell biology is the branch of biology that focuses on the study of cells, especially their formation, structure, components, and function. Immunology is the study of the defense mechanisms of the host against infectious diseases, cancers and other diseases. Microbiology is the study of microscopic forms of life, including bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi. The disciplines of cell biology, immunology, and microbiology are uniquely intertwined and rely on cutting-edge techniques to answer questions related to multiple diseases. Gaining a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms used by the body to combat infectious diseases and other pathologies can result in the development of therapeutic approaches to prevent and cure these diseases.

Specific research interests of the cell biology, immunology, and microbiology faculty include neuroinflammation, HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 biology, fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging, regulation of eukaryotic gene expression, T cell and NK cell biology, host response to infections, molecular immunology, tumor immunology, cytokine biology, and molecular diagnostics for emerging vector borne pathogens. Faculty programs are funded by multiple sources including the federal government, state government, and private foundations.

The Cell Biology, Immunology & Microbiology graduate training program, culminating in either a MS or PhD degree, involves core courses that integrate key concepts of biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, physiology, pharmacology, immunology, and microbiology, as well as advanced courses in selected topics. Students participate in seminars and discussion of current research and receive extensive training in techniques of contemporary molecular biology, cell biology, immunology, and microbiology. Students perform original, publishable research and present their research findings at local, national, and international scientific meetings. In addition, students are required to present their research at the annual UNTHSC Research Appreciation Day (RAD) and in the Departmental Seminars in Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics series each year.Approximately two years are required to complete the MS degree, while the PhD degree is normally completed in approximately five years.

Graduates with advanced degrees typically find employment in higher education, industry and government agencies.

Stipend and benefits for PhD students

All students in our PhD in Biomedical Sciences program receive a benefits package that includes a stipend of $30,000 per year plus full tuition, fees, and health insurance. Students also have opportunities to apply for training grants, fellowships, and scholarships. 

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