Microbiology & Immunology

Faculty mentors in the Microbiology and Immunology graduate program are involved in the study of the molecular bases for pathogenesis in response to viral or bacterial infection, or in response to parasitic invasion, and the immune response of host cells to these infections. One research strength is parasitology, focusing on pathogens that previously ravaged third-world countries but now are also appearing in our country as opportunistic infections of HIV/AIDS. Faculty participating in the Center of Excellence for Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS also serve as mentors for this graduate program and address bases for HIV entry, replication, and propagated infection, as well as the factors that modulate the immune response to this infection and the efficacy of therapeutic interventions.

Contact Microbiology & Immunology

Minu Chaudhuri

Minu Chaudhuri, Ph.D.

Professor
Microbiology & Immunology
School: Medicine

Phone: 615.327.5726
Email: mchaudhuri@mmc.edu

Location: West Basic Science Building, Room 4105

Course Descriptions

Name of Course:

Fundamentals in Immunology (DR)

Fundamentals of Microbiology (DR)

Fundamentals in Virology (DR)

Foundation in Research (DR)

Seminar/Journal Club (DR)

Research (DR)

Macrophage Functions, Disease and Immunobiology (DE)

Molecular Biology of Animal Viruses (DE)

Foundation in Research (DR)

Gene Transcription and Regulation (DE)

Directed Studies (DE)

Introduction to Bioinformatics

Directed Studies in Cytokines (DE)

Semester:

Spring

Spring

Fall

Spring and Fall

Spring and Fall

Spring and Fall

Spring

Fall

Spring

Spring

Spring

Spring and Fall

Fall

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

3

3

1

1-12

3

4

4

3

3

2

2

Name of Course:

Cellular and Molecular Basis of Vascular Disease

Microbial Genetics

Molecular Virology

Cellular Microbiology of the Pathogen-Host Interaction

Human Genetics

Semester:

Spring

Fall

Fall

Spring

Spring

# of Credit Hours:

3

2

3

3

3

1-12

Course Descriptions for the Program in Microbiology and Immunology

MICR 70701.  FUNDAMENTALS OF MICROBIOLOGY

This twelve-week course explores the importance of microorganisms as both living systems and disease causing agents.  Topics will be presented as lecture and discussion of selected, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections, and mechanism of disease pathogenesis. Concepts of endosymbiosis and how new bioinformatics tools will help understand the genomes of disease- causing agents will be explored.  3 credit hours, SPRING every year.

MICR 70801.  FOUNDATIONS IN RESEARCH

The goal of this course is for the student to critically review the literature relevant to his/her proposed thesis research.  The outcome of the course will be a student-prepared paper that provides a thoroughly documented background that supports the rationale for the proposed research project.  The choice of the research problem should be determined by the student in consultation with the preceptor.  Each student will be guided by a committee of three faculty members that will include the student’s preceptor.  3 credit hour, FALL, every year. 

MICR 71001.  FUNDAMENTALS IN IMMUNOLOGY

This course reviews the basic concepts in immunology.  It consists of the immunology lecture and laboratory component of Medical Microbiology and seminar/discussions focused on selected topics in immunology.  This course may serve as a pre-requisite for advanced immunology courses offered by the Department of Microbiology.  3 credit hours, SPRING, every year.

MICR 71301.  MOLECULAR BIOLOGY of ANIMAL VIRUSES

Lecture course with emphasis on mechanisms of viral replication, oncogenic transformation, and virus-host cell interactions. 3 credit hours, SPRING, alternate years. 

MICR 71501. FUNDAMENTALS IN VIROLOGY

This course provides a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of viral replication and virus-cell interactions.  The objectives of the course will be accomplished through lecture and journal article discussion. Prerequisite for:  MICR 713. Molecular Biology of Animal Viruses.  3 credit hours, FALL every year.

MICR 73001.  ADVANCED TOPICS IN MOLECULAR PARASITOLOGY  

BSCI 71901.  GENE TRANSCRIPTION AND REGULATION.  

Structure and function of different RNA polymerases (RNAPs).  Role of CTD (C-terminal domain) of RNAP II.  Basic aspects of initiation of transcription by RNAP I, II and III.  Molecular mechanisms of transcription activation.  Regulation of basic transcription initiation, elongation and termination in bacterial system.  Regulation of transcription initiation, elongation and termination in eukaryotic system.  Chromatin and regulation of transcription.  DNA topology and gene expression.  Structural studies (X-ray crystallography and NMR) of transcription factors.  Nucleic acid-protein interactions.  Regulation of expression of tumor suppressor genes and human tumor virus genes.  Methods involved in transcription research.  3 credit hours, SPRING, even years. 

MICR 73001.  ADVANCED TOPICS IN MOLECULAR PARASITOLOGY  

This is an advanced graduate-level seminar course in modern parasitology. The class is focused on the reading and critical evaluation of papers from the current literature selected by the students in cellular and molecular mechanisms of parasitism. 3 credit hours, Spring, alternate years

MICR 71901.  MACROPHAGE FUNCTIONS, DISEASE AND IMMUNO-BIOLOGY

The major objective of the course is to prepare students to understand how macrophages are formed and function in almost every organ of our body performing specialized jobs, their role in innate and adaptive immunity of diseases like solid tumor, parasitology, virology, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The goal is for students to be fully informed and cognitively ready to participate in experimental research in these areas of study. 4 credit hours, FALL.

MICR 72001.  NON-CODING RNAs IN HUMAN BIOLOGY AND DISEASE

This course will describe the major roles of ncRNA in biology, and present a cross-disciplinary view of the multifaceted roles of ncRNA in cell function. Students will learn about the structure of ncRNA and how they influence function, and will be able to understand how the basic aspects of ncRNA biology are shaping science and human health.  4 credit hours, SPRING.

BSCI 73601.  READINGS IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (Directed Studies). 

Intensive reading under the guidance of a  faculty member in an area selected by the student.  The student and faculty member meet weekly to discuss the readings; the student may be required to write a paper on the semester’s reading.  1-3 credits.  FALL & SPRING, every year.

MICR 85001.  MICROBIOLOGY RESEARCH. 

Ph.D. Dissertation Research.  Required of students who are candidates for the doctoral degree. 1-12 credit hours, FALL & SPRING, every year.

MICR 90001.  MICROBIOLOGY SEMINAR

Weekly discussion of current topics in microbiological research and of research within the department.  0-1 credit hour, FALL and SPRING, every year.

BICH 71201. DIRECTED STUDIES IN CYTOKINES

This course introduces students to the biology of cytokines. It covers the biologic nature, functions, mechanisms of action, and clinical significance and applications of cytokines. The course discusses the basis for regulation of cytokine production and secretion during immune and rheumatoid response as well as during regulation of hematopoiesis and apoptosis. In addition, the course provides students with the basic biochemical, cellular and molecular basis underlying the mechanisms of actions (including their receptor signal transduction mechanisms) of these important molecules. A letter grade is given for didactic instruction or S or U if a research course.  2 credit hours, FALL.

Courses at Vanderbilt that may be taken as electives in this emphasis program

CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY 337.  CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BASIS OF VASCULAR DISEASE

Intensive reading under the guidance of a faculty member in an area selected by the student. The student and faculty member meet weekly to discuss the readings; the student may be required to write a paper on the semester’s reading. 1-3 credits. FALL and SPRING, every year.

MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY 328 1MICROBIAL GENETICS

The genetics of bacteria and yeast and their use in molecular biology as an experimental tool.  2 credit hours, FALL.

MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY 328 2.  MOLECULAR VIROLOGY

The interaction of animal viruses with their host cells, discussed at the molecular and cellular level as model systems.  Special emphasis on current literature and methodology.  3 credit hours, FALL.

MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY 350.  CELLULAR MICROBIOLOGY OF THE PATHOGEN-HOST INTERACTION. 

An interdisciplinary course designed to train students in the field of molecular microbiology and/or cell biology.  Model organisms or their products will be analyzed in the context of molecular cell microbiology.  Students will be challenged to utilize new information from microbial genome sequencing to understand host cell Subcellular compartments and signaling pathways. 3 credit hours, SPRING.

MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOPHYSICS 340.  HUMAN GENETICS

Designed to cover background and latest advances in human genetics.  Topics will include an overview of mutational mechanisms, cytogenetics (detection and description of chromosomal abnormalities), biochemical genetics (gene defects in biochemical pathways), molecular genetics (gene structure, function, and expression), population genetics (heritability, quantitative traits, variance analysis), gene mapping (positional cloning, statistical and molecular techniques), and genetic epidemiology (genetic linkage analysis, design of gene mapping studies, gene-environment interaction).  Topics will be discussed with reference to specific human genetic diseases.  3 credit hours, SPRING.

Curriculum & Course Requirements

Students are expected to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in 5-6 years.

 

* DR: Departmental Required Course
* DE: Departmental Elective Course

Core Curriculum

First Year: Fall Semester

Name of Course:

Biomedical Sciences IA (Core)

Biomedical Sciences IIA (Core)

Scientific Communications (Core)

Biomedical Sciences IIIB (Core)

# of Credit Hours:

4

4

2

0

Name of Course:

Foundations in Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Fundamentals in Immunology (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

2

Name of Course:

Foundations of Modern Microbiology (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

2

Name of Course:

Seminars/Journal Club (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1

Name of Course:

Dissertation Research(DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1-12

Name of Course:

General Electives (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

varies

First Year: Spring Semester

Name of Course:

Biomedical Sciences IIIB (Core)

Fundamentals in Immunology (DR)

Fundamentals in Microbiology (DR)

Research (DR)

Seminar / Journal Club (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

6

3

3

3

1-12

1

Name of Course:

Roles of Microorganisms in the Living World (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

2

Name of Course:

Host-Pathogen Relationships (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

5

Name of Course:

Seminars/Journal Club (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1

Name of Course:

Dissertation Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1-12

Name of Course:

General Electives (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

varies

First Year: Summer Semester

Name of Course:

Advances in Molecular Biology Research (Core)

# of Credit Hours:

6

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

6

Second Year: Fall Semester

Name of Course:

Fundamentals in Virology (DR)

Foundations in Research (DR)

Directed Studies in Cytokines (DE)

Seminars/Journal Club (DR)

Research(DR)

Macrophage Function and Diseases(DE)

Gene Transcription and Regulation (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

2

1

1-12

4

3

Name of Course:

Fundamentals in Virology (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Foundations in Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Directed Studies in Cytokines (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

2

Name of Course:

Seminars/Journal Club (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1

Name of Course:

Research(DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1-12

Name of Course:

Macrophage Function and Diseases(DE)

# of Credit Hours:

4

Name of Course:

Gene Transcription and Regulation (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

3

Second Year: Spring Semester

Name of Course:

Adv. Topics in Mole. Parasitology (DE)

Mole. Biology of Animal Viruses (DE)

Mole. Biology of Animal Viruses (DE)

Research (DR)

Non-coding RNAs in Human Biology and diseases (DE)

Directed Studies

# of Credit Hours:

3

3

1

1-12

4

2

Name of Course:

Adv. Topics in Mole. Parasitology (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Mole. Biology of Animal Viruses (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

3

Name of Course:

Seminars

Mole. Biology of Animal Viruses (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

1

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1-12

Name of Course:

Non-coding RNAs in Human Biology and diseases (DE)

# of Credit Hours:

4

Name of Course:

Directed Studies

# of Credit Hours:

2

Second Year: Summer Semester

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

# of Credit Hours:

6

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

6

Subsequent Years: Fall & Spring Semesters

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

Seminar

# of Credit Hours:

1-12

1

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

1-12

Name of Course:

Seminar

# of Credit Hours:

1

Subsequent Years: Summer Semesters

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

6

Name of Course:

Research (DR)

# of Credit Hours:

6

Special Programmatic Features of the Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology Retreat. The Microbiology Retreat is a weekday program of informal research talks and discussions. Faculty, students and fellows attend this function. This Retreat provides an outstanding opportunity to keep up to date with the diverse research underway in the program and to participate in vigorous scientific discussions. Students are expected to attend the Retreat, and are encouraged to present their research either as a formal talk or a poster.

 

Admissions

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