From molecules to ecosystems. . .
Integration of subdisciplines in thebiological sciences has changed the research paradigm forthestudy oflife. Recent advances reveal striking interrelationships in the structure and function of molecules, genomes, cells, organisms and ecosystems. Therefore, new comprehensive ways of thinking about biological problems are required for advancing our understanding of life.
By emphasizing the greater picture of how various biological subdivisions interact with each other, our graduates employ multi-pronged approaches to study living organisms spanning from molecules to ecosystems.
A dynamic new approach...
Graduate students are broadly trained in this rapidly changing field, yet deeply in a more specialized aspect of the biological sciences. Training received gives students experience with cutting edge technology so that they are competitive in academic, industrial, and governmental settings. Integration of the vast field of biology presents a dynamic new approach for researching and teaching the life sciences, bridging three synergistic areas:
Ecology, Organismal, and Population (EOP) Biology Emphasis
The EOP emphasis provides students with a broad curriculum in ecology, statistical analysis of ecological data, and mathematical analysis of theories and models. Students choosing the EOP emphasis are required to take some courses from the Cell, Molecular and Physiological Biology emphasis and are encouraged to pursue it as an internal related field.
Thesis topics that cross disciplinary boundaries are encouraged. Examples of such topics currently pursued by students and faculty include use of genetic markers to quantitatively describe population structure and dynamics, the physiological basis of material and energy transfers between organisms and their environment, and mathematical analysis of complex behaviors of populations and ecosystems, such as bifurcations, catastrophes, and chaos.
Cell, Molecular, and Physiological (CMP) Biology Emphasis
The CMP emphasis of the Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program provides students with a broad base of knowledge to investigate questions in biology from the molecular, biochemical, cellular and organism physiology levels. Through coursework in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology and statistics, students obtain the basic knowledge required for critical analysis of research questions in the biosciences.
Elective courses provide more specialized information in specific areas of research. Students choosing the CMP emphasis are required to take some courses from the Ecology, Organismal and Population Biology emphasis and are encouraged to pursue it as an internal related field. Areas of research include diverse topics integrating knowledge in such traditional disciplines as molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology, pathology, and microbiology. In addition, participation in program seminars and coursework in conjunction with students in the EOP emphasis provide CMP students with a unique perspective regarding population biology and the influence of the environment on the structure and function of the organism.
Chemical Biology (CB) Emphasis
The CB emphasis providesstudents with an in-depth knowledge of the chemicaland biochemical aspects of structure-function relationship of biological systems, and technical skills necessary to solve complex biological proglems using integrated approaches. Students who choose the CB emphasis will be required to take classes in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, physiology, ecology, and statistics for critical analysisof research.
In this interdisciplinary IBS/CB track students will gain fundamental knowledge and skills to function at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, physics, and biology because the molecular underpinning of all biological systems and functions are governed by tightly regulated changes in chemical structures of biomolecules, intermolecular interactions, and networks of coupled chemical reactions. Students will also be equipped with analytical and theoretical tools that are essential to undertand complex biological processes and ultimately their medical impact. Electives will also assist with more specific knowledge in the field and in thesis research.