Since students enter our program from diverse backgrounds, flexibility in designing the right advanced program for each student is important.
Our curriculum is intended to provide rigorous training in the basic experimental principles that enable the study of any biological problem. We recommend that prospective students take MEDS 6448 Foundations of Biomedical Science I in the Fall and the companion MEDS 6449 Foundations of Biomedical Science II in the spring. These courses may be augmented with the appropriate combinations of the more specialized courses listed below. Students should also feel free to enroll in advanced courses offered by other programs that may provide the necessary background for the development of their thesis. Your first year advisors will help you with these choices, and more detailed advice is always available from program directors and course leaders.
Apart from attendance at journal club and the course on the Responsible Conduct of Science that is mandatory for all students, the MBB program does not have a specific list of courses that are required to be taken during the first two years. Rather, MBB students take a variety of didactic coursework that is dependent on their interests and background, and is chosen in consultation with their first-year mentors and/or research mentors. Our students commonly select from the following list, although many other courses are offered within UConn Health and can be taken for credit by interested students. The MBB program strongly encourage students to register for both Foundations of Biomedical Science and Molecular Basis of Disease courses (although not necessarily in the same semester) as these focuses specifically on the molecular underpinnings of biomedical
Course Course Name and Description
MEDS 6496 Laboratory Rotation
GRAD 6950 Continuing registration for doctoral students after obtaining a thesis advisor and turning in Change of Major Advisor form.
MEDS 6497 Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Journal Club
MEDS 6448 Foundations of Biomedical Science (4 credits)
MEDS 5418 Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology (3 credits)
MEDS 6450 Optical Microscopy and Bio-Imaging (3 credits)
MEDS 5309 Molecular Basis of Disease (2 credits)
MEDS 5369 Advanced Genetics and Molecular Biology (3 credits)
MEDS 5351 Biochemistry II (3 credits)
MEDS 6444 Medical Microbiology (3 credits)
MEDS 6413 Cancer Biology (2 credits)
MEDS 5310 Responsible Conduct in Research (1 credit; Attendance is Mandatory)
Typically, a student will perform three (3) rotations in the first year. This provides them with the opportunity to try a variety of research projects, environments and mentors. After performing laboratory rotations, the student will pick a laboratory in which to perform their thesis research. This will be done in consultation with the proposed mentor. In rare cases, a student may petition to the Graduate Programs Committee to waive the
requirement for the third rotation. Upon selection of a thesis laboratory, a Change of Major Advisor form must be completed see UCH Graduate School Current Students page for forms).
The program hosts a variety of seminars. The Molecular Biology and Biophysics Departmental Seminar Series features invited speakers of international renown. Each year the “Osborn Lecture” celebrates the work of a female scientist who has made significant contributions to her field. There is also a monthly MBB student “Work in Progress” series where students discuss their latest research in an informal setting.
This examination is the formal gateway to the preparation of a thesis. In their second year, students write a research proposal on their proposed thesis topic. This is a remarkable opportunity for students to display their knowledge and expertise in experimental design. In many cases, these examinations have been incorporated into successful fellowship grant applications. This provides the student with direct experience in the grant application process, a critical aspect in career development. For timeline and details for the General Exam in the MBB area of concentration, please review the Graduate Program in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Student Handbook.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the free food and drink and the opportunity to interact with other students, postdocs and faculty at our periodic Happy Hours.
Each year, we hold an off-campus research retreat in which labs are given the opportunity to present their research work in the form of seminars and posters. The retreat is run as a mini-conference which provides an excellent opportunity for students to hone their skills in oral and poster presentations.