Biochemistry and Cancer Biology
Alakananda Basu, PhD, Graduate Advisor
Research and Educaiton 437
The Biochemistry and Cancer Biology program is an interdisciplinary program that offers both Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The goal of this program is to provide students with rigorous education and training in biomedical sciences with a specialty in Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. Students receive training through original research, formal classroom education, problem-based learning, seminars, and journal clubs. The program includes faculty members from several departments engaged in various aspects of biochemical, biophysical, molecular and cancer research.
The specific research interests of faculty cover a wide range of topics, including signal transduction, posttranslational protein modification in health and disease, protein structure and function, protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions, metabolism, molecular carcinogenesis, tumor immunology, stem cell biology, tumor invasion and metastasis, tumor microenvironment, cancer therapeutics, drug resistance, drug metabolism, drug delivery, drug discovery, nanotechology/imaging, epigenetic effects on cancer risks, alternative medicine therapies of cancer, disorders of lipid metabolism in atherosclerosis, lipoprotein metabolism and biophysics of muscle contraction. The interdisciplinary research also includes investigation of the link between cancer with other disorders, such as aging & Alzheimer’s disease, HIV and ocular diseases. The research projects employ state-of-the-art molecular, cellular and biochemical techniques that include genomics, proteomics, mass spectrometry, protein crystallography, molecular cloning, gene targeting, FACS analysis, advanced fluorescence spectroscopy, optical imaging and advanced molecular technology for the detection of genetic variation between normal and cancer cells.
Students may choose faculty advisors according to their research interests. In addition, students will be able to utilize the resources and expertise of faculty members with diverse backgrounds from several institutes. During the first year, students will acquire sufficient background in biological sciences, including biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology. The students will have the opportunity to rotate in research laboratories prior to selecting their thesis advisors. Students will take two discipline specific courses. They will be able to select additional elective courses based on their needs and interests. MS students are expected to graduate in approximately two years, whereas PhD students usually require five years to complete their degrees. The details of the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology program, degree plans and policies are included in the student handbook.
Master of Science
Students enrolled in the MS degree program will conduct original research. The MS degree requirements are met upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 48 semester credit hours (SCH) of coursework and research credits, including the successful completion of a formal public seminar on their thesis research, oral final defense of their research and approval of a thesis.
Doctor of Philosophy
The PhD degree requirements are met upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 90 semester credit hours (SCH) of core curricula, specialized upper division courses, and research credits, including the successful completion of the requirements for advancement to candidacy and defense of the dissertation research. Students entering the program with a non-terminal MS degree must complete a minimum of 60 SCH beyond that earned in their master’s studies. Prior to the dissertation defense, the doctoral candidates must have one first author manuscript derived from the dissertation research accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.