Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Application Deadlines Fall: Jan 15
Application Deadlines Fall: Jan 15
The fields of microbiology and molecular biology are closely intertwined and are at the center of some of the most exciting current advances in the biological sciences. With the sequencing of various host and microbial genomes, and the acceleration of technologies for functional genomics and microbial community evaluation, opportunities for significant advances are open to students in our programs.
Graduate programs in Microbiology and Molecular Biology (MMBIO) emphasize a combination of coursework and laboratory experience with an emphasis on the latter. Students are expected to produce a significant body of original research. Our students regularly collaborate on interdisciplinary projects with faculty and students outside of our department. Supporting courses in microbiology and molecular biology may include appropriate courses from various departments in the colleges of Life Sciences, and Physics and Mathematical Sciences. Completion of MMBIO degree programs in the department qualifies students for further graduate study at other universities; employment in educational, industrial, medical, and research institutions; or postdoctoral opportunities leading to careers as research or academic scientists.
The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology offers two degrees: Microbiology and Molecular Biology—MS, and Microbiology and Molecular Biology—PhD. Typically there are about thirty graduate students in the department at any time. Approximately one half are PhD students and the rest are MS students. Average times in the programs are about two years for an MS degree, about three years beyond a master’s for the PhD degree, and about five years for the PhD, going directly from the bachelor’s without the master’s degree.
Department Chair: K. Scott Weber
Graduate Coordinator: Steve Johnson
Resources and Opportunity:
Electron Microscopy Facility. BYU's Electron Microscopy (EM) Facility provides on-campus access and training to high-end analytical electron microscopy tools and services for BYU students, faculty, and staff. The facility currently houses three scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), one transmission electron microscope (TEM), as well as the necessary ancillary equipment for various EM sample preparation techniques for both materials science and biological samples. All of the microscopes are capable of X-ray microanalysis capabilities (XEDS) in addition to their unique instrument capabilities.
Research Instrumentation Core (RIC) Facility. The RIC houses specialized equipment for use by researchers at BYU. It is equipped with a flow cytometer analyzer and sorter, imaging systems for gels and blots, high-speed centrifuge, plate readers for fluorescence, luminescence, absorbance and radioactivity detection, fluorescent microscope with digital imaging capacity, nanodrop spectrophotometer, microarray scanner, and gas chromatography microbial identification system.
DNA Sequencing Center provides advanced, efficient, and economical services for DNA sequence and DNA fragment acquisition and analysis. Equipment includes PacBio Sequel II, Applied Biosystems 3730xi DNA Analyzer, Applied Biosystems 3100 Genetic Analyzer, Parallab 350, Genetix QPix2XT, and Sequencer Software.
Proteomics and Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility offers instrumentation to resolve complex proteomes and to identify and characterize the component proteins. Instrumentation assists in identifying proteins in the femtomole range, noncovalent protein interactions, post-translational modifications, and determining differences in protein expression. The facility is equipped with an Applied Biosystem QSTAR Pulsar Hybrid QqToF Mass Spectrometer and 2D Gel technologies.
Cancer Research Center is an independent organization with members coming from the Colleges of Life Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and Physical and Mathematical Sciences. A primary goal of the Cancer Research Center is to provide a rigorous research training program for students. Our ultimate goal is to find cures through research and education.
Other Campus Facilities include a microscopy lab, greenhouses, gardens, arboretum, small-animal vivarium, and tissue culture rooms.
Faculty research interests currently include DNA replication, gene regulation, virology, immunology, cancer biology, pathogenesis, host-microbe interactions, molecular evolution, microbial ecology, comparative genomics, and analysis of complex diseases.
Teaching and research assistantships are available through by the department.