Overview: Graduate students in Chemistry, Physics or the Life Sciences may petition for admission to the interdisciplinary program in Molecular Biophysics/Chemical Biology (MBCB). Students participating in the MBCB Program pursue a course of study and research that often overlaps the disciplinary boundaries of chemistry, biology, molecular biology and physics. Graduate training opportunities are available for students with undergraduate background in any one of these areas. Individualized programs of study are provided in order that each student obtains the necessary interdisciplinary background for advanced study and research in molecular biophysics.
Thesis Research: Students entering the program engage in dissertation research under the mentorship of one of the program faculty. Joint mentorships are available for appropriate special cases. In order to choose a research mentor, during the first year students participate in 2-3 “rotations” of 1-2 months duration in the laboratories of participating faculty. A placement mutually acceptable to the student and proposed thesis mentor is typically achieved from this process; if not, further rotations may be pursued. During the rotation period, the responsibility is on the student to demonstrate ability and motivation in independent research sufficient to gain acceptance into a faculty research group. Students are expected to have chosen a research mentor by the end of their first academic year of study and begin research full-time the following summer.
Curriculum: Students are expected to complete core courses of their home department unless grated a waiver by their committee and approved by the home department. Molecular Biophysics Program expectations are a) Molecular Biophysics or the equivalent, b) Structural Biology Laboratory or the equivalent c) regular participation in the Molecular Biophysics Journal Club, and c) at least two credits of elective advance courses offered by the program faculty. In addition, students are expected to either have appropriate general background in Biology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Physics. If necessary, in consultation with their graduate committee, students may take additional courses which fill in any gaps.
|CHEM 301||Molecular Biophysics|
|CHEM 321||Biomedicinal Chemistry|
|CHEM 339||Advanced Physical Chemistry|
|CHEM 340-341||Phys. Chem IV: Quantum Chemistry|
|CHEM 353||Applications of Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry|
|CHEM 358||Structure and Mechanism|
|CHEM 361||Advanced Inorganic Chemistry|
|CHEM 363||Organometallic Chemistry|
|CHEM 370||Biological NMR Spectroscopy|
|CHEM 381||Physical Chemistry for Life Scientist|
|CHEM 382||Practical NMR|
|CHEM 385||Enzyme Kinetics (.5 Cr)|
|CHEM 386||Biological Thermodynamics|
|CHEM 387||Enzyme Mechanics (.5 Cr)|
|CHEM 388||Molecular Dynamics and Molecular Modeling|
|CHEM 390||Physical Biochemistry|
|CHEM 395||Structural Biology Laboratory|
|CHEM 399||Intro of Nanotechnology and Micro-Fabrication|
|CHEM 509||Foundations of Molecular Biophysics|
|CHEM 519||Structural Mechanisms of Protein-Nucleic Acid Structures and Interactions|
|CHEM 538||Phys. Chem II: Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics & Kinetics|
|CHEM 540||Advanced Quantum Chemistry|
|CHEM 545||High Resolution Molecular Spectroscopy|
|MBB 505||Mechanisms of DNA Damage and Repair|
Related Undergraduate Courses (see also general offerings in life sciences at departmental web sites).
|CHEM 325||Biomolecular Structures|
|CHEM 345||Molecular Spectroscopy|
|CHEM 320||Scientific Research Ethics|
|CHEM 350||Scientific Method|
|CHEM 507-8||Molecular Biophysics Journal Club|
|CHEM 547-8||Chemical Physics Seminar|
|CHEM 557-8||Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Seminar|
|CHEM 587-8||Biochemistry Seminar|
Molecular Biophysics Journal Club is a weekly gathering of all students, research associates and faculty associated with the program for critical consideration and discussion of research described in the current literature. Here, in addition to exposure to advanced subject matter, students gain experience with research design, and presentation and discussion skills. Molecular Biophysics Journal Club is a centerpiece of the program and regular participation is required.Seminars: Sudents of the program are expected to attend all relevant departmental seminars on a regular basis. A regular event on Wednesday evenings is the Biochemistry Seminar in which advanced students, faculty and invited visitors present their research (Professor Pratt, coordinator). The MBB and Biology Departments cosponsor a regular seminar series on Thursday afternoons. The Chemistry Department hosts a regular seminar on Fridays of each week.
Conferences: Extramurally, We are affiliated with interest groups such as the New York Structural Biology (NYSB) and the New York Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (NYCBC) groups, both of which offer seminar programs and mini-conferences at various New England venues. All students are encourage to join and attend national meetings of the Biophysical Society.
Qualification Examinations: Students are expected to stand for the qualification process particular to their home department. In MB&B, this consists of examinations in the major subdisciplinary areas of the department, including molecular biophysics. In Chemistry, this consists of monthly progress examinations, some contributed by program faculty, and molecular biophysics students are expected to pass 20 elementary and 10 advanced to be considered for advancement to candidacy.
Advancement to Candidacy: Upon successful completion of the qualification examinations, the preparation and defense of a research proposal, and satisfactory progress in dissertation research, students advance to Ph.D. candidacy by the approval of a petition to the home department. Advancement to candidacy typically occurs after two years of graduate study in the program.
Graduate Student Committees: The graduate committee of a student in the Molecular Biophysics program will consist of representation from at least two participating departments. Students confer with their committee at least once per year to establish curricular objectives and to review research projects. Minutes of the proceedings of each thesis committee meeting serve as a record of student progress through the program.