Nov 25, 2020  
2013-2014 University Catalog 
    
2013-2014 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cell and Molecular Biology – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


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The department offers a PhD degree option in cell and molecular biology. The degree is a research-focused degree in which the student completes a body of novel and significant research that will result in a written dissertation that is defended before the program faculty. The degree requires completion of 20 credits of courses and at least 20 credits of research. In addition, PhD students are expected to present the results of the research efforts in professional meetings and through publication. The objectives of the PhD program are to provide opportunities for each student to:

  • Develop skill and knowledge in the fields of cell biology, biotechnology, molecular biology, and related disciplines of bioinformatics, developmental biology, microbiology, or biophysics.
  • Initiate, conduct, and complete a research project that makes use of the knowledge and skills relevant to the program.
  • Demonstrate an improving set of oral and written presentation skills for communication of research results.
  • Develop competence and proficiency in acquisition and interpretation of the scientific literature relevant to the program disciplines.
  • Become skilled in the process of grantsmanship through courses and the faculty mentor opportunities and interaction.

Electives


Courses from other programs may be elected with permission of the program director; it is the responsibility of the student to fulfill course prerequisites. PhD students must complete at least 6 credits at the 800 level. Program electives include:

In addition to the program core outlined above, the PhD students will complete the following courses:


Students who contemplate submission of proposals for extramural funding or participation in such research are highly recommended to complete BS 786 - Research Ethics  Credits: 1.

Footnote:


Required at the discretion of the program director.

Faculty – Graduate Biological Sciences Programs


John R. Porter
BS (Pittsburgh State, Kansas); PhD (Montana)
Professor of Biology
Research Professor of Pharmacognosy
Director, Biology Graduate Programs

Phone: 215.596.8917
E-mail: j.porter@usciences.edu
Research: genetics of plant-microbe interactions; cytotoxic and antimicrobial natural plant products; plant tissue and cell culture; molecular biology of biosynthetic pathways

Peter B. Berget
BS, PhD (Minnesota)
Professor of Biological Sciences
Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
Phone: 215.596.7417
E-mail: p.berget@usciences.edu
Research: discovery, engineering, and development of single-chain variable fragment antibodies that can be used as intracellular and extracellular biosensors of gene, pathway, and metabolic activity; molecular biology, cell culture, microbiology, and biochemistry techniques

Ara DerMarderosian
BS, MS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy);
PhD (Rhode Island)
Professor of Pharmacognosy
Research Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8915
E-mail: a.dermar@usciences.edu
Research: bioactive and immunoregulatory substances from natural sources; PCR typing of medicinal plants; nutraceuticals

James R. Johnson
BS (Auburn); PhD (Duke)
Associate Professor of Biology
Coordinator, BS in Microbiology
Phone: 215.596.8521
E-mail: j.johnso@usciences.edu
Research: molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression and gene product function; analysis of protein factors and DNA structures that regulate gene activity in E. coli K12 and Staphylococcus aureus; microbial sulfur metabolism

Margaret R. Kasschau
BA (Rochester); MS, PhD (South Carolina)
Professor Emeritus of Biology
E-mail: m.kassch@usciences.edu

Zhijun Li
BS, MS (Tsinghua, China); PhD (Vanderbilt)
Associate Professor of Bioinformatics
Phone: 215.596.7539
E-mail: z.li@usciences.edu
Research: use of computational and bioinformatics methods to generate and analyze three-dimensional structures of protein molecules and to gain insight into protein sequence, structure, and function relationships; the leveraging and combining of a broad range of computational techniques that tackle biological problems in multiple dimensions

Vandana Ahuja Miller
BS (Hindu College); MD (Lady Hardinge, India)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7591
E-mail: v.miller@usciences.edu
Research: regulation of purine signaling through expression of extracellular enzymes during maturation and activation of phagocytic cells

Suzanne K. Murphy
BA (Rosemont); PhD (Hahnemann) 
Professor of Biology
Interim Dean, Misher College of Arts and Sciences
Director, Pre-Health Professions Programs
Phone: 215.596.8921
E-mail: s.murphy@usciences.edu
Research: analysis of expression of the ras oncogene; perturbations in signal transduction pathways and expression of heat shock proteins

Kenneth Myers
BS (Phila University); PhD (Drexel)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7531
E-mail: k.myers@usciences.edu
Research: microtube dynamics of endothelial cells in branching and directed motility; interactions with the extracellular matrix; high-resolution light and fluorescence microscopy

Dana Pape-Zambito
BA (Delaware); PhD (Penn State)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 267.295.3173
E-mail: d.zambito@usciences.edu
Research: breast cancer initiation and progression; mammary gland development and lactation; influence of endocrine disrupter hormones

Bela Peethambaran
BTech (St. Xavier’s, India); MS (Gujarat University, India); PhD (Mississippi State)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8923
E-mail: b.peethambaran@usciences.edu
Research: plant metabolic engineering for antioxidant and bioactive compound production; manipulation of plant signaling pathways to enhance stress responses; anti-cancer activities of plant extracts

Robert A. Smith
BS, MS (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science)
Distinguished Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8918
E-mail: r.smith@usciences.edu
Research: plant tissue culture for secondary metabolite production; plant tissue culture models of organogenesis and embryogenesis 

Affiliated Faculty

Natalia Coleman
BS, MS, PhD (St. Petersburg Agrarian University, Russia)
Research Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7592
E-mail: n.colema@usciences.edu

Melissa G. Marko
BS (Penn State); MS, PhD (Tufts)
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.7437
E-mail: m.marko@usciences.edu

Gilbert L. Zink
BS, MS, PhD (Ohio State)
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.596.8520
E-mail: g.zink@usp.edu

Adjunct Faculty

Joseph Betz, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Biotechnology

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