Jan 26, 2022  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cell Biology and Biotechnology – Master of Science (Non-Thesis)

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MS (Non-Thesis)

The MS non-thesis option is a coursework-based degree in which the student completes a minimum of 30 credits. The objectives of the MS non-thesis option 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.
  • Demonstrate an improving set of oral and written presentation skills for communication of research results.
  • Develop competence in acquisition and interpretation of the scientific literature relevant to the program discipline.


Courses from other programs may be elected with permission of the program director; it is the responsibility of the student to fulfill course prerequisites. MS students must complete at least 3 credits at the 800 level. Program electives include:

In addition to the program core outlined above, the MS non-thesis student may elect:

 The electives for the MS non-thesis option may be chosen to enhance the student’s career objectives or to allow exploration of additional areas of interest.


  1. For the student who is contemplating a change to the MS thesis option or those interested in exploring research as a future direction.
  2. May be taken up to two times for credit.

Faculty – Graduate Biological Sciences Programs

Shivendra Sahi 
BS (Gorakhpur University, India); PhD (North Carolina State University)
Professor of Biology
Chair, Biological Sciences  
Phone: 215.596.7417
E-mail: s.sahi@usciences.edu      
Research: focuses on understanding uptake and transport mechanisms of excess phosphorus and heavy metals in plants and developing remediation strategies against thee pollutants  

Ara DerMarderosian
BS, MS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); PhD (University of Rhode Island)
Professor Emeritus of Pharmacognosy
Research Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8915
E-mail: a.dermar@usciences.edu

Grace Farber
BS (Rider University); PhD (University of Pittsburgh) 
Assistant Professor of Biology
Director, General Education  
Co-director, Neuroscience Program 
Phone: 267.295.3157
E-mail: g.farber@usciencs.edu 
Research: scholarship of teaching and learning 

Matthew J. Farber 
BS (Seton Hall University); PhD (University of Pittsburgh) 
Assistant Professor of Biology
Director, Brewing Science Program
Phone: 215.596.7452
E-mail: m.farber@usciences.edu    
Research: applications of microbiology and biotechnology in brewing science  

Jason Heindl
BA (Amherst College), PhD (Harvard University)
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
E-mail: j.heindl@usciences.edu
Research: Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Christopher Janetopoulos
BS (Augustana College); PhD (Texas A & M University)
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: 215.895.3118
E-mail: c.janetopoulos@usciences.edu
Research: The establishment and maintenance of  polarity during migration and  cell division. Techniques: Molecular biology, biochemistry, high-end fluorescence microscopy and advanced microfluidic techniques in single and multi-cellular organisms.

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

Zachary Klase
BS (Rutgers University); PhD (George Washington University)
Assistant Professor of Biology
E-mail: z.klase@usciences.edu
Phone: 215.596.8521
Research: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) pathogenesis; control of viral transcription, interaction with the human immune system and the effect of RNA interference on viral replication.

Zhijun Li
BS, MS (Tsinghua University, China); PhD (Vanderbilt University)
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Director, Graduate Program in Bioinformatics
Phone: 215.596.7539
E-mail: z.li@usciences.edu
Research: Research: focuses on generation and analysis of 3D structures and proteins using computational and bioinformatics tools. His group relies on a broad range of techniques to tackle complex biological problems in multiple dimensions.

Suzanne K. Murphy
BA (Rosemont College); PhD (Hahnemann University) 
Professor of Biology
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 (Philadelphia University); PhD (Drexel University)
Associate Professor of Biology
Co-Director, Cell Biology and Biotechnology Graduate Programs
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 (University of Delaware); PhD (Pennsylvania State University)
Associate 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

Margaret Pearce
BS (Le Moyne College), PhD (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
E-mail: m.pearce@usciences.edu
Research: neuroscience

Bela Peethambaran
BTech (St. Xavier’s College, India); MS (Gujarat University, India); PhD (Mississippi State University)
Associate Professor of Biology
Co-Director, Cell Biology and Biotechnology Graduate Programs  
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 

C. Nicole Sunnen
BS (University of Guelph, Canada); PhD (Baylor College of Medicine)
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Phone: 215.596.7420
E-mail: c.sunnen@usciences.edu
Research: molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopment and disease; epilepsy; STEM education


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