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Graduate Training

Core Curriculum:

The BBS has an umbrella admissions procedure and a core curriculum for all first year BBS students. Graduate students at UMMS first acquire a broad base of knowledge through the Foundations Course (BBS 614), implemented in September 2016. The goal of this course is to apply foundational concepts in core disciplines including biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, pathology, and bioinformatics to provide key skills necessary for success in contemporary biomedical research.

In addition to the Foundations Course, the core curriculum for all 1st year students includes a professional development curriculum that extends across the students’ years of training (including the Communicating Science course (BBS 602) in the first year, and Professionalism and Responsible Conduct (PARC - BBS 601) in their third year. 

Laboratory rotations (3 different labs) during the first year provide students with hands-on research experience in diverse areas of research and facilitates the selection of a laboratory in which students pursue thesis research.

IMP Curriculum:

Upon completion of the core curriculum and rotations, students interested in IMP-related research choose an IMP mentor and join the IMP. 

Specialized training in immunology, virology, and microbial pathogenesis is then initiated in the spring of the first year with the Advanced Topics Course: Infection and Immune Response (BBS 755), which introduces students to the immune system, basic principles of bacteriology and virology, and the interaction of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi with the host. Emphasis is placed on experimental systems and analysis of primary research papers. Students also select an additional course to complete in the spring of the first year. This course can be one of any of the Advanced Topics courses offered by other programs.

Further training continues in the fall of the second year with one of the following Advanced Topics Courses: Advanced Molecular and Cellular Immunology (BBS 821), Advanced Virology (BBS 822) or Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis (BBS 823). 

Additional training in the second year includes seminars, journal clubs, and tutorials all of which explore cutting edge research in IMP-related disciplines. All students, except for those in the final stages of their dissertation research, are required to take Graduate Student Seminar each fall semester(BBS 833), and The Immunobiology and Microbiology Seminar and Discussion (BBS 834) for two semesters. 


Additional information about application for admission, entrance requirements and the school-wide program can be found @

Specific questions about the IMP should be directed to the IMP Program Directors Neal Silverman, Trudy Morrison  or Beth McCormick