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College of Graduate Studies

Spring Selectives

In the second half of the spring semester, doctoral training programs in the College of Graduate Studies offer First Year Curriculum students a choice of discipline- or program-specific courses. These seven-week “Selectives” provide students with more focused studies in their specific fields of interest. Upon registering for the 2016 Spring semester, students are required to enroll in one of the six Selectives listed below. Specific times and locations for each Selective will be announced in advance of the registration deadline.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Advanced Biochemistry (BMB-735/PCOL-735)
Course Co-Directors: Christopher Davies, Ph.D. ( and Lauren E. Ball, Ph.D. (
This new course has been developed to equip students with foundational knowledge that is essential for a successful career in the field of biochemistry.  Students will learn advanced biochemical analytical techniques and associated theories, which they can use to study the structure and functions of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids at the molecular level.  Core areas of learning include thermodynamics, enzyme kinetics, biophysics, biomolecular interactions, proteomics and mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and structural biology.  Student performance will be accessed by assignments of each block and in-depth examination of landmark studies.

Department Microbiology and Immunology

Immunobiology (MBIM-788)
Course director: Carl Atkinson, Ph.D. (
Intensive 7-week introductory immunology course for graduate students in lecture format, utilizing Janeway’s Immunobiology as a textbook. Emphasis is on understanding molecular mechanisms resulting in immunity, and experimental methods for testing and discovering these mechanisms.

Departments of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics/Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences

Drug Discovery & Molecular Pharmacology (PCOL 724/DDBS 712)
Course Directors: Steven Rosenzweig, Ph.D. (; PCOL) and Kennerly Patrick, Ph.D. (; DDBS).
In this course, students will be introduced to the scientific fundamentals used in drug design, focusing on the targeting of cell signaling pathways and ranging from bench discovery, drug approval for human testing and ultimately, therapeutic application. Agents for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and psychiatric disorders will be exemplified. This course underscores the interdisciplinary nature of pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, within which biochemistry, cell biology, physiology and medicine have been integrated to facilitate drug discovery.  Understanding biological problems/pathologies at a mechanistic level are shown to be essential to the rational design of tomorrow’s best-in-class drugs. The interdependence of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic relationships will be discussed as a prominent feature of drug discovery. Merit grades will be based on class participation (25%) and outside assignments (75%).

Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program

Advanced Cell Biology (MCBP 723)
Advanced Cell Biology (MCBP 723)
Course Director: Amy Bradshaw, Ph.D. (
This course is primarily literature based, spanning selected topics building on content of the first year curriculum. There will be a different teaching team each of the first five weeks. The sixth week will be for student presentations on a topic of their choice (evaluated by all faculty). A formal written critique of that literature will be due the end of the following week. Lodish et al., 6th Edition, is the recommended text but there are several others on reserve in the library. Any other materials, e.g. reviews, etc, will be provided by the relevant instructors as hard copies or electronically on Moodlerooms.

Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program (Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Studies)
Environment, Oceans, and Humans: The Inextricable Relationship between Climate Change, Marine Environment, and Human Health (MCBP 746)
Course Director: Satomi Kohno, PhD (
This course introduces students to some of the topical issues in marine and environmental sciences as they relate to Human Health. The course shows the application of cell and molecular biology and epidemiology approaches to environmentally relevant questions that ultimately impact human health. These topics are put into context of the reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the latest Bali summit.  In addition students will participate in learning how results from research in environmental cell and molecular science are synthesized with economics and law to form public policy. The role of federal and SC state government agencies in these processes will be presented through the appropriate representatives of these agencies on the Ft. Johnson campus. This is a course that includes students reading scientific papers, lay communications, and books in conjunction with active class participation through discussions on topical issues.

Mechanisms of Development: Developmental Biology, Stem Cells and Animal Models (MCBP 762)
Course Director: Yukiko Sugi, Ph.D. (
This course will provide a general overview of fundamental developmental mechanisms focused on a comparison of different model organisms. This 7 week long course covers early and intermediate developmental events (gastrulation and cardiovascular), stem cell biology, mouse molecular genetics and gene regulation, perinatal maturation through induction of stemness in differentiated adult cells and regenerative medicine. Comparative systems discussed include Drosophila, zebrafish, Xenopus, chick, mouse models and humans. The course is intended for graduate student training in any aspect of biomedical research.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Graduate Histology and Introduction to Histopathology (PATH 789)
Course Directors: Bradley A. Schulte, Ph.D. ( and Hainan Lang, M.D., Ph.D. (
Students will learn to visualize the microscopic architecture of the human/animal body. A main goal is to teach basic and organ histology as a prerequisite for graduate student participation in a general pathology course. For graduate students in fields other than pathology the course will provide a practical understanding of histology. The primary resource for this course is WebMic, a Virtual Microscope and a Companion Manual of Histology Exercises. Webmic mimics the use of the microscope in learning histology. Emphasis will be placed on guided self-directed learning with ample opportunity for interaction with faculty through direct viewing of specimens with microscopes, the use of dual viewing microscopes, and TV microscopy. This course will be graded on participation and performance on oral and practical examinations.


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