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The Boonshoft School of Medicine & The College of Science+Mathematics

Academics

Master's Program

photo of Steven Berberich and students working in a lab

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. The major purpose of the M.S. program is to provide the student with a strong biochemical background that can serve as a basis for further graduate or professional study. Graduate study with faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree is available through the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program.

Major research interests of the department are grouped into three interrelated areas: molecular structure and function, molecular genetics, and the application of magnetic resonance (MR) to biomedical research. Specific research projects deal with the structure and function of membranes, proteins and enzymes, nucleic acids, chromatin structure and function, molecular genetics, nucleotide metabolism, and the use of MR to study biochemical phenomena.

Admission

Applicants must fulfill the requirements for admission established by the Wright State Graduate School. A bachelor's degree in the biochemical, biological, or chemical sciences, including coursework in organic chemistry, physics, and calculus, is generally required. In addition, letters of recommendation are an important admission consideration.

Degree Requirements

Qualification for the Master of Science degree requires a candidate to fulfill the requirements of the Wright State Graduate School, to complete departmental coursework, and to submit an acceptable research thesis.

View Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree requirements in the University Catalog.

Summary of Course and Thesis Requirements
  • Biochemistry lecture sequence (BMB 7500 and 7520). A grade of B must be obtained in each semester of these courses. If a B is not obtained, the student may repeat the course (or courses) once. A repeat of BMB 7500 and/or 7520 must be completed within a year of the semester in which the deficiency occurs.
  • Research Perspectives (BMB 7020).
  • Research Ethics (BMB 7030).
  • Graduate seminars: a total of 4 credit hours of graduate-level seminars in biochemistry (including BMB 8000 or BMB 9000) or other departments.
  • Two additional 7000-level courses: these may include 7000-level courses from other departments.
  • The student and his or her thesis advisor will have the responsibility for selecting advanced courses and seminars suited to each student's program needs and interests.
  • The thesis must be based on hands-on research. BMB 8990 (or BMB 6990) must be taken each semester the student performs laboratory research. The thesis advisory committee must be made up of at least three faculty from the Department of Biochemistry. The student will orally defend the completed thesis and present a departmental seminar on his or her research.

Ph.D. Program

The BMB department participates in an innovative interdisciplinary approach to the biomedical sciences. The Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program recognizes the relatedness of the various traditional disciplines and seeks to educate scientists to take advantage of developments in diverse areas of research. Classroom and laboratory instruction stresses experiences that span a broad spectrum of knowledge.

The program provides an integrated background in physical, chemical, and biological disciplines and an in-depth experience in research in a chosen sub-field. Graduates are expected to be sufficiently flexible to participate in solving a broad range of complex biomedical problems.

Competitive stipends and health benefits are available to qualifying candidates.

From 2003 to 2013, the BMS program graduated 72 Ph.D. students. Of those, 15 were from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Courses

Undergraduate Courses

  • Nutrition as an integrated science emphasizing biochemical and physiological principles. Topics include nutritional energetics, specific nutrients, and nutrition and physiology. Relation of basic concepts to clinical situations and to nutritional management of specific disease conditions.
  • Biosynthetic and biodegradative metabolism with emphasis on the molecular events leading to the regulation of metabolism. Covers the chemistry which enables cells to generate energy for life-sustaining processes and the role of biological membranes in this process. Includes control and regulation of metabolic processes at the molecular level. Examinations will be designed for CLS majors.
  • Basic principles of biochemistry and molecular biology of the cells at the molecular level. Emphasizes experimental procedures used to generate current understanding of the biochemistry of proteins, enzymes and nucleic acids.
  • Biosynthetic and biodegradative metabolism with emphasis on the molecular events leading to the regulation of metabolism. Covers the chemistry which enables cells to generate energy for life-sustaining processes and the role of biological membranes in this process. Includes control and regulation of metabolic processes at the molecular level.
  • Review of current literature in biochemistry and m molecular biology.
  • Research experience in a biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory.
  • Biochemical and/or molecular biological research in a faculty member's laboratory.

Graduate Courses

  • Current problems in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as assigned by BMB faculty members with approval of the Chair.
  • Special topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology covering recent developments in selected faculty member's area of research expertise.
  • Lecture/reading course to acquaint new graduate students with the research being carried out by the faculty in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program.
  • Also listed as BMS 7030. Research ethics emphasizes the evaluation of hypothetical ethical scenarios in biomedical research. Class discussion is based on integrating ethical policy and practices as they relate to research at Wright State and beyond.
  • Required recitation for BMB 7030.
  • Emphasis on eukaryotic cell energy metabolism and ATP synthesis in normal and diseased states. Current research developments in carbohydrate, fat and amino acid metabolism will be covered through individual pathways and an interacting systems approach within cells. Mitochondrial energy transduction at the molecular level will be discussed in detail.
  • Also listed as BMS 7670. Current concepts in protein structure and function and the mechanism of enzymatic catalysis.
  • Also listed as BMS 7500. Survey course emphasizing experimental and problem-solving approaches to understanding amino acids, protein structure, enzymes, nucleic acid structure and DNA replication.
  • Survey course emphasizing an experimental and problem-solving approach to metabolism, nucleic-acid function, protein synthesis, membranes and hormones.
  • Also listed as BMS 7530. A molecular analysis of information transfer into and within cells.
  • Also listed as BMS 7600. A literature based course covering molecular events in the nucleus including DNA replication, repair and recombination and transcription.
  • Also listed as BMS 7630 and BME 7630. Discusses the applications of NMR spectroscopy to the study of tissue metabolism in vivo. The fundamental theory of magnetic resonance imaging, with a survey of clinical applications, is also presented.
  • This is a survey course of modern high-throughput experimental approaches and computational tools used currently in cell and molecular biology, microbiology, and ecology. Students will gain knowledge of the most widely used experimental techniques and will obtain hands on laboratory-type computational experience with key software and strategies. Covered topics include genomics, gene expression profiling, phylogenetic analysis, next-generation sequencing, and biological pathway analysis.
  • An intensive course on human diseases at all levels; replicational, transcriptional, translational, protein expression, protein folding and processing, protein structure and function, cellular metabolic changes, nuclear and cellular phenotypic changes, symptoms, and putative therapies.
  • Continuing registration for advanced degree.
  • Current departmental research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology presented in an informal seminar format.
  • Original research in a BMB faculty laboratory. Variable credit hours .5 - 15.
  • Current research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology presented in a didactic seminar format.