Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete 30 credits of coursework, including 19 credits of core courses and 11 credits of electives.

The recommended electives are listed below. However, students have the flexibility to select other courses and tailor the program to fit their interests.

CHECKLIST

🗹 10 Required Courses (19 credits)

🗹 11 Credits of Electives

Required Courses


Students must take 19 core credits of required courses, including one course in Biochemistry, Laboratory Methods, Cell Culture, Bioinformatics, Applications, and Advanced Lecture/Lab.

Biochemistry

BCHB 5110: Fundamentals of Biochemistry

4 credits | Fall Semester

Survey of fundamental concepts in biochemistry and molecular biology, with emphasis on metabolism.

BCHB 5130: Core Concepts of Biochemistry

4 credits | Fall Semester

This is a survey course of core topics in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology, with emphasis on applications to biomedical research and biotechnology.

Laboratory Methods

BIOT 5260: Core Methods in Biotechnology
3 credits | Fall or Spring Semester

This course introduces the student to the scientific methodology of biotechnology and biochemistry. Topics include analysis, purification, and quantification of nucleic acids and proteins, PCR and qPCR applications, DNA microarrays, next generation sequencing, basic and advanced cloning techniques, protein-protein interactions, molecular diagnostics, protein and nucleic acid therapeutics, molecular vaccines, bionanotechnology, plant biotechnology, and product development.

BCHB 5760: Core Methods of Biochemistry
3 credits | Fall Semester

This course is an introduction to core concepts of Molecular Biology. Methods used for analysis, purification, and quantitation of nucleic acids and proteins are discussed in-depth. Problem-solving sessions are included as part of the course.

Cell Culture

BCHB 5360: Applications of Cell Culture
2 credits | Spring Semester

This lecture and laboratory course provides biochemistry, biomedical, and biotechnology graduate students with a basic understanding and hands-on experience on modern applications of tissue/cell culture technology in the study of diverse topics in life sciences, including Molecular Biology, Toxicology, Tumor Biology, Pharmacology, and Biotechnology.

Bioinformatics

BCHB 5140/5150: Intro to Bioinformatics
1 credit | Fall or Spring Semester

The sequencing of the human genome that was completed in 2001 and the explosion of ”omic data” has accelerated our understanding of basic genetics and how we think of biology. We are now in the “omic” era of molecular biology that has given birth to the new field of Bioinformatics. All this data can be used meaningfully for biological and clinical research only if we can extract the relevant functional information from them and convert biological data into knowledge of biological systems. Fortunately, by using bioinformatics we can make headway in understanding and extracting relevant biological information from these sequences. The aim of this course is to introduce the various tools and resources that are available as applicable to biomedical research. This course is highly experiential with both lectures and “hands-on” sessions.

BCHB 5410: Structural Biology
2 credits | Spring Semester

The goal of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules. Students will learn about molecular structure determination techniques as well as the biological relevance of molecular structure-function relationships. Lectures are given by renowned experts in the field. As part of the course, students will explore structures of proteins implicated in human diseases. The course is a mix of lectures and hands-on sessions. The students will learn several tools and structural resources that includes drug-design, docking and in-silico drug-screening.

SYSM 5940 Translational Bioinformatics
3 credits | Spring Semester

Translational bioinformatics is a field that enables transformation of basic science discoveries into clinically applicable knowledge. This provides opportunities for the practice of precision medicine and the application of systems approaches. This course will expose students to the wide range of biomedical data, from publicly available next-generation sequencing data to genetic and genomic data as applicable to cancer research. The course will comprise of a combination of lectures, invited seminars, and hands-on computer-based exercises utilizing web-based bioinformatics tools and publically-available databases Using different cancer types as examples, students will learn how to analyze data generated by genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and other high-throughput approaches. The main goal is to understand these diseases from a Systems Perspective and learn to translate this knowledge from bench to bedside. Students will learn to perform NGS, RNAseq data analysis and use of many cancer resources.

Lab Applications

3 credits | Fall or Spring Semester

This is a comprehensive hands-on, laboratory-based course that introduces students to core techniques such as electrophoretic analysis of nucleic acids and proteins, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Southern and Western blotting, ELISA, protein purification, tissue culture, DNA cloning, cell culture, and bioinformatics.

Advanced Lab

BIOT 5190: Medical Toxicology
2 credits | Fall Semester

This course will introduce students to the foundational concepts of Toxicology and Pharmacology. Topics to be discussed will include major classifications of toxicants and drugs as they relate to organ systems or major pathophsyiological disease effects such substances are likely to engender. Toxic substances in Foods, Water and Medicines will be discussed as well as in Industrial chemical substances that can be encountered in environments at work, home and at leisure.

BCHB 5350: Programmed Cell Death
2 credits | Fall Semester

This lecture and laboratory course familiarizes students with different pathways leading to apoptosis and their importance in development as well as in diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Ischemia.

BIOT 5370: Protein Production & Bioprocessing
3 credits | Fall or Spring Semester

This is an intense hands-on course that will cover various aspects of fermentation and bioprocessing. Students will use bioreactors to grow cells for purification of different biologics.

BCHB 5750: Immunotechniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology

2 credits | Fall Semester

This course introduces students to the latest immunological
techniques used in research and diagnostic laboratories. The lab component of the course will give students an intensive hands-on experience with techniques commonly used in biomedical research. The course aims to develop expertise in various standard laboratory biochemical, molecular, and cell biology techniques, such as aseptic technique and cell culture, immunocytochemistry, SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblot analysis, magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS), RNA extraction, qPCR for gene expression analysis, etc.

BIOT 5270: Food Biotechnology
2 credits | Spring Semester

The Food Biotechnology course provides an introduction to the fascinating field of biotechnology and its role in the food industry. With broad-brush strokes, it covers many facets of the world of foods, which is very diverse yet very personal to all of us. The topics covered relate to food ingredients, fermentations, bioterrorism, FDA regulations, rapid detection techniques of food born pathogens, chemical senses, nutrigenomics and nutraceuticals. Laboratory component is provided as part of the course.

BIOT 6100: 3D Culture & Drug Discovery

2 credits | Spring Semester

3-dimensional (3D) cell culture system is an important study model in drug discovery pipeline for its better mimicry of cellular microenvironment in vivo. This course will introduce students to essential cell culture concepts and techniques. In particular, it will focus on hands-on laboratory training of spheroid culture from tumor cells and organoid culture from primary cells. Different 3D culture techniques will be introduced including scaffold based and non-scaffold based. High throughput drug toxicity screening will be performed to examine effects in tumor proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion. Students will be exposed to the biomedical assays to screen for personalized medicine.

Internship

4 Credits

4 credits | Fall or Spring Semester
Prerequisites: BCHB 7950 Introduction to Biochemistry Internship

This is the capstone course in which students will be working to pursue defined objectives in companies in the biotechnology industry and agencies and institutions in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Internships can be in basic research, business functions, industrial and biomedical sciences or intellectual property.

Required Non-Credit Courses

0 Credits

0 credits | Fall or Spring Semester

This is a required course for any student who will be in a course with a lab component.

0 credits | Fall or Spring Semester

This course will review scientific ethics and integrity, plagiarism and how to submit documents through TurnItIn as well as other program specific ethical issues.

0 credits | Fall or Spring Semester

This course will prepare and guide Biochemistry students for Internship (BCHB 7951) and inform them of the search process.

*Course instructor permission is required.

Elective Courses

Students are required to complete 11 credits of electives. Students can customize their degree by focusing on specific areas of interest.


Bioinformatics Focus

TBA

Biomedical Focus

BCHB 5003-1: Biochemistry Journal Club*
1 Credit | Fall or Spring Semester

BCHB 5160: Molecular Medicine 2 Credits | Spring or Fall Semester

BCHB 5190: Medical Toxicology
2 Credits | Fall Semester

BCHB 5220: Drug Targets and Design
1 Credit | Spring Semester

BCHB 5440: Essentials of Biochemistry: Metabolism
1 Credit | Fall Semester

BIOT 5250: Immunobiotechnology
2 Credits | Spring Semester

BIOT 5310: DNA Damage, Repair & Human Therapy
1 Credit | Fall Semester
Lab Included

BCHB 5400: Molecular Basis of Carcinogenesis
3 Credits | Spring Semester

BCHB 5450: Essentials of Programmed Cell Death
1 Credit | Fall Semester

BCHB 5460: Principles of Tissue Culture
1 Credit | Spring Semester

BCHB 6001: Topics in Biochemistry and Mol Biology*
2 Credits | Fall Semester

PBIO 6529: Human Nutrition & Health
2 Credits | Spring Semester

*Course instructor permission is required.

Biotechnology Focus

BIOT 5009: Intro to Biotechnology*
3 Credits | Fall Semester

BIOT 5100: Entrepreneurial Biotechnology*
3 Credits | Spring Semester

BIOT 5230: Intellectual Property
2 Credits | Fall Semester

BIOT 5270: Food Biotechnology
2 Credits | Spring Semester

BIOT 5430: Current Good Manufacturing Practices for Biotech
1 Credit | Spring Semester

BIOT 5500: Management Strategies for Biotech Companies
1 Credit | Spring Semester

BIOT 5510: Commercialization for the Biotech Industry
1 Credit | Spring Semester

BCHB 5590: New Frontiers of Biotechnology
1 Credit | Fall Semester

BIOT 5550: Gov’t, Science & Tech Management
1 Credit | Spring Semester

*Course instructor permission is required.

Cell Biology Focus

CBIO 5390: Molecular Cell Biology*
3 Credits | Spring Semester

CBIO 5620: Molecular & Cell Biology: In Depth*
2 Credits | Spring Semester

*Course instructor permission is required.

Microbiology Focus

BHTA 6524: Emerging & Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
2 Credits | Spring Semester

BHTA 6526: The Chemistry of War
3 Credits | Spring Semester

BHTA 6551: Biohazardous Threat Agents/Emerging Infectious Diseases
1 Credit | Fall Semester

BSPA 7003: Regulatory Science II
2 Credits | Spring Semester

MICB 6190: Biology/Biochem of Viruses
3 Credits | Spring Semester

MICB 6290: Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
3 Credits | Spring Semester

MICB 7008: Immunogenetics in Health & Disease
2 Credits | Spring Semester

BSPA 7801: Global Infectious Diseases Seminar
2 Credits | Fall or Spring Semester

Neuroscience Focus

NSCI 6001: Advances in Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience
2 Credits | Fall Semester

NSCI 5001 Neuroscience Survey I
2 Credits | Fall Semester

NSCI 5003 Neuroscience Critical Readings
1 Credit | Fall or Spring Semester

NSCI 6007 Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration 
3 Credits | Fall Semester

NSCI 6008 Topics in Neuroinflammation
2 Credits | Spring Semester

Tumor Biology Focus

TBIO 6513/6514: Clinical Conf on Breast Cancer
1 Credit | Fall or Spring Semester

TBIO 6520: Cancer Prevention, Control, and Epidemiology
3 Credits | Spring Semester

TBIO 6522: Epigenetics
3 Credits | Fall Semester

TBIO 6525: Cancer Genetics
3 Credits | Fall Semester

TBIO 6536: Cancer Pharmacology I
4 Credits | Spring Semester

TBIO 6543: Clinical Survey of Human Cancer
1 Credit | Fall Semester

TBIO 6567: Clinical and Translational Oncology – Neural Tumors
1 Credit | Spring Semester

TBIO 6568: Minority Health and Health Disparities
2 Credits | Spring Semester

TBIO 6584: Intro to Tumor Biology
1 Credit | Fall Semester

TBIO 6591: Signal Transduction Journal Club
1 Credit | Spring Semester