University of Vermont

The Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Majors

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Offered by: CALS Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Department


Fascinating developments in contemporary medicine and science begin with molecular events that underlie the routine functions of cells and organisms. Scientists in the field of microbiology study microbes essential to medicine, industry, ecology, and basic science. Molecular genetics, in turn, provides the means to investigate, at the molecular level, the chemical and biological principles that underlie all living processes.

The Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department is unique at UVM because it exists within two colleges, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Medicine. From this position, it draws on expertise from such departments as botany and agricultural biochemistry, pathology, biology, and pharmacology.

What Will I Study?

You can choose a major in Microbiology with a concentration in clinical, applied or general microbiology, or in Molecular Genetics.

All students must finish the basic distribution requirements for a bachelor of science degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Microbiology or Molecular Genetics majors also take a foundation of biological and physical science courses, plus upper-level microbiology and molecular genetics and biological sciences courses to complete their major requirements.

The program is flexible enough to allow you to minor in a scientific discipline such as medical technology, nutrition, or biological science -- or a field that's altogether different. Students have graduated with minors in French, business, and statistics, allowing them to put together a career plan that spans a wide range of opportunities.

Exciting Field and Research Experience

Small classes and a strong commitment to advising give you plenty of chance to interact with the faculty, who frequently involve undergraduates in cutting-edge research. Laboratories offer broad opportunities to do research along with coursework in such areas as DNA repair, fungal genetics, environmental microbiology, developmental genetics, infectious diseases, and other fields.

Looking to the Future

An undergraduate in microbiology or molecular genetics prepares you to go on to study for an advanced degree in medicine, biotechnology, microbiology, biochemistry, or something as divergent as the law, where changes in the patent industry, as well as questions of ethics related to bioengineering or genetics counseling have companies and regulatory agencies clamoring for graduates with a science background to complement legal expertise.

You'll be ready to work in virtually any type of laboratory in the biological sciences -- research, clinical, or applied sciences, such as forensics or toxicology. Within these careers -- whether in industry or an academic setting -- you might teach, run experiments, lead a research team, or any combination. Industries like food processing and pharmaceuticals offer many openings, but graduates have also chosen to start their own businesses.

Core Courses Advanced Level Courses
  • Introductory Biology
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Physics
  • Biology of Microorganisms
  • Recombinant DNA Technology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology and Pathogenesis
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Cloning
  • Mammalian Cell Culture in Molecular Biology
  • Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Food Microbiology
  • Eukaryotic Genetics
  • Macromolecular Processing
  • Biochemistry
  • Research
  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships
  • Undergraduate Internships
  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Bioinformatics
  • Macromolecular Structure of Proteins and Nucleic Acids
Faculty and Area of Expertise
Richard Albertini Somatic cell genetics
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
M.D. University of Wisconsin Medical School
Erik Bateman Eukaryotic transcrition
Ph.D. University of Reading, United Kingdom
Jeffrey Bond Computational biology
Ph.D. University of Rochester
A. John Bramley Microbiology, disease pathogenesis,
molecular basis of pathogenicity,
pathogenesis of bovine mastitis
Ph.D. University of Reading, United Kingdom
John Burke Structure, function, and applications of ribozymes
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M. Ahmad Chaudhry DNA microarrays
Ph.D. University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Sylvie Doublié X-ray crystallography of protein-nucleic acid complexes
Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Barry Finette Mutagenic mechanisms, iatrogenic carcinogenic
Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin
M.D. Texas Southwestern Medical
Christopher Francklyn Protein and RNA interactions with DNA
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
Gregory Gilmartin RNA processing
Ph.D. University of Virginia
Ken Hampel Catalytic RNA
Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Joyce Heckman Structure and function of catalytic RNA
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nicholas Heintz DNA replication
Ph.D. University of Vermont
Douglas Johnson Fungal pathogenesis
Ph.D. Purdue University
Thomas Lewis Environmental microbiology
Ph.D. Oregon State University
Mariana Matrajt Host-parasite interactions
Ph.D. University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Keith Mintz Bacterial pathogenesis
Ph.D. University of Vermont
Scott Morrical DNA repair, replication, and recombination
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
David Pederson Eukaryotic transcription and replication
Ph.D. University of Rochester
Brenda Tessman Clinical microbiology and medical technology
M.S. University of Vermont
Markus Thali Cell and molecular biology of virus/host relationships
Ph.D. University of Zurich, Switzerland
Mary Tierney Plant development, plant extracellular matrix structure
Ph.D. Michigan State University
Susan Wallace, chair DNA damage and repair
Ph.D. Cornell University
Gary Ward Host cell recognition and attachment
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
Cedric Wesley Drosophila development
Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook
Umadevi Wesley Cell signaling
Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook

Last modified September 10 2007 04:11 PM

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