Stumpff Lab

The curriculum for the CMB Program is designed to provide students with the fundamental and applied skills to prepare them for future positions in research and science-related fields. The core curriculum includes coursework in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, ethics, data analysis and presentation. Students also enhance their writing skills through a grant-writing course and improve their presentation skills by attending and participating in the CMB Seminar Series and serving as Teaching Assistants.

Research starts immediately in the context of lab rotations during the first year, after which students choose a lab and advisor for their dissertation research, which culminates in the writing, presentation and defense of a dissertation.

Curriculum for CMB students

Students must complete a total of 75 credits to obtain their PhD. This includes a minimum of 30 course credits, a minimum of 20 research credits and 25 additional course or research credits.

Required Core Courses

BIOC 301: General Biochemistry (3 Credits)
Survey for science majors. Proteins, enzymes, and
information transfer.
Fall (Year 1)
BIOC 496: Critical Reading & Analysis (2 Credits)
Runs concurrently with BIOC 301
Fall (Year 1)
CLBI 301: Cell Biology (3 Credits)
Advanced survey of cell organelles, their composition, origin,
and the relationship between their structure and function.
Emphasis on recent literature and current controversies.
Spring (Year1)
CLBI 401: Critical Reading & Analysis (2 Credits)
Runs concurrently with CLBI 301 and utilizes primary literature
and an active, discussion-based approach to provide intensive
study in the logic, critical thinking, and experimental design &
Spring (Year 1)
CLBI 402: Biomedical Data Analysis (2 Credits)
Introduction to qualitative, quantitative and statistical analysis
for cell, molecular, and biomedical sciences. The practical
philosophy underlying data presentation and interpretation will
be emphasized via problem solving in and outside of class time.
Fall (Year 2)
CLBI 394: Science Communication (3 Credits)
Develop effective oral and written communication skills for a
range of audiences from academia to industry, organizations,
news, policymakers, and the general public.
Spring (Year 2)
CLBI 491: Doctoral Dissertation Research (Variable Credit)Fall/Spring
MPBP 330: Biomedical Grantsmanship (2 Credits)
Introduces graduate students in the biomedical life sciences to
process of writing competitive research proposals for funding
from federal and private agencies such as the National Institutes
of Health (NIH).
Spring (Year 2)
Genetics: Must take one of the following courses.

MMG 211: Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics (3 Credits)
The organization, replication, and expression of genes in
prokaryotes, focusing on the genetics of Escherichia coli and its

MMG 233: Genetics and Genomics (3 Credits)
Integrated entry into both genome science and modern genetic
analysis. Students will develop skills needed to access, organize
and interpret emerging genomic information.

MMG 296: Advanced Special Topics - Cancer Genetics (Variable Credit)
Supervised investigations in microbiology or molecular genetics.




Ethics: Must take one of the following courses.

MMG 396/PBIO 395: Ethics in Graduate Research (1 Credit)

NSCI 327: Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research (1 Credit)
Topics in Scientific Integrity surrounding responsible conduct and
practices in biomedical research.



Approved Elective Courses

BHSC 242: Immunology (3 Credits)
Deals with cells, organs, development, interactions and the
functioning (infectious process, immunodeficiency,
hypersensitivity reactions, transplantation and tumor
immunology) of the innate and the adaptive immune system.
BIOC 302: General Biochemistry (3 Credits)
Survey for science majors. Amino acids, nucleic acids, protein
synthesis, cellular and physiological control mechanisms.
BIOC 351: Proteins I - Structure & Function (3 Credits)
Introduction to concepts in protein structure and chemistry as
well as exploration of ideas in a "hands on" fashion using
computational resources.
BIOC 372: Cancer Biology (3 Credits)
Overview of cancer biology for health science students.
Foundation for cancer research. Lecture format; interdisciplinary viewpoint; outside lectures.
BIOL 205: Advanced Genetics & Proteomics Lab (4 Credits)
Laboratory experiments to provide experience with modern genetic
and proteomics techniques. Bench work and data analysis are emphasized.

BIOL 371A: Viral Oncogenesis (1 Credit)
This course will study several oncogenic viruses and for each will cover the history and discovery of the viral oncogene, the molecular mechanisms & cellular biochemistry of the product of the viral oncogene, and the cellular and organismal functions of the products of both the oncogene and the protooncogene.

BIOL 371B: Genetic Tools in Neuroscience (1 Credit)
This seminar-based course will discuss various genetic tools in cell biology and explore their application to neuroscience through primary scientific literature
BIOL 372: Cell Signaling and Development (2 Credits)
Graduate students will explore cutting edge topics in depth. Students will
cross disciplinary lines and learn collaboratively to solve problems.
Students will present the outcomes in a talk appropriate for a lay audience.
BSAD 230: Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (3 Credits)
Provides future business and technology professionals with insights into the
processes of transferring research from the university to the marketplace,
and transforming new technologies into sustainable products or services that
create new economic, social and environmental value.
CLBI 381: CMB Seminar (1 Credit)
A weekly seminar for CMB students to present their current dissertation research to the UVM community. CMB students in their second year and beyond present an annual formal seminar that describes their research, including background, methods, results, and discussion.
Spring & Fall
CTS 307: Cell to Society: COVID-19 – Unintended Consequences (3 Credits)
This seminar course covers a multiplicity of topics on Covid 19 ranging from food insecurity, poverty, mental health, substance use, Long Covid… and many others. Researchers from UVM and the world will share their knowledge and work.
MLS 310: Advanced Immunobiology (3 Credits)
Advanced survey of key current topics in immunology. Focus on
understanding the key concepts and experimental approaches in the major
reas in immunology, with an emphasis on applications to human disease.
MMG 211: Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics (3 Credits)
The organization, replication, and expression of genes in prokaryotes,
focusing on the genetics of Escherichia coli and its viruses.
MMG 223: Immunology (3 Credits)
Analysis of the immune response with respect to structure and function of
mmunoglobulins and the T-cell receptor, tolerance, innate and adaptive
immunity, the Major Histocompatibility Complex, hypersensitivity states,
transplantation, cancer, and AIDS.
MMG 232: Advanced Bioinformatics (3 Credits)
Advanced data processing and genome assembly analysis, data integration,
and machine learning. Python, R, and Linux-scripting are used to assemble
genomes, integrate large data sets, and build complex biological models.
Topics include genomics, meta-data management, and multi-omics analyses
at systems biology levels. Alternate Years. Spring.
MMG 233: Genetics and Genomics (3 Credits)
Integrated entry into both genome science and modern genetic analysis.
Students will develop skills needed to access, organize and interpret emerging genomic information.
MMG 296: Advanced Special Topics - Cancer Genetics
Supervised investigations in microbiology or molecular genetics.
MMG 296: Advanced Special Topics – Advanced Medical Microbiology (3 Credits)
Supervised investigations in microbiology or molecular genetics.
MMG 320: Cellular Microbiology (4 Credits)
Utilizes primary literature to explore the cellular and molecular basis of microbial pathogenesis
caused by viruses, pathogenic bacteria and protozoan parasites. Alternate years. Spring.
MPBP 301: Human Physiology & Pharmacology I (4 Credits)
An integrated examination of the physiology and pharmacology of the
peripheral nervous, muscle and cardiovascular systems in the human body.
MPBP 303: Critical Reading (1 Credit)
Critical reading of the current literature, team taught by the faculty
in the Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, giving broad exposure to the
expertise present in the department.
MPBP 310: Molecular Control of the Cell (3 Credits)
Examines the fundamental molecular mechanisms that control dynamic
cellular processes. Advanced topics in cell biology will be explored from the
single molecule to the whole tissue level with an emphasis on the
coordination of complex molecular systems.
NSCI/PATH 328: Techniques in Microscopy (3 Credits)
Topics shall include practical background in microscopy, including
brightfield, epifluorescence, confocal, multi-photon, deconvolution,
atomic force and electron microscopy.
PATH 307: Molecular Pathology (3 Credits)
This course covers mechanisms of disease, molecular biology and genetics,
diagnostic molecular pathology, as well as principles, tools, and applications
in research of molecular pathogenesis. The basic concepts, research exploration,
and clinical application of pathology are organically tied together at the molecular level.
PHRM 201: Introduction to Pharmacology (3 Credits)
This course will focus on biochemical and physiological actions of
prototype drugs used in the treatment and prevention of human diseases.
PHRM 240: Molecules & Medicine (3 Credits)
This course conveys an understanding about drug design and the molecular
mechanisms by which drugs act in the body. It highlights the importance of
medicinal chemistry as it overlaps with the disciplines of chemistry,
biochemistry, microbiology, cell biology, and pharmacology.
PHRM 272: Toxicology (3 Credits)
This course is intended to provide an understanding of the chemical,
biochemical and physiological factors that determine the pathological effects
of chemicals in living systems.
PHRM 290: Topics in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 Credits)
Focuses on basic principles, drug interactions with receptors, membranes,
synapses, neurotransmitters, macromoles, cytoskeleton, ion channels and
pumps, and mechanisms of drug resistance.
PHRM 305: Milestones in Pharmacology (2 Credits)
A critical readings class where students read and present landmark
pharmacology papers and link them to modern experiments and clinical
SURG 302: Introduction to Flow Cytometry (2 Credits)
Provides basic knowledge in the theoretical and practical aspects of flow
cytometry technology; combination of lecture and training in the practical
use of instrumentation and analysis software.


Sample Student Schedule

Year 1  
BIOC 301 (3 cr)CLBI 301 (3 cr)CLBI 491 (5 cr)
BIOC 496 (2 cr)CLBI 401 (2 cr)Phase I Comprehensive Exam by June 30th
Genetics (3 cr) or Ethics (1 cr)CLBI 491Choose Dissertation Advisor
CLBI 491  
Teaching Assignment I*  
Year 2  
CLBI 402 (2 cr)MPBP 330 (2 cr)CLBI 491 (5 cr)
Ethics (1 cr)CLBI 394 (3 cr)Phase II Comprehensive Exam by August 31
ElectiveCLBI 491 
CLBI 491Elective 
Teaching Assignment II*  
Year 3  
ElectiveElectiveCLBI 491 (5 cr)
CLBI 491CLBI 491 
Year 4  
CLBI 491 (6 cr)GRAD 903 (9 cr)GRAD 902 (5 cr)
GRAD 901 (3 cr)  
Year 5 and Beyond  
GRAD 903 (9 cr)GRAD 903 (9 cr)GRAD 902 (5 cr)

*Students are assigned to reach one semester in their first year and one semester in their second year. The TA Committee will determine the semester in which you teach.

For questions about these courses, please contact Eyal Amiel, chair of Education Committee

You may register for classes at the Registrar’s website or through MyUVM.