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Course Descriptions

Department of Cell Biology

Jordan Hall
P.O. Box 800732
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0732
(434) 924-2732 Fax: (434) 982-3912

Degree Requirements

Admission Admission into the graduate program is based on a combination of criteria including undergraduate and graduate transcripts, Graduate Record Examination scores, letters of recommendation and previous research experience. The candidate should hold a B.S., B.A., M.S., or M.A. degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or one of the related sciences with a background in biology. Organic chemistry and mathematics through college algebra or trigonometry are required. Calculus and biochemistry are strongly recommended. Students are not accepted for study toward the master’s degree. A master’s degree is not required before admission to the Ph.D. program.

Degree Requirements The prime requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Cell Biology is the ability to carry out relatively independent research. The dissertation must represent an original and significant contribution to science and must be of merit sufficient to achieve publication in a professional peer-reviewed journal. During the preparation for the Ph.D. degree, an approved program of advanced courses is required. This program, however, may vary considerably among students, avoiding unnecessary duplication and taking into account the particular research interest of the student and his or her previous training. Upon approval of the written dissertation by the student’s dissertation advisory committee, the student will be given a final oral exam in the presence of the thesis committee and other interested members of the departmental and University faculty. Successful completion of the dissertation defense, in addition to completion of course requirements, qualifying examination, and fourth year research presentation leads to the awarding of the Ph.D. degree.

There are no foreign language or teaching requirements for the Ph.D. although teaching opportunities are available and encouraged.

Course Descriptions


Note: The following courses are open to those who plan to work toward a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Cell Biology; admission to any of these courses requires instructor permission.

CELL 501 - (6) (Y)
Gross Anatomy and Development of the Human Body
Provides a thorough understanding of the structure and development of body form and organ systems. Emphasizes the relation between structure and function and focuses on clinical applications. Includes embryology in order to present a complete picture of organs and body form from their earliest beginnings to their adult condition.

CELL 502 - (5) (Y)
Gross Anatomy and Development of the Human Body
Continuation of CELL 501.

CELL 503 - (6) (Y)
Cell and Tissue Structure
Presents an integrated picture of morphological, biochemical, and functional aspects of cells, tissues, and organs. Emphasizes fundamental concepts of the structure of cells and its relationship to function. The labs emphasize the morphological aspects of cells, tissues, and organs at both the light and electron microscopical levels.

CELL 505 - (4) (Y)
Methods and Applications in Biotechnology
Introduces a broad range of basic research techniques used in biomedical research. Emphasizes both theory of, and practical experience with, each procedure. The procedures include electron and light microscopy, tissue culture, autoradiography, immunocytochemistry, molecular separation and isolation techniques, and radio immunology.

CELL 506 - (4) (S)
Laboratory Rotations
Graduate students carry out limited research projects in two or three department research laboratories. Emphasizes designing and executing experiments.

CELL 508 - (4) (Y)
Developmental Biology
Examines the basic processes and concepts involved in early development. Includes gametogenesis, fertilization, nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions, determination of primary tissues, induction, gene activity in early development, pattern formation, processes in differentiation, and abnormal development. Cross-listed as BIOL 508.

CELL 595 - (Credit to be arranged) (Y)
Current Topics in Cell Biology
Readings and oral presentations taken from the primary literature in Cell Biology and related fields.

CELL 701 - (5) (Y)
Structure and Function of the Cell
Surveys modern cell biology emphasizing the interrelationship between structure and function. Utilizes a combination of textbook readings and original literature. Emphasizes biological membranes, cell adhesion, cytoskeleton, mitosis and cell cycle, cell signaling, and cancer. Same as GSAS 812.

CELL 802 - (3) (IR)
Advances in Reproductive Biology
Topics include consideration of reproductive capacity and strategy, mechanisms of hormone action, cell and molecular biology of gametogenesis and gamete maturation, and events leading to fertilization. Emphasizes current advances in reproductive biology.

CELL 803 - (Credit to be arranged) (Y)
Advanced Gross Anatomy of the Human Body
A laboratory demonstration/dissection course systematically reviewing the gross anatomy of the human body. Emphasizes the functional and surgical aspects of the morphology.

CELL 804 - (Credit to be arranged) (Y)
Advanced Gross Anatomy of the Human Body
Prerequisite: CELL 502 or equivalent.
Continuation of CELL 803.

CELL 805 - (2) (IR)
Colloquium in Developmental Biology
Discusses selected topics related to growth, cell differentiation, organogenesis, and regeneration. Includes current topics in developmental biology as a basis for normal and abnormal development.

CELL 806 - (2) (IR)
Colloquium in Cell Biology
Considers selected topics on the structure of the cell and the relationship of this structure to cellular functions focusing on the ultrastructure of animal cells and the functioning of their subcellular components. The topics emphasize current advances in cell biology.

CELL 897 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
For master’s research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

CELL 898 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research
For master’s thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

CELL 903, 904 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Cell Biology

CELL 905, 906 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Cardiovascular Cell Biology

CELL 907, 908 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Reproductive Cell Biology

CELL 909, 910 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Reproductive Cell Biology and Immunology

CELL 911, 912 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Reproductive Physiology

CELL 913, 914 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Molecular Developmental Biology

CELL 915, 916 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Molecular Biology of Connective Tissues

CELL 917, 918 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Developmental Biology of the Nervous System

CELL 921, 922 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Monoclonal Antibody Production

CELL 923, 924 - (1-12) (Y)
Research in Molecular Biology of Membranes

CELL 997 - (1-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research

CELL 999 - (1-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.

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