Graduate studies in the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences can lead to an M.P.S., M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Students may choose from biomedical research areas such as cell regulatory systems, protein biochemistry, molecular immunology, cellular and molecular toxicology, microbiology, bioinformatics, and genomics. Financial aid is available on a competitive basis, primarily in the form of graduate teaching assistantships. Research assistantships and University fellowships are also available.
Faculty members are actively involved in research that is supported at the federal level. Students admitted to the graduate program in Biochemistry may also carry out their research with faculty listed under Microbiology in this catalog, in a number of laboratories in other departments at the University, the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) in Portland, or through cooperative institutional arrangements and Associate faculty or staff. (In addition to the University of Maine-based faculty listed below, several faculty at Jackson Laboratory, MMCRI, etc, mentor research students in this degree program.)
The Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is awarded for significant and original contributions to basic knowledge through research. The curriculum plan is variable and will take into account each student’s goals for graduate study and the content and quality of his or her undergraduate preparation.
The Master’s program prepares students for further studies toward the Ph.D., or medical degrees, as well as for careers in academic or industrial research, or teaching. The M.P.S., Master of Professional Studies, is a non-thesis Master’s degree.
The Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences is housed in Hitchner Hall which is well equipped to do modern research in biochemistry, bacteriology, virology, molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, and immunology. Equipment available for research includes ultracentrifuges, Biotek microplate readers, LICOR CLX, Nanodrop, luminometers, qPCR instruments, liquid scintillation radioisotope counters, high speed refrigerated centrifuges, biohazard chambers, tissue culture facilities, flow cytometers, electrophoresis equipment, confocal and other microscopes, and transmission and scanning electron microscopes. Hitchner Hall has an excellent zebrafish facility on site. Additional facilities are available on campus for holding and breeding small animals.
Prerequisite for admission to these programs is the completion of undergraduate work in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biochemistry/molecular biology substantially equivalent to that required of undergraduate students at this institution whose major is Biochemistry.
Robert E. Gundersen, Ph.D. (University of Texas-Austin, 1983), Chair and Associate Professor. The role of signal transduction during growth and development in eukaryotes.
Dorothy E. Croall, Ph.D. (University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1979) Professor. Biochemistry of proteins and enzymes with focus on calcium dependent proteases (calpains) and their diverse biological roles.
Julie A. Gosse, Ph.D. (Cornell, 2005), Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator. Biochemical, molecular, and cellular toxicology to aid in human environmental health risk assessment.
Joshua B. Kelley, Ph.D. (University of Virginia, 2008), Assistant Professor. Spatio-temporal regulation of G-proteins in receptor mediated gradient tracking using microfluidics and computational cell biology approaches.
Carol H. Kim, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1992), Associate Professor. Viral pathogens and vaccine development in a zebrafish model system.
Melissa S. Maginnis, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt, 2007) Assistant Professor. Virus-host cell interactions that regulate JC Polyomavirus infection and pathogenesis.
Sally Molloy, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2007), Assistant Professor. Genomics and Microbiology.
John T. Singer, Ph.D. (Georgia, 1983), Professor . Molecular genetics and microbial physiology.
Robert T. Wheeler, PhD (Stanford, 2000), Associate Professor. Genetics, genomics, biochemistry and cell biology of fungal pathogens with mammalian hosts.
Associate Faculty at Jackson Laboratory
Gragory A. Cox, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 1994).
Derry C. Roopenian, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 1984). Autoimmunity, molecular phenotyping, transplantation genetics.
David V. Serreze, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1990). Mouse models of insulin-dependent diabetes; the genetic basis for immune tolerance to endogenous proteins.
Leonard D. Shultz, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1972). Mechanisms of immunodeficiency and autoimmunity.
John P. Sundberg, D.V.M. (Purdue University 1977), Ph.D. (University of Connecticut, 1981), Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (specialist in anatomic pathology, 1982), Senior Staff Scientist (The Jackson Laboratory). Genetics and mechanisms of skin diseases and general pathology of genetically engineered laboratory mice.
Associate Faculty at Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Robert E. Friesel, Ph.D. (George Washington University, 1989). Growth factors (FGFs).
Thomas Gridley, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985). Mouse developmental genetics and models for human disease.
Volkhard Lindner, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Tubingen, 1991). Blood vessels and the factors that control the growth of cells in the vessel wall.
Leif Oxburgh, Ph.D., D.V.M. (Swedish University, 1989. Characterization and differentiation of nephron precursors.
Igor A. Prudovsky, Ph.D. (Russian Academy of Sciences, 1979). Molecular mechanisms of regulation of anglogenesis and inflammation by fibroblast growth factors.