The Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences offers a variety of graduate degree programs. For the highly qualified student, a Ph.D. program in Microbiology is available. Also available is a thesis program leading to the M.S. as well as a non-thesis option, the Master of Professional Studies, designed for professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge or skills.
Prerequisites for admission include a bachelor’s degree in microbiology or other biological science with undergraduate work in organic chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, and physics.
Curricula are planned to suit the interests and needs of the individual student and to provide a strong background in microbiology and molecular biology.
Teaching and research assistantships are available in various fields of microbiology.
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, phase, confocal, and fluorescent 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. 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.)
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.
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.
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.
Benjamin L. King, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2016) Assistant Professor. Bioinformatics and Systems Biology of Stress Responses.
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.
Melody N. Neely, Ph.D. (University of Michigan School of Medicine, 1998) Associate Professor. Host-pathogen interactions, with focus on Streptococcus.
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.