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.
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.
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.
Robert T. Wheeler, PhD (Stanford, 2000), Associate Professor. Genetics, genomics, biochemistry and cell biology of fungal pathogens with mammalian hosts.