Genetics & Genomics
Genetics and Genomics specialization area provides rigorous training in the
molecular and genetic analysis of fundamental molecular and cellular processes.
As the broadest specialization in the department, Genetics and Genomics
encompasses diverse, current research problems in a wide range of systems.
Faculty in this area use state-of-the-art approaches such as genetics of model
organisms, bioinformatics, computational biology and functional genomics to
study cellular development, signal transduction, regulation of gene expression,
microbial pathogenesis, and the evolutionary origin of higher organisms.
This specialization area is interdepartmental, including not only several CBMG
faculty members but also members of the Computer Science, Entomology and Avian
and Animal Sciences Departments at the University of Maryland College Park, the
University of Maryland Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, the
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute Center for Biosystems Research,
and The Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland Medical
School. The multidisciplinary expertise of our faculty greatly facilitates
collaborative studies that integrate diverse aspects of investigation from
computation to the genetic manipulation of model organisms.
The requirements for M.S. and Ph. D. students in the Molecular Genetics
specialization are intended to ensure that students receive a broad background
in molecular biology and molecular genetics, plus advanced training in their
particular research area. Students are expected to develop not only technical
expertise, but also the critical thinking skills necessary for a rewarding
career as an independent scientist. All M.S. and Ph.D. students in Molecular
Genetics follow the first-year program including the core courses, lab rotations
and seminars for all entering CBMG graduate students. An advisory committee, in
consultation with the research advisor, then helps each student choose the
advanced courses that are appropriate for his/her research plans and career
objectives. In addition to formal courses, the program provides opportunities
for critical discussion of the scientific literature through seminar courses and
journal clubs. The department also organizes monthly meetings in different
specialization areas, such as GEMS (Genetics with Eukaryotic Model Systems),
ATRIUM (Arabidopsis thaliana Research Initiative), Virology, and MPRI (Maryland
Pathogen Research Institute) in which members present and discuss their research
in an informal setting. Recent Ph.D. graduates have gone on to positions as
postdoctoral researchers, faculty members and independent scientists in
universities, biotechnology companies and government agencies.
Graduate Courses in Molecular
Biology I, Structure and Function (Song)
Biology II, Signal Transduction (Kwak)
Gene Expression (Dinman)
Development and Physiology I (Sze)
Development and Physiology II (Liu)
Pathogenesis (Briken, Gao, Lee & McIver)
Bioinformatics: Comparative Methods (Delwiche)
Journal Clubs: Genetics of Eukaryotic Model Systems (Mount); Bioinformatics
and Computational Biology (Mount)
Faculty in Genetics & Genomics
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1976. Cancer biology and
Caren Chang, Associate Chair and Associate Professor
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1988. Plant molecular biology:
signaltransduction; hormonal signaling.
James Culver, Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Biosystems
Ph.D.University of California, Riverside 1991. Molecular plant-virus
interactions; virion assembly, replication, and long-distance movement of
tobacco mosaic virus.
Charles F. Delwiche, Associate Professor
Ph.D.University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990. Molecular systematics, phylogeny,
and evolution of chloroplasts.
Jeffrey DeStefano, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Connecticut, 1990. Mechanism of retroviral reverse
transcriptases as it relates to replication and recombination.
Jonathan Dinman, Professor
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 1988. Immunology and Infectious Diseases:
Virology, Ribosome Structure & Function and Regulation of Gene Expression.
Najib El-Sayed, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Yale University School of Medicine, 1993. Biology of parasitism and
host-pathogen interactions using genomic approaches with the ultimate goal of
better understanding infection and survival mechanisms.
Lian-Yong Gao, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, 1999. Molecular genetics; molecular mechanisms of
bacterial pathogenesis; molecular biology of bacterial toxins essential for
Iqbal Hamza, Affiliate Assistant Professor
Ph.D. State University of New York School of Medicine, 1998. Cell Biology and
Genetics of Micronutrient and Metal Metabolism.
Steven W. Hutcheson, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of California Berkeley, 1982. Molecular plant pathology;
molecular biology of Pseudomonas parasitism; role and regulation of Type III
protein secretion systems; pathogenicity and non host plant resistance.
June Kwak, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Pohang University of Science and Technology, 1997. Guard cell ABA and
Ca2+ signal transduction/Single cell-type functional genomics.
Vincent Lee, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California - Los Angles, 2000. Host-pathogen interactions,
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Allosteric
regulation of molecular complexes.
Zhongchi Liu, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1990. Flower development in Arabidopsis.
Kevin S. McIver, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Tennessee Sciences Center, 1994. Host-Bacterial pathogen
interactions; Molecular mechanisms of virulence gene regulation in Streptococcus
pyogenes; Protein secretion in Francisella tularensis.
Stephen Mount, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Yale University, 1983. Selection of splice sites in pre-mRNA splicing.
Leslie Pick, Affiliate Associate Professor
Ph.D. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., 1986. Embryonic
development, evolution and axon guidance in Drosophila.
Mihai Pop, Affiliate Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2000. Bioinformatics, genomics, computational
geometry, and computer graphics.
Steven Salzberg, Affiliate Professor
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1989. computational gene finding, genome assembly,
genomics, bioinformatics, genome evolution of Influenza virus.
Anne Simon, Professor
Ph.D. Indiana University, 1983. Molecular biology of plant-virus interactions.
Daniel C. Stein, Professor
Ph.D. University of Rochester, 1981. Molecular genetics; virulence mechanisms of
pathogenic bacteria; Characterization of DNA Restriction and Modification
David Straney, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Yale University, 1987. Fungal molecular biology, host recognition in the
induction of pathogenicity genes and development.
Heven Sze, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Purdue University, 1975. Biochemistry and physiology: membrane structure,
function, and biogenesis; mechanism and regulation of solute transport;
bioenergetics; proton and calcium-pumping ATPases.
Louisa Wu, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Center for Biosystems
Ph.D. University of California, 1995, San Diego. Host defense against pathogens;
signal transduction and cell-cell signaling in the innate immune response in
Owen White, Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of
Ph.D. New Mexico State University, New Mexico, 1992. Genomics.
Shunyuan Xiao, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Center for Biosystems
Ph.D Plant Genetics, Huazhong Agricultural University, China 1992.Cellular and
molecular bases of plant defense. UMBI at Shady Grove.