Microbiology is a field fundamental to all of biology. Microbes
are found in every environment on our planet. They contribute
to the ecology of each niche and supply the basis of our food
chain. Microbes control population growth via infectious
disease and provide us with the biological machinery to genetically
engineer a diversity of products and medicines.
The metabolic pathways and genetic systems within bacteria have
served as the stepping stones for discoveries in other systems.
Studies of these simple yet elegant life forms have provided
the tools that fueled the evolution of biotechnology
Specialization in the field of microbiology encompasses not
only the study of the fundamental processes of bacteria, but
also the examination of animal, plant, and bacterial viruses,
as well as animal and plant defense systems that counter infection
and invasion by microorganisms.
Microbiology, including the subfields of virology and
immunology, continues to be at the forefront of scientific
investigation. Microbiological principles are being applied
in ecology, biotechnology, medicine, agriculture and the food
industry. With new knowledge of DNA sequence data for many bacterial
species, the answers to basic biological questions are even
more compelling than in recent years.
Students of microbiology will find opportunities in academia,
industry, medicine, public health biotechnology and law. Our
Students interested in
the basic biology of the cell, and the understanding of information
transfer within the cell, should choose this major. Courses
cut across organismal disciplines by covering the genetics, the
molecular biology, and the cell biology of microbes, insects,
plants, and animals.
Curriculm satisfies the
of the American Society for
This specialization area is interdepartmental in that all of the
Biological Sciences Departments offer courses that contribute to the
upper level program of the major. The administration of the
major, including the advising of students in CEBG will be
coordinated by the
Department of Cell Biology and
This area combines Cell Biology and Genetics
Cell biology is the study of cells and their processes.
It mainly focuses on eucaryotic cells with an emphasis on the
internal working of the cells and the interactions between cells.
Cell biology is a fundamental part of many biological disciplines
including, but not limited to, developmental biology, neurobiology,
immunology, cancer biology, aging and disease states.
Genetics is one of the oldest and broadest fields in
biology. All aspects of biology have a genetic component. Modern
genetics deals with the evolution, transmission, and expression, of
heritable traits, and includes the analysis of DNA sequence data
which is used to help answer basic questions of biology
(Genomics). Genetic techniques are used by molecular
biologists, cell biologists, and ecologists in the quest to
understand the hereditary basis of biological processes.
Topics in Cell Biology and Genetics are at the cutting edge of
modern biological research. The disciplines are combined into one
specialization due to their inter relatedness and overlap. An
understanding of one, by necessity, requires some understanding of
the other. The combined areas are being used to understand disease,
design cures and preventative measures, develop improved
plant, animal, and bacterial species, and further our
knowledge of the most basic understandings of how cells function and
communicate with each other. Studies in these combined
areas have brought about the Biotechnology revolution and the
new field of Genomics. Students in this
specialization area will find many opportunities for employment and
career development in academia, industry, government, medicine, law,
Students interested in the study of Plant Biology are encouraged
to choose the degree program in General Biology. Within this
program students may complete a cassette of Plant Biology courses
including plant ecology, plant physiology, bioinformatics, molecular
genetics and molecular genetics laboratory. The broad background
provided by the program is suitable for job opportunities or
graduate studies in cell & molecular biology, physiology
and development, conservation biology, ecology, biotechnology,
and agriculture-related fields.
Unique local resources for the study of Plant Biology