Biochemistry and Cell Biology
- Program Overview
Biochemistry and Cell Biology Description
The graduate program leading to the MS degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology is intended to provide a sound scientific foundation for those planning to pursue a career in research, teaching, entry into a career in biotechnology, or further graduate studies in the life sciences. In addition, for students interested in attending medical, dental, veterinary or other health-related schools, the MS degree program can complement and enhance their background in the biochemical sciences including biochemical, biomedical, and molecular biology research. Core concepts and skills are taught through a series of required core courses, with the remaining coursework consisting of advanced electives and special topics courses selected in consultation with the student's advisory committee. The curriculum is comprised of 24 credit hours earned in biochemistry, cellular biology and molecular genetics courses that are complemented by hands on laboratory research and exposure to advanced methods in biochemistry and cell biology. The remaining credits may be selected from elective courses, special seminar courses, and courses in experimental design, data analysis and laboratory techniques. Both research-based and literature-based thesis options are available and can be completed by fulltime students in three semesters. The program includes faculty from the Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Physiology and Biophysics, and the Pharmacological Sciences, as well as from Brookhaven National Laboratory.
For more detailed information, visit the BCB Web site at http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/biochem/education/graduate/bcbms.html
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) MS Program Admissions
Application Deadline: April 15
Applications are considered from September until April 15 every year.
Applicants do not need to send their official transcripts until they are offered admission into the program.
In addition to the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, the following are suggested requirements:
- BS or BA degree in a life science related field, with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00. Pre-requisites include mathematics through one year of calculus, chemistry (including organic chemistry and laboratory), general physics, and one year of biology (including laboratory). It is highly recommended that students will have taken two semesters of biochemistry, and one semester each of genetics, cell biology, physical chemistry, and English composition. Students accepted into the program without a pre-requisite may be asked to take the appropriate upper level undergraduate course prior to undertaking specific graduate level courses.
- Personal Statement: What would you consider your special qualifications to be? What do you propose to do with your advanced degree professionally? Discuss briefly your experience in biochemistry and cell biology outside the classroom.
- Three letters of recommendation from people who can evaluate the applicant's potential for graduate work and independent research.
- International Students: A proficiency in the English language is required. If your native or primary language is not English, you must take an English proficiency test. To be considered for admission, an applicant must present an acceptable score on the TOEFL or IELTS test. IELTS: Overall score of 6.5 with no subsection below 6. TOEFL: Paper-based test: 550; computer based test: 213; or Internet-based test: 90. Under special circumstances, lower scores may be considered.
Acceptance by the Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and by the Graduate School.
- Degree Requirements
Degree Requirements for Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) MS Program
Research-based thesis option (30 credits)
The research-based thesis option requires 30 credits comprised of 24 credits in core courses, at least 2 credits of MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in addition to the Research Practicum course included in the core curriculum, and 6 elective credits. Thesis research can be conducted in the laboratory of Biochemistry and Cell Biology faculty, in the research laboratories of faculty from other Departments at Stony Brook, and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, or through research internships under the guidance of approved mentors at local biotechnology firms. This option requires completion of a written, research-based project.
Literature-based thesis option (30 credits)
The literature-based thesis option requires 30 credits comprised of 24 credits in core courses, including 4 credits of MS Research practicum, 2 credits of MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and 6 elective credits. This option requires completion of a written, literature-based project.
Core Course Requirements (24 credits)
- MCB 503 Molecular Genetics (Fall, 3 credits)
- MCB 520 Graduate Biochemistry I (Fall, 3 credits)
- MCB 656 Cell Biology (Spring, 4 credits)
- BCB 551 Introduction to Research in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Integrity in Science (Fall, 2 credits)
- BCB 552 Advanced Laboratory Methods in Biochemistry and Cell
Biology (Fall, 3 credits)
- BCB 559 MS Research Practicum in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Fall, Spring & Summer, 0-4 credits)
- BCB 599 MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Fall, Spring
& Summer, 0 – 6 credits)
- MCB 601 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Fall, 1 credit)
- MCB 602 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Spring, 1 credit)
The Biological Sciences Division and Health Sciences Center are well equipped for work in biochemistry and cellular biology. Individual faculty laboratories and central services provide a full array of state-of-the-art equipment. These include the Flow Cytometry Facility, the Cell Culture and Hybridoma Facility, the Transgenic Mouse Facility, the University Microscopy Imaging Center, and the Center for Analysis and Synthesis of Macromolecules. The Health Sciences Library contains a comprehensive collection of biomedical journals and books and is complemented by the Melville Library on the main campus.
Department of Anesthesiology
Role of fatty acid binding proteins in pain, inflammation, and related pathophysiologies: Endocannabinoid pharmacology and development of novel therapeutics.
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Genetic control of development and gene expression in animals
Cholesterol/sphingolipid-rich domains in membrane signaling
Nuclear targeting and intercellular communication in plants
Glycosylation; fungal pathogenesis
Marijuana; molecular neurobiology of anandamide
Structure and function of protein complexes involved in cellular metabolism
Gene expression and development in Drosophila
Structure and mechanism of protein-unfolding machines in mitochondria
Glycobiology; biosynthesis, structure, and function
Genetic regulation of early mammalian development
Meiotic synapsis, recombination, and segregation in yeast
Structure and function of RNA-binding proteins and biochemical studies of the SmpB•tmRNA quality control system
Evolutionary dynamics, network dynamics, yeast genomics, high-throughput technology development
Structure and function of large protein machines
Membrane protein structure/translocation/folding
Chromosome biology and genome regulation
Stem cell maintenance and differentiation, Developmental mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis
Evolutionary, cell and developmental biological approaches to studying nematode uterine-vulval attachment and morphogenesis
Vesicle trafficking and membrane/cytoskeletal interactions
Extracellular degradation by neutrophil proteases
Structure and function of membrane proteins
Chromatin structure and function; gene expression; HATs
Growth factors /signal transduction in early vertebrate development
Department of Chemistry
Nitric oxide regulation of quorum sensing and biofilm formation in bacteria
The research in our group centers around the concept of chemical biology. In paticular, we introduce unnatural monomers into the biopolymers of life (proteins, oligosaccharides, oligonucleotides) for the purpose of tracking or perturbing biological processes.
Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, 3D live fluorescence imaging and quantitative analysis of 3D image data sets
Development of tools for efficient and simulation of chemical systems and using them to study the structure and dynamics of molecules involved in biological processes.
Spectroscopic insights into enzyme mechanisms and structure
Department of Medicine
Biochemistry; function of the complement system
Bioactive lipids in cancer pathogenesis and therapeutics
Kinase signaling and cell proliferation
Bioactive sphingolipids in cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, and autophagy
Bioactive lipids in Inflammation, Aging and Cancer
Vascular functions of Alzheimer's disease amyloid beta-protein
Biology and pathobiology of intestinal epithelial stem cells and colorectal cancer.
Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Pathogenesis of spirochetal infections and their host responses
Positive and Negative Regulation of T cell Receptor Signaling
Cell cycle, cyclins, and yeast genetics
Viral/cellular oncogenes; differentiation of erythroid cells
Adenovirus regulation of cellular proliferation and gene expression; adenovirus vectors for human gene therapy
Signal transduction, morphogenesis and genetics of pathogenic fungi
My lab's research interests lie in understanding the molecular determinants of virus-host interactions during chronic gammaherpesvirus infections using a mouse model pathogen.
Cell cycle control and DNA replication in fission yeast
Viral Pathogenesis, Regulation of Innate Immunity, Hantavirus, Dengue Virus and Rotavirus Regulation of Cell Signaling Responses, miRNAs and Endothelial cell functions.
Cytokine and Innate Immune Responses
Mucosal Immunology, T cell memory, Vaccine design, Host-pathogen interactions
Secretion of virulence factors by bacterial pathogens; pilus biogenesis by uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Infectious Diseases Immunology; Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens; Bacterial Immune Subversion
RNA virus genetics, replication, pathogenicity, cellular receptors
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior
Molecular control of the neuronal phenotype
Molecular basis of mechanical senses
Cell-surface molecules of the developing nervous system
Molecular physiology of sympathetic neurons and cardiac muscle
Genetic and molecular analysis of early vertebrate development
Molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission
Department of Oral Biology and Pathology
Epithelial stem cell biology; Skin bioengineering and gene therapy.
Department of Pathology
Skin and hair follicle development, maintenance and malignancy
Leukocyte Fc receptors; macrophage differentiation
Host inflammatory response to bacterial infections.
Post-transcriptional control of non-coding RNAs and RNA binding proteins in cancer
Stem cell reprogramming and therapy, genome engineering, blood and marrow transplantation
Tumor suppressor genes; mechanism of p53 inactivation
Cancer biomarkers as diagnostic adjuncts in cervical pathology and cytopathology; cervical cancer and HPV
Molecular biology of Cryptococcus neoformans
Department of Pharmacological Sciences
Stem cell biology in the central nervous system and neurobiology in health and disease
Mitochondrial DNA; DNA repair
Extracellular matrix in the brain; roles during development and during neurodegeneration.
Lipid signaling pathways in immune responses, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Genetic Toxicology/Mechanisms of mitochondrial gene expression
Heterotrimetric G-proteins in development and cancer
Cytoskeletal membrane interactions in muscle cells
We are applying biochemical, microbiological and biophysical methods to fundamental questions in bacterial membrane biogenesis as they relate to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, and to bacterial pathogenesis in general: How is lipid biosynthesis accomplished at the cytosol-membrane interface? What are the molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial membrane assembly? How can we subvert lipid biosynthesis and membrane assembly pathways for antimicrobial therapy?
Mechanism of Protein kinases and Ubiquitin Ligases in Cancer and Aging
Chemical Biology of DNA damage and repair.
Wnt Signaling in Development and Disease
Neuronal-microglial interactions in the central nervous system
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Single molecule spectroscopy; Coordination of post-synaptic glutamate receptor signaling by the MAGUK family of scaffolds
Tyrosine phosphorylation and signal transduction
Cell signaling through heterotrimeric G proteins
Neuronal differentiation and microfilaments
Our research group focuses on Wnt signaling in 1) regulation of cell signaling and 2) differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
Molecular biology and physiology of gap junction channels
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) MS Program
Aaron Neiman, Life Sciences Building 332 (631) 632-1543
BCB MS Graduate Program Director
Neta Dean, Life Sciences Building 310, (631) 632-9309
Pam Wolfskill, Life Sciences Building 450, (631) 632-8585
Master of Science (MS) in Biochemistry and Cell Biology
For information about the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, please visit