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The Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) Master of Science Program


The Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology offers a graduate program for the Master of Science degree. This ~1.5 year MS program is designed to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, biotechnology, or further advanced studies in health and life sciences. Our pool of faculty represents diverse research interests spanning biochemistry, genetics, cell, molecular, and structural biology.  In the six years since its inception, 65 students graduated (65/67 who were admitted). Of these 65 students, 48 students (74%) have continued in BCB/health science related careers. 28 students have gone on to Ph.D. programs at excellent institutions including Johns Hopkins, the University of Indiana, Stony Brook, Cornell, Einstein, Mt. Sinai, and New York University; 10 students went to Medical, Dental or Vet school; 12 students are working as laboratory technicians at places such a Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor, Rockefeller, and Washington University at St. Louis. One student is a regulatory lawyer for the FDA in Washington, DC.

Program of Study

Students will be exposed to biochemistry and molecular biology related research activities, including theory and practice culminating with the MS degree. 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. A total of at least 30 graduate credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater are required for the MS degree. Of this, 24 credits must be earned in core courses in biochemistry, cellular biology, and molecular genetics as well as courses aimed at exposing students to laboratory research, literature-based research, and advanced methods in biochemistry and cell biology. The remaining 6 credits may be selected from elective courses, special seminar courses, and courses in experimental design, data analysis and laboratory techniques.

Flexibility exists to suit individual student needs and career ambitions. Both research-based and literature-based thesis options are available, and can be completed by full-time students in three semesters. Part-time options are available, although it is expected that all students will complete the degree within a three-year period. All students are required to complete a one semester 4 credit research practicum, in which students will be introduced to modern biochemical and cell biological research techniques through participation in ongoing research in the laboratory of a Biochemistry and Cell Biology or associated faculty member. For the MS degree, at least 2 additional credits of research performed in a laboratory or on critical evaluation of current literature are also required and these studies will form the basis of a written and orally defended MS.

Your primary advisor for the first year will be the Director of the Program. The Director will meet with you prior to the initial registration for the purposes of planning specific course requirements and helping you decide on laboratory in which to complete your research practicum. The Director will meet with you during each semester to monitor your progress and plan the remaining curriculum.

 


How to Apply

The Graduate School ( www.grad.sunysb.edu) requires on-line application submission, including letters of recommendation. At The Graduate School website you will find an Admissions link to the on-line Application form.

Applications are considered year-round, but all prospective MS students (international and USA) must apply by April 15 for admission to start in the following Fall quarter.


Admission Requirements

Most students accepted into the BCB MS program have BS or BA degree in a life science related field, with an average of B or better in their undergraduate course work. Research experience in the life sciences is not required but will be considered as a positive indicator that may mitigate a deficiency in the academic record. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission, although a strong performance on this exam can be a positive indicator.

Pre-requisites: 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.

Letter of recommendation: 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.


Courses

Core Curriculum (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)

Electives

  • MCB 601 or 602 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology (1 credit, may be repeated for elective)
  • BCB 559 MS Research Practicum in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Fall or Spring, may be repeated for elective, 4 credits)
  • BIO 558 Biological Basis of Human Evolution and Behavior (Fall, Spring & Summer)

(Fall only)

  • BME 501 Engineering Principles in Cell, Tissue, and Organ Systems (3 credits)
  • BME 503 Cell and Molecular Imaging (3 credits)
  • BME 572 Biomolecular Analysis (3 credits)
  • BME 606 Drug Gene Delivery (Fall alternate years, 3 credits)
  • BSB 515 Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology (1 credit)
  • CHE 535 Introduction to Computational Structural Biology and Drug Design (0-3 credits)
  • CHE 541 Biomolecular Structure and Analysis (3 credits)
  • HBP 533 Immunology (3 credits)
  • HBY 530 Cellular Physiology and Biophysics ( 4 credits)
  • MCB 517 Membrane Biochemistry (1 credit)
  • MCB 529 Organelle Development (Fall alternate years, 3 credits)
  • MCB 657 Principles of Development (3 credits)

(Spring only)

  • BEE 552 Biometry (3 credits)
  • BGE 510 Graduate Genetics (3 credits)
  • BME 509 Fundamentals of the Bioscience Industry (3 credits)
  • BSB 512 Introduction to Structural Biology (2 credits)
  • BSB 580 Advanced Structural Biology (1 credit)
  • CHE 536 Molecular Modeling of Biological Molecules (0-3 credits)
  • CHE 542 Chemical Biology (3 credits)
  • HBM 522 Biology of Cancer ( 2 credits)
  • HBP 531 General Pathology (3 credits)
  • HBY 565 Mathematical Models of Physiological and Biophysical Systems (3 credits)
  • CHE 559/AMS 537 - Biological Dynamics & NetworksHBH 550 Statistics in Life Sciences

  • HBH 550 Statistics in Life Sciences

(Summer and intermittent electives)

  • AMS 533 Numerical Methods and Algorithms in Computational Biology (3 credits)
  • AMS 537 Dynamic Models of Gene Regulation and Biological Pattern Formation (3 credits)

 


SAMPLE PROGRAM OF STUDY – 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. The following is a suggested plan of study for students with two full-time semesters at the G1 level (12 credits per semester) and a third and final full-time semester at the G2 level (6-9 credits).

Semester Course Credits
     
Fall I MCB 520 Graduate Biochemistry  3
  BCB 551 Introduction to Research in Biochemistry and Cell Biology  2
  BCB 552 Advanced Laboratory Methods in Biochemistry and Cell Biology  3
  MCB 601 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology  1
  Elective (e.g. BME 503 Cell and Molecular Imaging (3 credits), BIO 558 Biological Basis of Human Evolution and Behavior) or combination of 1 credit electives such as BSB 515 Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology, MCB 517 Membrane Biochemistry)  3
  Total  12
     
Spring I MCB 656 Cell Biology  4
  BCB 559 MS Research Practicum in Biochemistry and Cell Biology  4
  MCB 602 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology  1
  Elective  3
  Total  12
     
Fall II MCB 503 Molecular Genetics  3
  MCB 601 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology  2
  BCB 599 MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology  1
  Total 1, 2  6

SAPMLE PROGRAM OF STUDY – 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. The following is a suggested plan of study for students with two full-time semesters at the G1 level (12 credits per semester) and a third and final full-time semester at the G2 level (6-9 credits). The thesis option requires an MS thesis on research 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.

Semester Course Credits
     
Fall I MCB 520 Graduate Biochemistry 3
  BCB 551 Introduction to Research in Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2
  BCB 552 Advanced Laboratory Methods in Biochemistry and Cell Biology 3
  MCB 601 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology 1
  Elective (e.g. BME 503 Cell and Molecular Imaging (3 credits), BIO 558   Biological Basis of Human Evolution and Behavior), or combination of 1 credit electives such as BSB 515 Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology, MCB 517 Membrane Biochemistry) 3
  Total 12
     
Spring I MCB 656 Cell Biology 4
  BCB 559 MS Research Practicum in Biochemistry and Cell Biology 4
  MCB 602 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology 1
  Elective (e.g., and BSB 512 Introduction to Structural Biology) 3
  Total 12
     
Fall II MCB 503 Molecular Genetics 3
  BCB 599 MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2
  MCB 601 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology 1
  Total   1, 2 6


1.  Note G2 international students must enroll for 9 credits in to maintain full-time student status for immigration purposes. 

2.  G2 students employed in a Stony Brook on-campus job must enroll for 9 credits to maintain full-time student status.

Contact Information

Neta Dean
Program Director
310 Life Sciences Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5215
Phone: 631-632-9309
Fax: 631-632-8575
Pamela Wolfskill
Administrative Specialist & BCB MS Graduate Program Coordinator
Stony Brook University
450 Life Sciences Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5215
Email: pamela.wolfskill@stonybrook.edu
Phone: 631-632-8585

 


People

Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Michael Airola Structural biology of lipid modifying enzymes
Paul M. Bingham Genetic control of development and gene expression in animals
Deborah Brown Cholesterol/sphingolipid-rich domains in membrane signaling
Vitaly Citovsky Nuclear targeting and intercellular communication in plants
Neta Dean Glycosylation; fungal pathogenesis
Dale G. Deutsch Marijuana; molecular neurobiology of anandamide
French, Jarrod B. Structure, function and mechanism of proteins and protein complexes involved in human nucleotide metabolism.
J. Peter Gergen Gene expression and development in  Drosophila
Steven Glynn Structure and mechanism of protein-unfolding machines in mitochondria
Hannun, Yusuf A Bioactive lipids in cancer pathogenesis and therapeutics. 
Bernadette C. Holdener Genetic regulation of early mammalian development
Nancy Hollingsworth Meiotic synapsis, recombination, and segregation in yeast
Martin Kaczocha Role of fatty acid binding proteins in pain, inflammation, and related pathophysiologies: Endocannabinoid  pharmacology  and development of novel therapeutics
Wali Karzai Structure and function of RNA-binding proteins and biochemical studies of the SmpB•tmRNA quality control system
   
Erwin London Membrane protein structure/translocation/folding
Ed Luk Chromosome biology and genome regulation
Harvard Lyman Photocontrol of chloroplast development
Benjamin Martin Stem cell maintenance and differentiation, Developmental mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis
M. Mahmood Hussain Regulation of lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis by micro RNAs and circadian rhytms
David Q. Matus Evolutionary, cell and developmental biological approaches to studying nematode uterine-vuval attachment and morphogenesis
Aaron Neiman Vesicle trafficking and membrane/cytoskeletal interactions
Sheppard, Keith  Director of Science Education, Associate Professor, Three areas of science education - all with the fundamental aim of improving the teaching and learning of science at every level of education.
Sanford Simon Extracellular degradation by neutrophil proteases
Steven Smith Structure and function of membrane proteins
Gerald H. Thomsen Growth factors /signal transduction in early vertebrate development
Lonnie Wollmuth Synapses that use glutamate as a neurotransmitter

Department of Chemistry

Elizabeth Boon Nitric oxide signaling in bacteria.
Isaac Carrico Site-specific protein labeling; glycoproteins.
Carlos Simmerling 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.
Peter Tonge Spectroscopic insights into enzyme mechanisms and structure

Department of Pathology

Adam P. Rosebrock Regulation of central carbon metabolism underlying cell growth and division.
Richard R. Kew Leukocyte chemotaxis/inflammation
Kenneth Shroyer Cancer biomarkers as diagnostic adjuncts in cervical pathology and cytopathology; cervical cancer and HPV

Department of Pharmacological Sciences

Bogenhagen, Daniel Mitochondrial DNA; DNA repair
Holly Colognato Extracellular matrix in the brain; roles during development and during neurodegeneration.
Michael A. Frohman Early mammalian development; gene regulation
Miguel Garcia-Diaz Mechanisms of mitochondrial gene expression/Mechanisms of DNA synthesis and repair
Masaaki Moriya Cellular responses to DNA damage.
Markus Seeliger   Molecular Mechanism of Protein Kinase and Ubiquitin Ligase signaling in Cancer and Aging
   
Ken-Ichi Takemaru Wnt Signaling in Development and Disease
Styliani-Anna Tsirka Neuronal-microglial interactions in the central nervous system

Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Mark Bowen Single molecule spectroscopy; Coordination of post-synaptic glutamate receptor signaling by the MAGUK family of scaffolds
W. Todd Miller Tyrosine phosphorylation and signal transduction
Hsien-yu Wang Signal transduction and development.
Thomas White Molecular biology and physiology of gap junction channels

Frequently Asked Questions

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