Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics – Program Description
The MCBG program is an interdisciplinary graduate program recognizing the need for highly trained scientists conversant across various disciplines.
The program provides a broad education-training program for graduate students interested in biomedical problems that cross disciplinary boundaries and offers the opportunity for students to choose from more than 40 faculty in six different departments/centers to pursue their research interests. This program offers both MS and PhD degrees and focuses on the study of the structure, function, and makeup of biologically important molecules within the context of the living cells.
Our faculty are at the forefront of new advances in the biomedical sciences and new developments in techniques for understanding the genetic and molecular basis of developmental pathways and disease states such as cancer, aging, AIDS, malaria, and neurological disorders. Consequently, students can pursue a diverse variety of projects that range from the design and development of new therapeutic treatment strategies to the characterization of the molecular mechanisms that underlie various cellular processes and diseases. This intensive and research-oriented program provides students with opportunities to perform cutting edge biomedical research employing multidisciplinary strategies.
In the MS program, the focus is on strengthening the student's grasp of molecular biology and biotechnology and on providing knowledge of research methods available in the fast-expanding field.
The MCBG program offers a weekly seminar series with invited external and internal speakers who address the program's broad research interests. Journal Club members meet weekly in an informal setting to present results of interest from the current literature.
Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics – Program Guidelines
The core curriculum is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of study for all first year master’s and doctoral students in the biomedical science programs. The goal of the core curriculum is to provide a broad foundation in biomedical sciences and serve as a framework for advanced study in more specialized areas.
The course consists of nine modules, four (equivalent to 119.5 hours) of which will be covered in the fall semester, and the remaining five (equivalent to 108 hours) will be offered in the spring semester. Examinations will be an essay format, with at least one exam for each module. Final grades for each semester will be determined from the weighted average of the module exams.
Fall Semester (18 weeks, 119.5 hours)
Spring Semester (21 weeks, 108 hours)
Molecular and Cell Biology & Genetics Policies (PDF)
Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Faculty
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jane Azizkhan-Clifford, PhD - Cellular response to DNA damage, regulation of gene expression, cellular proliferation and the cell cycle.
Bradford Jameson, PhD* - We are studying the role of serotonin receptors as a growth factor signal in T and B cell activation as well as in neoplastic cells. We are using serotonergic drug panels to develop new treatments for autoimmune disease and cancer.
Marilyn Jorns, PhD - Enzyme structure-function relationships; flavin- and folate-dependent enzymes; molecular basis of genetic diseases.
Patrick Loll, PhD - X-ray crystallography and structural biology; integral membrane protein structure; structure-based drug design; polyglutamine diseases; antibiotic resistance.
Alexander Mazin, PhD - Mechanisms of DNA double-stranded break repair in humans and in yeast; role of homologous recombination in tumorigenesis; functions of Rad5, Rad54, and Rad51 proteins.
Irwin Chaiken, PhD - Receptor recognition and activation mechanisms; protein recognition in disease pathogenesis; protein mimetics; biomolecular design for therapeutics and biotechnology; designed molecular sensor interfaces and biosensor technology.
Eishi Noguchi, PhD - Genome maintenance mechanisms relevant to cancer biology, including DNA replication and cell cycle checkpoint controls; investigation of replication fork progression and protection using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and mammalian tissue cultured cells as model systems.
Mauricio Reginato, PhD - Signal transduction mechanisms underlying matrix and growth factor regulation of breast epithelial biology and cancer; apoptotic signaling and differentiation.
Michael Bouchard, PhD - Hepatitis B virology and hepatic cancer; HBx protein and hepatitis viral replication; calcium signaling and its role in cellular transformation.
Michael White, PhD* - Ligand-gated ion channels, structure-function relationships, molecular modeling, ligand-receptor interactions.
Microbiology and Immunology
Carol Artlett, PhD - Role of 3-deoxyglucosone in mediating inflammation in diabetes and autoimmunity and the role of allograft inflammatory factor-1 in systemic sclerosis
Lawrence Bergman, PhD - Malarial invasion mechanisms and cellular gene expression patterns during infection.
Elizabeth Blankenhorn, PhD - Genetic foundations for inherited susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, including diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
James Burns, PhD - Development of protective immunity against blood-stage malaria induced by immunization with defined subunit vaccines.
Peter Katsikis, MD, PhD - Roles of cytokines, T cells, and apoptosis in autoimmunity and anti-viral immune responses.
Richard Rest, PhD - Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Bacillus anthracis.
Akhil Vaidya, PhD - Understanding basic molecular functioning of malaria parasites with a view to develop new antimalarial drugs.
Laura Steel, PhD* - Development of RNAi-based therapies for hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Fred Krebs, PhD - HIV-1 immunopathogensis and neuropathogenesis, development of microbicidal agents.
Brian Wigdahl, PhD - Immunpathogenesis and neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 and HTLV-I infection, transcriptional regulation of retroviral expression, viral sequence diversity and correlations to disease, development of microbicidal agents.
Neurobiology and Anatomy
Peter Baas, PhD - Microtobules and neuronal development.
Ramesh Raghupathi, PhD - Cell death and plasticity after traumatic injury to the mature and immature brain.
Pharmacology and Physiology
Paul Campbell, PhD - Cancer cell biology, signaling, tumor invasion and metastasis.
Alessandro Fatatis, PhD - Characterizing the mechanisms involved in the generation and transmission of intracellular signals upon stimulation of plasma membrane receptors and their effects on cellular proliferation, adhesion, migration and death.
Olimpia Meucci, PhD - Characterizing intracellular mechanisms that regulate neuronal survival and differentiation, and the events that underlie the neuropathogenesis of AIDS and neuroinflammatory diseases.
Robert Moreland, PhD - Determining how smooth muscle function is regulated.
Ole Mortenson, PhD - Neurotransmitter transporters, drug addiction, affective disorders.
Boris Polyak, PhD - Exploring the multiple interfaces between materials science, chemistry and biotechnology, magnetic targeting.
Todd Strochlic, VMD, PhD - Protein kinases, oncogenic signaling, breast cancer, and Drosophila oogenesis.
Chris Sell, PhD - Exploring the connection between neuroendocrine signals and longevity in a mouse model that has a specific reduction in the production of insulin-like growth factor 1.
Gregg Johannes, PhD - Understanding the role of translation in modulating gene expression during cellular stress, disease and cancer progression.
Michele Kutzler, PhD - Translational research in vaccinology, immunology and infectious disease.
Adjunct Faculty at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Alfonsa Bellacosa, MD, PhD - The analysis of genetic and epigenetic alterations of cancer cells in an effort to understand normal gene function and pathogenesis of disease, with the ultimate goal of identifying critical regulatory molecules/pathways as targets for innovative approaches of cancer prevention and therapy.
Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD - Signal transduction by small G proteins and their effectors and the role of these proteins in regulating cytoskeletal structure, tumor invasion, and metastasis; regulation of insulin signaling.
Edna Cukierman, PhD - Isolating primary fibroblasts from various murine and human cancers at different stages of tumorigenesis.
Erica Golemis, PhD - Understanding points of communication between the cell cycle machinery and cell shape controls, with particular reference to how these processes are simultaneously disrupted in cancer; the HEF1, HEI10, and HEI-C proteins, which function in cell cycle-cell attachment control pathways.
Roland Dunbrack, PhD - Computational structural biology, including homology modeling, fold recognition, molecular dynamics simulations, statistical analysis of the PDB, and bioinformatics.
Jeffrey Peterson, PhD - Understanding how the Rho family of signaling proteins function in normal cells and how their signaling is altered in cancer and metastasis.
Division of Biomedical Sciences
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences & Professional Studies
2900 Queen Lane Suite G24
Philadelphia, PA 19129-1096
Michael J. Bouchard, PhD
Director, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program
Drexel University College of Medicine
245 N. 15th Street, #11312
Philadelphia, PA 19102
2900 Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129