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Graduate Program


Course Requirements

Qualifying Exam

Guidelines and Procedures

Required Courses

CBIO-GS 8310. Cell Biology. This is a graduate level course with three major goals pivotal for success as a graduate student. 1. To provide solid foundational knowledge of cell biology. 2. To learn to think critically about experimental design and interpretation. 3. To learn to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. The class features faculty from the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and emphasizes fundamental cell processes such as regulated proteolysis, mitosis, and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Major signaling pathways are reviewed in relation to cell biological processes essential for development. Weekly student presentations help develop oral communication skills, and weekly writing assignments hone writing skills. Students learn classical and cutting edge techniques while improving their ability to read and synthesize the literature. Final paper assignment is designed to help students learn to develop and design feasible experiments to test a strong hypothesis. Prerequisite: IGP curriculum, the entire Bioregulation class. FALL. [3] Hann

CBIO-GS 8311 Contemporary Technologies and Approaches.  This is a graduate-level course to provide knowledge of cutting edge techniques and approaches critical for contemporary cellular and molecular biology. Lectures are presented from faculty from multiple departments and cores across the Vanderbilt campus. Topics include proteomics, genomics, microscopy, stem cell biology, single-cell technology, drug discovery and model organisms and organoids. Prerequisite: Bioregulation classes.  Fall [1] Hann

CBIO-GS 8339. Research Seminar in Cell Biology. Students and postdoctoral fellows present their research projects in an informal atmosphere.  Students are critiqued on presentations. FALL, SPRING. [1] Irish/Page-McCaw

CBIO-GS 8999. Non-candidate Research. Research prior to entry into candidacy (completion of Qualifying Examination) and for special non-degree students. [Variable credit: 0–12]

CBIO-GS 9999. Ph.D. Dissertation Research. [Variable credit 0-12]

Elective Courses

CBIO 8312. Introduction to Developmental Biology. This combined lecture and laboratory course will present students with the basics in the analysis of standard animal models used in modern developmental biology. Central concepts in development will be presented in lecture while the student will gain “hands on” training in the growth and care of embryos and analysis of embryonic development in model organisms. Standard methods of analysis (e.g. basic microscopy/morphological analysis, immunolabeling, time-lapse imaging, embryo microinjection) will be presented. Prerequisite: IGP Curriculum. Tuesday/Thursday; SUMMER. [3] Ihrie .

CBIO 8313. Introduction to Modern Biological Microscopy. This lecture course will provide students an introduction to modern microscopy and its biological applications. Topics will include diverse methods of light and electron microscopy, the basic principles of each method, details of specific instrumentation, historical background, advantages and restrictions, as well as applicability to various model systems and organisms. Sample preparation, technical hurdles, tricks of live imaging, micro- and nanomanipulation, quantitative image analysis and other issues will be addressed. The course will also include a tour of microscopy facilities available at Vanderbilt. SPRING. [2] Burnette/Kaverina.

CBIO 8320. Cancer and Development. A cross-listed CDB/CB graduate-level course that will examine relationships between cellular responses in normal tissue development and cancer. The goal of the course is to familiarize the students with major cellular pathways and responses that are regulated in normal embryonic and post-natal tissue development and how abnormal re-activation of these responses gives rise to malignant disease. Offered every other year. SPRING. [3] Lee.

CBIO 8324. Epithelial Pathobiology. To introduce students to issues of polarized epithelial cell function in the context of normal physiology as well as alterations associated with disease. Two one-and-a-half-hour sessions per week, one-semester course; paper presentation and discussion on Wednesday, lecture on Friday by visiting scientists. During the course, ten visiting scientists from outside Vanderbilt will present special topics changing each year. Prerequisite: open to all graduate students. Offered every other year. SPRING. [3] Goldenring, Coffey.

CBIO 8331. Current Topics in Developmental Biology. This course is offered in both the fall and spring semesters and meets once per week to hear a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or faculty member discuss a research paper from outside his or her field of research, followed by an audience Q&A session. Students taking this course are paired with a PI mentor and together choose a topical scientific paper that the trainee presents at the end of the semester. FALL, SPRING. [1] Wright.

CBIO 8338. Special Topics in Cell Biology. This course is intended to give first-year IGP students a personal perspective on the careers of exceptional cell and developmental biology researchers. Each session will focus on Nobel Prize or Lasker Award winners in Physiology or Medicine that have impacted cell and developmental biology fields. A faculty member with training or interest ties to the researcher will present and lead a discussion on the research topic and the history of the researcher’s career. In preparation for each session, the students will research the information at or linked to the award Web sites. For each session, the students will be given a key paper(s) of the winner (or the winner’s acceptance speech, or biographical articles, etc. at the discretion of the faculty member). During the class-time interactions with the faculty member, the students will incorporate their perspectives on what they found interesting about the winner’s history. For the last wrap-up session, each student will pick an award winner, who has not been discussed, and prepare a 15-minute presentation about that person.  SPRING. [Maximum credit: 1] Zanic

All CBIO Courses (MIS requires you to search for your classes, please enter cbio into search area)