Year 2

The students and mentors will choose a PhD supervisory committee at the beginning of the second year. This committee will administer the PhD comprehensive exam, which will be completed in Year 3, in addition to serving as the dissertation committee. The committee must have four faculty members, including the student's mentor or chair of the committee. Three of these faculty members must be from the Department of Pathology and Microbiology.

In addition, the following is a series of microbiology courses taken by most pre-doctoral students in the SBTP. Note that the student's dissertation committee approves the courses taken by each pre-doctoral student; typically, each student takes an additional four courses besides BRTP 821-824. This extra course load is vital for SBTP pre-doctoral students since they receive little microbiology or immunology in BRTP 821-824. These additional courses are usually taken in years 2 and 3 of the program. Note that SBTP students in the MD/PhD Scholars program are not required to take additional coursework beyond that taken in their first two years of Medical School. However, based upon recommendations by the students’ supervisory committee, these students typically take at least two of the core courses while a matriculating student in the SBTP.

PAMM 898: Bacterial Genetics
This course explores prokaryotic specific molecular biology including horizontal gene exchange. Specific topics covered include pathogenicity island concept, plasmid replication and transfer, prokaryotic species concept, integrons, transposons, and bacterial metabolism.

PAMM 910: Bacterial Pathogenesis   
This course explores the genetic mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well as the immunological response to these pathogens. Particular importance will be placed on major pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, pathogenic Escherichia coli, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

PAMM 950: Topics in Staphylococcal Biology
This course is designed to introduce the students to staphylococcal specific topics that are imperative to understanding staphylococcal biology. Topics covered include global gene regulators, staphylococcal growth, staphylococcal metabolism, virulence factors, and population biology. Historical aspects of older publications are also discussed.

PAMM 950: Principles of Immunology
This course includes the basic and fundamental principles of immunology relevant for study and research in immunology, microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, and cancer biology. This course is a Prerequisite to PAMM 955 Advanced Immunobiology.

PAMM 955: Advanced Immunology
This course is team taught by faculty of the Department of Pathology and Microbiology. This course involves the conceptual study of cellular and biomolecular immunology. Specifically, it includes mechanisms of immune recognition, regulatory and effector functions, interleukins and clinical immunology, with discussion of current literature.

BIOS 806: Biostatistics
This course is taught by faculty in UNMC's College of Public Health. It is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics that are covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression is also given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies.

PAMM 890: The Molecular Biology of Viruses
This course is team taught by faculty in the UNMC Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and Creighton University. The principles of molecular biology and their application to the study of virology are discussed in seminar format, drawing largely on the current literature. The contributions of virology to the understanding of general mechanisms of pathogenesis are also discussed.

PAMM 871: Antibiotics: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance
This course is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of how antibiotics inhibit growth in bacterial cells. Genetics of the mechanisms of resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics within both gram-negative and positive bacteria will be covered extensively. In addition, pros and cons of various antimicrobial-resistance testing methodologies will be assessed and discussed.