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Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology

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  • Course description
    The Department of Microbiology at Illinois offers unique opportunities for graduate students to become skilled and creative microbiologists.  Our graduate program of study leads to the doctor of philosophy degree (Ph.D.).  We have outstanding resources in our internationally recognized faculty, graduate students, and research facilities.  This exposes our students to the latest research techniques and fosters their development as independent scientists. The program has particular strengths in the areas of microbial physiology, metabolism, genetics, evolution, and pathogenesis.  For an application and departmental materials that provide greater detail on programs, offerings, admission, degree requirements, and financial aid, visit our website at http://www.mcb.illinois.edu/departments/microbiology/index.html . 

    Graduates from the Department of Microbiology are employed in colleges and universities, industry, and government.  Scientific advances in genetic engineering and biotechnology provide many opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, and genetic engineering companies.

    The Department of Microbiology is a part of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), which also includes the Departments of Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Molecular and Integrative Physiology. The Department is part of an umbrella program in MCB that encompasses over 70 different research laboratories.  Students admitted into any of these departmental graduate programs can select faculty thesis advisors from these active research laboratories in the School. Close ties are also maintained with the School of Integrative Biology, the School of Chemical Sciences, the College of Medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

    Facilities and Resources
    The Microbiology Department is located in the modern Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory (CLSL). Central to main campus, the CLSL houses all of the major equipment and expertise necessary for research in microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry.

    The University of Illinois has excellent core facilities to aid in scientific research, many of which are located in buildings adjacent to CLSL. Each core facility has full-time salaried support staff for training and support. The William Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics provides sequencing and oligonucleotide synthesis, DNA microarray facilities, and bioinformatics specialists. The Protein Sciences Facility aids researchers in protein sequence analysis, peptide synthesis, and 2D gel electrophoresis. Services offered by the Immunological Resources Center include the creation, purification, and immunochemical labeling of antibodies. In addition to a state-of-the-art cell sorter, the Flow Cytometry Facility maintains several satellite flow cytometry machines throughout campus.  The Center for Microscopic Imaging is a campus-wide service center for electron, confocal, and light microscopy. The Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics uses microscopy and spectroscopy to study protein interactions and kinetics. The University of Illinois has the top academic NMR laboratory in the country for all modern methods of organic mass spectrometry. The Transgenic Animal Facility produces transgenic lines by microinjection technology. The X-ray diffraction laboratories allow for detailed X-ray analysis of materials.
    Several services are available to graduate students for support outside of the classroom and laboratory. The University of Illinois library is the nation's third largest university library, allowing access to reference books and on-line scientific journals. The Writer's Workshop offers free, personal writing assistance for class assignments, scientific manuscripts, and theses. Graduate students also have access to laboratory computers, which are connected via the network maintained by the Office of Information Technology.  Please visit the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology to learn about these and other resources available to graduate students.

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