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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Department of Molecular Biology

Mark M. Stayton, Department Chair
203 Animal Science/Molecular Biology Building, 6012 Agriculture Building
Phone: (307) 766-3300, 766-2171 Fax: (307) 766-5098
Website: http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/UWMolecBio/

Professors

DAVID FAY, B.S. Tufts University 1988; Ph.D. Yale University 1995; Professor of Molecular Biology 2010, 2001.
MARK GOMELSKY, B.S. Moscow Institute of Chemical Technology 1986; M.S. 1988; Ph.D. Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms 1991; Professor of Molecular Biology 2011, 1999.
DONALD L. JARVIS, B.S. Idaho State University 1978; M.S. 1980; Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine 1986; Professor of Molecular Biology 2000, 1998.
KURT W. MILLER, B.S. Pennsylvania State University 1977; Ph.D. Boston University 1982; Professor of Molecular Biology 2007, 1992.
DON ALLEN ROTH, B.S. University of New Hampshire 1974; M.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1975; Ph.D. 1978; Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacy 2009,1978; Deputy Director of the School of Energy Resources.
ANNE W. SYLVESTER, B.S. University of Washington 1980; M.S. 1982; Ph.D. 1987; Professor of Molecular Biology 2010, 2006.
PETER E. THORSNESS, B.A. Colorado College 1982; Ph.D. University of California-Berkeley 1987; Professor of Molecular Biology 2002, 1991.

Associate Professors

PAMELA J. LANGER, B.S. Indiana University-Indiana 1973; Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1980; Associate Professor of Molecular Biology 1994, 1987.
DAVID A. LIBERLES, B.S. B.A. Oberlin College 1991; M.S. California Institute of Technology 1995; Ph.D. 1997; Associate Professor of Molecular Biology 2010, 2005.
MARK M. STAYTON, B.S. University of Missouri at Kansas City 1975; Ph.D. Iowa State University 1980; Associate Professor of Molecular Biology 1994, 1988.

Assistant Professors

GRANT BOWMAN, B.S. University of Rochester 1997; Ph.D. University of Chicago 2004; Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology 2012.
JESSE C. GATLIN, B.S. University of Colorado-Boulder 1995; Ph.D. University of Colorado-Aurora 2005; Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology 2010.
JASON GIGLEY, B.S. University of New Hampshire 1994; Ph.D. Dartmouth Medical School 2007; Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology 2012.
DANIEL L. LEVY, B.S. California Institute of Technology 2000; Ph.D. University of California San Francisco 2006; Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology 2011.
DANIEL WALL, B.A. Sonoma State University 1988; Ph.D. University of Utah 1994; Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology 2012, 2007.
NAOMI WARD, B.Sc. University of Queensland 1993; Ph.D. University of Warwick 1997; Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Botany 2007.
CYNTHIA WEINIG, B.A. Brown University 1991; Ph.D. Indiana University; Assistant Professor of Botany and Molecular Biology 2007.

Adjunct Professors

HERMANN SCHÄTZL, M.D. Max von Pettenkofer-Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie, Germany 1991; Wyoming Excellence Chair - Prion Biology; Professor Veterinary Science and Molecular Biology, 2009.

Professor Emeritus

Dale Isaak, Randy Lewis, Nancy Petersen, Jordanka Zlatanova

Molecular Biology

Modern biology is based on a fundamental understanding of molecular processes. Recent advances in molecular biology have led to an explosion of knowledge about gene expression and the role gene products play in cell function. Undergraduate programs in molecular biology offer learning opportunities at the forefront of modern biology.

The molecular biology degree programs are designed to prepare students for the future by combining a foundation in basic sciences and humanities with a broad selection of courses in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and microbiology. Advanced undergraduates attend an outside speaker's program that includes some of the world's best-known scientists. Modern, well-equipped teaching and research laboratories contribute significantly to the educational experience of a student. All junior- and senior-level undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research projects with individual faculty members. Involvement in an active research program provides the student with an additional dimension of learning beyond what is assimilated in courses. A student learns to plan experiments, solve technical problems and experience scientific advances first hand. An undergraduate research project also promotes close interaction between the undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, staff and faculty.

Many molecular biology majors continue their education beyond the bachelor's level by going to graduate school or to medical, dental or veterinary school. Some students choose to use their education to gain employment in biotechnology, clinical or basic research laboratories. Other career choices include teaching, medical technology, law and business.

To obtain a B.S. degree in molecular biology, a student, with the aid of a molecular biology adviser, designs a program of study that includes courses from the Molecular Biology Core Requirements and Electives listed below. Additional course lists are provided as an aid in developing an individualized program of study in key Interest Areas such as Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Genetics, Computational Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Preprofessional studies (for those students planning careers in medically related fields). Courses listed under the Interest Areas are optional and the student and adviser will design a unique curriculum suited to the student's personal interests. Flexibility in course selection also permits students to fulfill the various requirements of postgraduate and professional schools. Completion of a degree in Molecular Biology provides a student with the tools needed to open the door to exciting futures in science, medicine, and agriculture.

Requirements for Molecular Biology Majors

General Requirements

Hours

Total credits (college requirement)

128

3000-level or above (university requirement)

48

Fulfillment of University Studies Program (consult adviser) 
Fulfillment of molecular biology core and elective requirements 

listed below

MOLB Core Requirements (General Science Courses)

Hours

MOLB 1010

1

LIFE 1010

4

MOLB 2021

4

LIFE 3050

4

CHEM 1020 and 1030

8

CHEM 2420 and 2440

8

PHYS 1110 and 1120

8

MATH 2200*

4

STAT 2050

4

Total

45

 *The alternative math courses (MATH 1450 or 1400 and 1405) may be substituted with adviser approval.

MOLB Core Requirements (MOLB Core Courses)

Hours

MOLB 3000

3

MOLB 4600 and 4610

6

MOLB 4170

1

MOLB 4180

1

MOLB 4250

1

MOLB 4485

1

MOLB 4440 or 4450 or 4660 or 4670

3

MOLB 4050 and 4051 or 4052

2

Total

18

MOLB Elective Requirement

Hours

MOLB Electives: choose from the following courses to fulfill the 10-credit MOLB elective requirement; note limitations below*

 

MOLB 4010

1-3

MOLB 4100

3

MOLB 4260

1

MOLB 4300

1

MOLB 4400

4

MOLB 4440

3

MOLB 4450

3

MOLB 4460

3

MOLB 4495

3

MOLB 4510

3

MOLB 4540

4

MOLB 4660

3

MOLB 4670 3
MOLB 5650

3

Total

10

*Molecular Biology elective limitations: the credit hours which may be applied toward the 10-credit MOLB elective requirement are limited as follows: MOLB 4010 (max. 3 credits total). Additional hours in MOLB 4050/4051/4052 (beyond the core requirement of 2 credits) may not be applied toward the 10-credit MOLB elective requirement. Additional credits in MOLB 4010, 4050, 4051, and 4052 may be applied to general university and 3000-level or above credit requirements.

Molecular Biology Interest Areas

After discussing individual interests with a molecular biology adviser, a student should enroll in additional courses that will enhance preparation for a chosen career objective. Listed below are recommended courses that will further develop a student's skills and understanding in five Interest Areas.

Biochemistry

Hours

CHEM 2230

4

CHEM 3550 or 4507 and 4508

3-6

CHEM 4230

4

CHEM 4560

3

COSC 1010 or 1100

3-4

MOLB 4010

6

MOLB 4460

3

MOLB 5650

3

Cell and Molecular Genetics

Hours

MOLB 4010

6

MOLB 4260

1

MOLB 4440

3

MOLB 4450

3

MOLB 4660

3

MOLB 4670

3

ZOO 4340

4

ZOO 4670

4

Computational Molecular Biology

Hours

COSC 1010 or 1100

3-4

COSC 2030

4

IMGT 2400

3

IMGT 3400

3

MOLB 4010

6

MOLB 4495

3

MOLB 5650

3

BOT 4550

4

CHEM 4560

3

STAT 5380

4

Microbiology

Hours

MICR 2220

4

MOLB 4010

6

MOLB 4400

4

MOLB 4440

3

MOLB 4460

3

MOLB 4540

4

PATB 4710

3

Preprofessional

Hours

MOLB 4010

6

MOLB 4100

3

MOLB 4400

4

MOLB 4450

3

MOLB 4510

3

MOLB 4660

3

MICR 2220

4

PATB 4710

3

PHCY 4450

4

PSYC 1000

3

SOC 1000

3

ZOO 2040/ZOO 2041

4-5

ZOO 3115

4

ZOO 4125

4

ZOO 4670

4

Recommended Course Sequence
The following course sequence is recommended for MOLB majors. In addition to these courses, electives should be selected each semester to fulfill university studies requirements and to enhance a student's educational background. Please note that since courses in microbiology and biochemistry are prerequisites for several advanced courses, the student should plan to take MOLB 2021 in the freshman year (spring semester) or sophomore year (fall semester), MOLB 3000 in the sophomore year, and MOLB 4600 and 4610 in the junior year.

Freshman Year: Fall

Hours

LIFE 1010

4

CHEM 1020

4

ENGL 1010

3

COJO 1010 OR MATH 2200 or STAT 2050

3-4

MOLB 1010

1

Freshman Year: Spring

Hours

MOLB 2021

4

CHEM 1030

4

MATH 2200 or STAT 2050 or COJO 1010

3-4

Electives

 

Sophomore Year: Fall

Hours

MOLB 3000

3

CHEM 2420

4

Electives

 

Sophomore Year: Spring

Hours

CHEM 2440

4

MOLB 3000

3

Electives

 

Junior Year: Fall

Hours

MOLB 4600

3

MOLB 4485

1

LIFE 3050

4

PHYS 1110

4

Electives

 

Junior Year: Spring

Hours

MOLB 4610

3

MOLB 4170

1

MOLB 4180

1

MOLB 4250

1

MOLB 4300

1

PHYS 1120

4

MOLB Course

1

Other Electives

 

Junior Year: Summer (optional)

Hours

MOLB 4010

3

MOLB 4052

1

Senior Year: Fall

Hours

MOLB 4050 or 4051

1

MOLB 4010

3

MOLB Courses

 

Other Electives

 

Senior Year: Spring

Hours

MOLB 4050 or 4051

1

MOLB 4010

3

MOLB Courses

 

Other Electives

 

Molecular biology also has a graduate program leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Please see the Graduate Study for Molecular Biology web site or write or visit the Graduate Program Chairperson for additional information. Students interested in a doctorate in the interdisciplinary program in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences should visit www.uwyo.edu/mcls.

Basic Requirements for Undergraduate Minor in Molecular Biology

Students wishing to minor in molecular biology should discuss their plans with an adviser in the Department of Molecular Biology. Formal declaration of molecular biology as a minor requires 1) submission of a form that must be approved by the Department of Molecular Biology and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean's Office, 2) appointment of a minor adviser from the Department of Molecular Biology.

To receive a minor in molecular biology, a student must complete courses listed in the following areas:

1. Science Foundation course requirements:

Hours

LIFE 1010

4

LIFE 3050

4

CHEM 1020 and 1030

8

CHEM 2300 or 2420 and 2440

4-8

MATH 1450 and 2200 or 1400 and1405

5-6

2. MOLB course requirements

Hours

MOLB 2021

4

MOLB 3000

3

Lab courses from MOLB 4010, 4170, 4180, or 4250

3

MOLB 3610 and 8 additional MOLB credits or  MOLB 4600 and 4610 and 6 additional MOLB credits (excluding MOLB 4010, 4050, 4051, 4052 and 4850)

12

Note: A maximum of 8 out of the 22 credits applied to the MOLB course requirements can simultaneously be applied in fulfillment of the requirements for the student's major.

Graduate Study

The Department of Molecular Biology offers the Ph.D., M.S. and M.A. degrees for students who wish to do graduate work in molecular biology, in preparation for careers in academia, the biotechnology industry, medicine, or other professions. Prospective graduate students should visit the Molecular Biology Departmental web site (http://www.uwyo.edu/molecbio/) or the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences web site (http://www.uwyo.edu/mcls/) for more information.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

A prospective student must apply to a Molecular Biology Department faculty member with whom they wish to work (http://www.uwyo.edu/molecbio/faculty-and-staff/index.html). Once a mentor has been identified, the student should apply to the graduate program of choice.

Candidates for all molecular biology graduate programs must have attained minimum entrance requirements, as specified by:
 (1) Department of Molecular Biology graduate admission requirements, posted at http://www.uwyo.edu/molecbio/, and
 (2) University of Wyoming Graduate Student Regulations and policies, posted on the Office of the Registrar website: http://www.uwyo.edu/registrar/university_catalog/grad_students.html

Instructions for applying to the Molecular Biology Graduate Degree Programs are posted at http://www.uwyo.edu/molecbio/degree-programs/index.html

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Throughout the degree program, a graduate student is guided and evaluated by the research adviser and graduate committee. Here we provide only general descriptions of degree programs. Details of coursework and other requirements for obtaining a Ph.D., M.S. or M.A. degree in Molecular Biology are specified in the Departmental Policies for the Graduate Programs, listed by date of program entrance on the departmental website (http://www.uwyo.edu/molecbio/).

Doctor of Philosopy (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. is a research-intensive degree. The student conducts a guided research project in the laboratory into which they have been accepted. The faculty research adviser is responsible for financial support of the student. A student will conduct a research project that is expected to result in multiple publications in research journals as well as presentations in the department and at scientific meetings. Student performance is monitored by a dissertation committee that will evaluate a student's research proposal, preliminary examination, seminar presentations, written dissertation, final public seminar, and final oral defense of the dissertation. Students are also required to participate in departmental teaching. Students pursing the Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology usually complete their program in about 5 years. 

Master of Science in Molecular Biology (M.S.)

An M.S. degree student will conduct a research project that is expected to result in publication in research journals as well as presentations in the department and at scientific meetings. Student performance is monitored by a thesis committee that will evaluate a student's research proposal, seminar presentations, written thesis, final public seminar, and final oral defense of the thesis. In consultation with the faculty research adviser, a student may elect to be a teaching assistant. A student should not have expectations of financial support, however funding may be negotiated on an individual basis and is at the discretion of the faculty research adviser. Students pursuing the M.S. degree in Molecular Biology usually complete their program in about 2 years.

Undergraduate students interested in a combined bachelor of science and master of science (B.S./M.S.) program should contact the Molecular Biology Graduate Program Chairperson.

Master of Arts in Molecular Biology (M.A.)

Students interested in graduate study but who intend to apply for a post-graduate professional program such as medical or law school, should consider an M.A. program of study. An M.A. degree candidate will negotiate with their faculty adviser to formulate an appropriate research project. Student performance is monitored by a thesis committee that will evaluate a student's written thesis, final public seminar, and final oral defense of the thesis. A student pursuing an M.A. degree should not have expectations of financial support. Students pursing the M.A. degree in Molecular Biology usually complete their program in two academic semesters plus two summers.

Molecular Biology (MOLB) Courses

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