Graduate Program

Coursework

Core Courses

IDSP 111

Basic Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology I
(2 credits)

 

Faculty Member in charge:
Stephan Witt, Ph.D., switt1@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

 

When course is offered:Fall, Annually

 

Prerequisites for course: None

 

Description of course:
This course provides an introduction to the basic biochemical properties of amino acids and proteins, a discussion of protein assembly and folding into the three dimensional structures required for function, and an introduction to basic principles of enzyme kinetics, examples of enzyme active site structure, and mechanism of action. Topics on membrane lipids, membrane transport, carbohydrates, and the important biochemical processes and enzymes that cells utilize to generate metabolic energy are also included in this section.

IDSP 112

Basic Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology II
(2 credits)


Faculty Member in charge:
Brent Reed, Ph.D., breed@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


When course is offered: Fall, Annually


Prerequisites for course: IDSP 111


Description of course:
Selected features of the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleotides are presented with discussions of the important mechanisms cells utilize to regulate these processes. The course concludes with a basic introduction to nucleic acids structure and function: replication, transcription, RNA processing, and protein synthesis.

IDSP 113

Genetics
(1 credit)


Faculty Member in charge:
Kenneth Peterson , Ph.D., kpeter@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Microbiology and Immunology


When course is offered: Fall, Annually


Prerequisites for course:  IDSP 111, 112


Description of course:
The student will be expected to gain an in-depth knowledge of the use of genetics to understand the basic genomic organization and function of genes/gene products in the cell biology of prokaryotic/eukaryotic organisms.

IDSP 114

Cell Biology
(2 credits)


Faculty Member in charge:
Kelly Tatchell, Ph.D., ktatch@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


When course is offered: Spring, Annually


Prerequisites for course: IDSP 111, 112, 113


Description of course:
An introduction to cell structure and the mechanisms underlying cell division and protein trafficking. In this course, emphasis will be placed on apoptotic mechanisms, mechanisms of cell division and cell cycle control, the mechanisms involved in protein and membrane trafficking, and adhesion-mediated biology. Lectures and discussions of the current literature will comprise the course.

IDSP 115

Molecular Signaling
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Andrew Yurochko, Ph.D., ayuroc@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

When course is offered: Spring, Annually

Prerequisites for course: IDSP 111, 112, 113, 114

Description of course:
A modern comprehensive course concerning the regulation of cellular signaling processes in eukaryotic cells. Emphasis will be placed on the molecular mechanisms involved and approaches used to understand receptor-mediated signaling and signal transduction pathways. Attention is also focused on the current molecular and cellular biological techniques used today in the investigation of these important cellular processes.

IDSP 116

Biochemical and Molecular Methods
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Donard Dwyer, Ph.D., ddwyer@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience

When course is offered: Fall, Annually

Prerequisites for course: None

Description of course:
A discussion of principles and application of common methods used for detection and analysis of macromolecules and their structure, function, and interaction. This course covers biochemical methods of separation and detection of macromolecules as well as structural analysis. There will be some form of out-of-class work for most lecture topics, including problems, literature reviews and visits to core facilities and major equipment. The goals of the course are: to develop an understanding of basic methods applied to the study of proteins and nucleic acids; to become familiar with the instrumentation used for these methods- (students should be aware of what instrumentation is required to use a particular method and have a basic idea how it is used), and to become aware of the ways that these methods and techniques are applied to biomedical study, i.e., understand what methods could/should be used to study a particular scientific problem. There will be one exam at the end of the course.

IDSP 117

Methods in Biomedical Sciences: Recombinant DNA and Cell Biology
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Rona Scott, Ph.D., rscott1@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

When course is offered: Spring, Annually

Prerequisites for course: None

Description of course:
Goals are the same as for IDSP 116. This course covers recombinant DNA methods including cloning and gene expression, DNA sequencing, PCR, and mutagenesis. The course also covers analysis of nucleic acids and proteins, including interaction detection methods, genomics and proteomics and also covers direct observation methods of analysis and immunological methods. There will be one exam at the end of the course.

IDSP 119

Gene Expression
(1 credits)

Faculty Member in charge:
David Gross, Ph.D., dgross@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

When course is offered: Spring, Annually

Prerequisites for course: IDSP 111, 112, 113, 114, 115

Description of course:
A state-of-the-art course concerning the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Emphasis will be placed on basic molecular mechanisms underlying DNA transposition, transcriptional regulation, alterative pre-mRNA splicing and translational control.  In addition, emerging roles for non-coding RNAs in the regulation of transcription, translation and mRNA stability will be discussed. 

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Elective Courses

BCH 223

Physical Biochemistry
(2 credits)

Faculty Member in charge:
Eric First, Ph.D., 
efirst@lsuhsc.edu

When course is offered
Spring, odd-numbered years

Description of course:
Discussions of physical and chemical techniques used in biochemistry to study macromolecular architecture and interactions.

 

BCH 271

Cell Signaling
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge
Lucy Robinson, Ph.D.,
lrobin@lsuhsc.edu

When course is offered
Spring, odd-numbered years

Description of course:
A seminar/discussion course based on current literature. The theme (signaling pathway) covered by the course changes for each offering. The introduction of a topic by the instructor is followed by literature discussions led by students. Past examples of course themes include MAPK signaling in yeast, Drosophila and vertebrates, and two-component regulatory systems in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

BCH 281

Molecular Mechanisms of Post-transcriptional Control
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge
Ricky DeBenedetti, Ph.D., 
adeben@lsuhsc.edu

When course is offered
Fall, even-numbered years

Description of course:
This course is designed to introduce the student to modern concepts and techniques in the biochemistry and molecular biology of posttranscriptional control.  This process will occur through reading and discussing key papers in the literature and writing a short proposal pertaining to a testable hypothesis.  The papers selected will be of two kinds: landmark papers which have revolutionized the thinking in a particular area of posttranscriptional control, and recent representative papers which deal with the most modern topics and techniques.

BCH 283

Molecular Mechanisms of Transcriptional Control
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge: David S. Gross, Ph.D., 
dgross@lsuhsc.edu

When course is offered
Spring, odd-numbered years

Description of course
Literature-based course covering the role of promoter-specific activators and repressors, the nature and role of the general transcriptional machinery, and the role of nucleosomes and higher order chromatin structures in regulating transcription.

BCH 286

Classical and Molecular Genetics
(1 credit) 

Faculty Member in charge
Kelly Tatchell, Ph.D., 
ktatch@lsuhsc.edu     

When course is offered
Fall, odd-numbered years

Description of course:
Emphasizes classical genetic methods as they apply to modem molecular biology. Course content relies on yeast as an experimental organism, although the intent is to teach genetic principles as they apply to eukaryotic organisms in general.

BCH 287

Applications of Spectroscopic Techniques to Biochemical Problems
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Stephan Witt, Ph.D., 
switt1@lsuhsc.edu

When course is offered
Fall, odd-numbered years

Description of course:
Emphasizes the principles of well-established methods, such as fluorescence spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, and their applications to biochemical problems.

BCH 290

Introduction to Bioinformatics
(3 credits)

Faculty Member in charge
Eric A. First, Ph.D., 
efirst@lsuhsc.edu

When course is offered
Fall, odd-numbered years

Description of course
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the computational and biological concepts and skills required for the field of bioinformatics. It provides an overview of the field and trains students in the use of some current bioinformatics programs. Some topics to be covered are biological databases, pairwise sequence alignment BLAST searching, analysis of gene expression data, proteomics, multiple sequence alignment, protein structure prediction, molecular phylogeny, genomic analysis, and PERL for bioinformatics. By the end of the course students should be able to search for novel genes of unkoown function, identify homologous proteins, and develop hypotheses regarding the function of novel genes. This course is cross-listed with CSC 490/690 at LSU-Shreveport (LSU-S students should contact mtrutsch@pilot.lsus.edu).

 

 

 

IDSP 226

Basic Biostatistics
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Sandra Roerig, Ph.D., sroeri@lsuhsc.edu
Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Associate Dean for Research

When course is offered: Spring, Annually

Prerequisites for course: None

Description of course:
This course is intended for graduate students in the Departments of Cellular Biology & Anatomy, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Microbiology & Immunology and Pharmacology, Toxicology & Neuroscience who seek a working knowledge of statistical methods and their applications.  Topics covered will provide introduction to basic descriptive and inferential statistics.  Specific topics include hypothesis testing, linear regression, correlation, confidence intervals, probability and power analysis.  Experimental design, examples of specific topics and ethics applied to statistical analyses will be emphasized.

BCH 282

Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Protein Structure/Function
(1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Eric First, Ph.D., efirst@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

When course is offered: Spring, odd-numbered years

Prerequisites for course: None

Description of course:
A series of lectures and tutorials focused on the use of state-of-the-art approaches to study protein structure, protein folding and protein-ligand interactions.

BCH 288

Scientific Writing (1 credit)

Faculty Member in charge:
Hari Koul, Ph.D., hkoul@lsuhsc.edu
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

When course is offered: Spring, Annually

Prerequisites for course: None

Description of course:
A course designed to teach fundamentals of writing a scientific paper, writing a grant proposal, and identifying topics and approaches suitable for grant proposals.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The doctor of philosophy degree is conferred only for work of distinction in which the student displays original scholarship. The Graduate School of LSUHSC-S and the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have instituted a program to provide students the opportunity to distinguish themselves within a chosen field of study. Students are trained to recognize significant biological problems, to design experimental approaches to solving these problems, and to communicate their results to the scientific community.

Stephan N. Witt, Ph.D., Professor and Chair Switt1@lsuhsc.edu

Brent C. Reed, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies Breed@lsuhsc.edu

Course Requirements

The core curriculum consists of a minimum of 18 credits in core courses and 10 credits in elective courses for which a letter grade is assigned. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the biochemistry curriculum courses. Grades from courses outside the biochemistry curriculum will not be included in the calculation of the GPA. A student with a GPA of below 3.0 is immediately placed on probation and the continuation of the student in the program is at the discretion of the student's advisory committee. The advisory committee may choose one of the following: 1) Removal of the student from the graduate program, 2.) Require the completion of a M.S. degree (see below), or 3.) Extend the probation to allow the student to attain a GPA of 3.0. The probationary period may not extend beyond three semesters.

Course Requirement Summary

Core Courses: COURSE CREDITS IDSP 111-115 9 IDSP 116, 117 2 IDSP 225 1 BCH 223 1 BCH 282 1 BCH 288 1 Total 15

Elective Courses (Departmental): COURSE CREDITS BCH 271 1 BCH 281 1 BCH 283 1 BCH 285 1 BCH 286 1 BCH 287 1 BCH 290 3

Elective Courses (Non-Departmental): With departmental elective courses, credits of elective courses to total 9

Course Requirements

Core Courses

IDSP 111-115 
Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology. These courses provide instruction to the basics of proteins, enzymes, generation of metabolic energy; metabolism and genetics; gene expression and the cell cycle; and cell biology.

IDSP 116-118 
Methods in Biomedical Sciences. These courses provide instruction to the principles and application of common methods of biochemistry and molecular biology; biostatistics and recombinant DNAI; and recombinant DNAII and cell biology.

BCH 223.
Physical Biochemistry. Two hours of conference and lectures involving discussions of physical and chemical techniques used in biochemistry to study macromolecular architecture and interactions. Director: Eric First, Ph.D.

BCH 282.
Protein Structure/Function. A series of lectures focused on the use of state-of-the-art approaches to study protein structure, protein folding and protein-ligand interactions. 1 credit. Taught in the Spring semester of even-numbered years. Lecturer: Dr. Eric First.

BCH 288.
Scientific Writing. I credit. A course designed to teach fundamentals of writing a scientific paper, writing a grant proposal, and identifying topics and approaches suitable for grant proposals. Course offered in the Spring semester of every year. Lecturer: Dr. Robert E. Rhoads. 

Elective Courses 
(Departmental)

Students are required to choose at least four courses in the BCH 280 series of Special Topics courses.

BCH 271.
Mechanisms of Genetic Control: Signal Transduction Pathways. 1 credit. A literature-based discussion course on the use of genetic and developmental biology tools in diverse systems such as yeast, Drosophila, Xenopus, and zebrafish to study signal transduction pathways. The course will focus on several known signal transduction pathways, and will include discussion of the experiments that were performed to elucidate these pathways and of current problems in the field. Discussion will emphasize critical evaluation of the literature. Offered in the Spring semester of odd-numbered years Lecturer: Dr. Lucy Robinson. 

BCH 281.
Molecular Mechanisms of Post-transcriptional Control. 1 credit. A literature-based course dealing with post-transcriptional control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells and their viruses. Topics will include mRNA splicing, mRNA stability, translational control, and protein targeting. Offered in the Fall semester of even-numbered years. Lecturers: Drs. Robert E. Rhoads and Ricky DeBenedetti. 

BCH 283.
Molecular Mechanisms of Transcriptional Control. 1 credit. A literature-based course covering the role of promoter-specific activators and repressors, the nature and role of the general transcriptional machinery, and the role of nucleosomes and higher-order chromatin structures in regulating transcription. Offered in the Spring semester of odd-numbered years. Lecturers: Drs. David S. Gross and Shari Meyers.

BCH 285.
Eukaryotic Developmental Biology. 1 credit. A literature-based course that is focused on developmental regulatory mechanisms in higher animals. Topics will include cell fate specification, differentiation and pattern formation. Course taught Fall semester of even-numbered years. Lecturer: Dr. Eric Aamodt.

BCH 286.
Classical and Molecular Genetics. I credit. This course will emphasize classical genetic methods as they apply to modern molecular biology. The course content will rely on yeast as an experimental organism, although the intent is to teach genetic principles as they apply to eukaryotic organisms in general. Offered in the Fall semester of odd-numbered years. Lecturers: Drs. Kelly Tatchell and Eric Aamodt.

BCH 287.
Applications of Spectroscopic Techniques to Biochemical Problems. 1 credit. This course emphasizes the principles of well-established methods, such as fluorescence spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, and their applications to biochemical problems. Offered in the Fall semester of odd-numbered years. Lecturer: Dr. Stephan Witt. 

BCH 290
Introduction to Bioinformatics. 3 credits. This course introduces the computational and biological concepts and skills required for the field of bioinformatics. It is intended to provide an overview of the field of bioinformatics and to train both life and computer science students to use commonly used bioinformatics programs. Offered in the Fall semester of odd-numbered years. Course directors: Drs. Eric First and Marjan Trutschl. 

 Elective courses 
(Non-Departmental)

Students are required to choose at least six courses from the following:

IDSP 201 
Introduction to Human Cancer Research, Treatment and Prevention. This will be a two credit introductory course team taught by basic scientists and clinical scientists. Four topics will be covered including: 1) an introduction and overview of cancer; 2) cancer cell biology; 30 the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer and 4: the molecular pathogenesis and treatment of specific cancers. The focus of this course will be to provide information concerning what is currently understood about the biochemical mechanisms operating during neoplasia and will include up to date information about oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, metastasis, angiogenesis, tumor immunology, diagnostic approaches (conventional and molecular) and treatment modalities. The course will consist of lectures that stress the research approaches and finding that currently form the basis for our understanding of how neoplastic cells arise and form cancers. This course will form the basis for more advanced courses in the cell and molecular biology of cancer.

Other elective courses
(Non-Departmental):

IDSP 212, IDSP 213, IDSP 214, IDSP 216, IDSP 217, IDSP 218, IDSP 219, MICRO 276, MICRO 297, MICRO 291, MICRO 289

Additional Course Requirements

In addition to the formal courses described above, students are required to register for several courses for which a pass/fail decision, rather than letter grade, is assigned upon completion of the course. These courses include the following.

BCH 207.
Introduction to Special Methods of Research. 1-6 credits. This course provides the first-year students credit for their efforts in laboratory rotation. Each new student is expected to participate in three separate rotations, each of about 3 months duration.

BCH 298.
Journal Club. 1 credit. Each student is expected to make a one hour presentation from the current literature and participate in all journal club meetings scheduled in the Fall and Spring semesters. First and second year students should choose a faculty advisor who is not their dissertation or rotation director to advise in choice of topic and to critique the journal club both prior to and after the presentation.

BCH 299.
Research Seminar. 1 credit. This course offers credit for participation in the departmental seminar program and student seminar program. Each student is expected to present a formal research seminar on their research project and participate in all departmental seminars scheduled in the Fall and Spring semesters.

BCH 300.
Thesis Research. 1-6 credits. This course offers credit for research work applied to the Masters thesis.

BCH 400.
Dissertation Research. 1-9 credits. This course provides students credit for their research work applied to their Ph.D. dissertation.