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Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Program (MICR) MICR Course Descriptions

There are three courses required by the Department and offered following the completion of the first-year core curriculum.

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Microbiology & Immunology (MICR) Course Descriptions

International Internships in Vaccinology (MICR 6070)

The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD), in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters, sponsors an annual internship program. The traveling internship program will form the basis for this course. Students participating in this course will undertake an internship at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Each student will be paired up with a mentor at WHO and a UTMB SCVD member to work on a defined project related to public health and vaccines for a period of 3 months (typically from early Spring to Fall of each year, with specific time-frames to be determined for each internship). Each internship project will involve significant contribution to a team tasked with developing a report on vaccines and a specific infectious disease for the WHO. Grading (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) will be based on participation, attendance, completion of assigned task(s), evaluations/feedback received from WHO and UTMB mentor(s), and submission of a final report to the SCVD by the student summarizing their internship experience and outcomes.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed all required graduate program coursework and entered candidacy prior to commencing the internship. Written approval from the mentor is also required.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Research (MICR 6097)

Formal research directed toward Masters Doctor of Philosophy degree programs. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the student's research supervisor and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Prerequisites: Admission to the microbiology and immunology program.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 3-27


Thesis (MICR 6098)

Formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science degree under the direction of the student's supervisory committee in special circumstances. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy for the master's degree.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Dissertation (MICR 6099)

Formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree under the direction of the student's supervisory committee. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable Students registering for Dissertation are expected to register for a total of 9 credit hours.


Training in Infectious Disease Outbreak Response (MICR 6140)

This 3-day course in infectious diseases provides the students with the opportunity to test their own knowledge in solving an outbreak scenario, and to learn how institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control approach infectious disease outbreaks. In this three-day course students will be confronted and led through a fictive outbreak simulation. Using innovative and highly inter-professional learning approaches and guided by experts in the field, students will understand the steps required in an outbreak response; solve the etiology of the outbreak agent case by drawing on their previously acquired knowledge and skills in virology, immunology, bacteriology, and epidemiology; and learn how to interact with the public. Topics that will be included are sample collection and processing, diagnostic tool and immuno reagent development, countermeasure development, and public outreach. Grades will be satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) based on participation. A grade of satisfactory will depend on: a) attendance of the student to all scheduled sessions and discussions; b) a short report during the course; and c) writing one -page reflective paper that will serve as self-evaluation.

Prerequisites: Must have taken MICR 6403 – General Virology, MICR 6315 – Pathogenic Bacteriology, or MICR 6408 – Advanced Immunology.
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 6, Conference 18


Student Research Update Seminar (MICR 6142)

Student seminar presented weekly during the Fall and Spring terms. The presenting student will have declared MICR as their graduate program and discuss their research and results obtained as appropriate. Students in the program will present once yearly. All students in the program are required to attend and to provide a written critique of the presentation to the course director.

Prerequisites: BBSC first year curriculum
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1- Seminar


Internship in Vaccinology (MICR 6143)

The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development(SCVD), in conjunction with the World Health Organization(WHO) headquarters, sponsors an annual Internship program. The proposed course will be associated with a UTMB-based Internship program that will involve preparation of a report by the student on a specific infectious diseases and vaccines topic, intended for use as a briefing document by a WHO expert committee. The student will work as part of a small group (2-3 students) under the supervision of a SCVD member. The internship will be conducted over a 3 month period, concurrent with the trainee's regular educational and research activities. Grading will be based on participation, attendance, effective performance of assigned tasks, evaluations/feedback received from mentors, and submission of a final report to the SCVD by the intern summarizing their internship experience and outcomes. Prerequisite: Consent to be enrolled required.

Prerequisites: For graduate students, successful applicants must have completed all required BBSC and/or program coursework prior to commencing the internship. Written approval from the mentor is also required.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2 - Conference or Discussion


Current Topics in Infectious Diseases and Immunity (MICR 6195)

Seminar course intended to familiarize students with current research in the areas of infectious diseases and immunology. Students attend weekly seminars in the Infectious Diseases and Immunity Colloquium. Students may substitute some seminars in the series with presentations from the monthly Immunology Research in Progress series. Students are required to enroll during the first two years in the program. Each student will be assigned a session per term to lead class by discussing an assigned topic relevant to a journal club article. Students will also participate in small group discussions and prepare essays. Grading will be based on attendance (30%), preparation and discussion leadership (20%), and reflective essays or review essay (50%).

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1 - Conference or Discussion


Scientific Writing & Grant Proposal Preparation (MICR 6255)

This course introduces the principles of scientific writing and grant proposal preparation in the new NIH format. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the individual parts of an NIH-style grant application, to help students in acquiring scientific writing skills, and to prepare students for the qualifying exam in the Microbiology & Immunology graduate program. It consists of weekly lectures and small-group sessions during which experienced faculty mentors present didactic instruction on planning, organizing, and writing a hypothesis-driven grant application. Students will also work individually and in small groups on an original grant proposal. Students write a grant proposal with precise deadlines for submission of individual parts. Grading will be based on the assignments (30%), the final grant application (50%), and an oral defense of the proposal (20%).

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2


Pathogenic Bacteriology (MICR 6315)

The objective of this course is to introduce students to concepts of research on bacterial pathogens. Pathogens infecting man will be studied, with emphasis given to their pathogenic mechanisms, induction of immunity, and physiochemical characteristics. The course will consist of lectures and discussions. Grading based on written examinations.

Prerequisites: BBSC first year curriculum
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 2; Conference or discussion 1


General Virology (MICR 6403)

Principles and concepts of animal virology will be presented, but the majority of the course will be devoted to the study of viruses of medical importance. Emphasis will be placed upon the chemical and physical characteristics of viruses, viral interaction with the immune system, pathogenesis of viral infections, and the mechanisms of replication of viruses. The course consists of lectures and discussion periods. Grades will be based on performance on written examinations.

Prerequisites: BBSC First Year Curriculum
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3; Conference 1


Advanced Immunology (MICR 6408)

An in-depth study of the immune response and related events with emphasis on the mechanism of cellular and humoral immunity. Some of the topics to be covered include antibody structure and function, antigen-antibody reactions, cells involved in the immune response, antibody formation, cellular immunity, mediators, tolerance, and immunogenetics. Material will be presented in lectures and assigned readings of texts, reviews, and research articles. Grading will be based on written examinations and class participation.

Prerequisites: BBSC First Year Curriculum
Conference or discussion 1
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Course Coordinators: Soong/Milligan