Cell Biology PhD Training Program Curriculum | NYU Langone Health

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Cell Biology PhD Training Program Cell Biology PhD Training Program Curriculum

Cell Biology PhD Training Program Curriculum

NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Cell Biology PhD Training Program offers a robust curriculum to train future scientists in biochemistry, genetics, immunology, genome integrity, and molecular cell biology.

Students enter the program with varied backgrounds and interests and are mentored individually. As a student in our program, you consult with the program’s graduate director, advisor, and first-year assigned mentors to choose the most appropriate courses relevant to your background and interests.

Required Courses

All graduate students in Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences are required to take the courses Introduction to Research, Rigor and Reproducibility, Biostatistics and Exploratory Data Analysis, and Ethics: Scientific Integrity and Responsible Conduct in Research in the first year. Second-year students are required to take Grant Writing for Scientists. Third-year students are required to take Individual Development Plans, and fifth-year students are required to take an ethics refresher course.

Starting in your second year, you are also required to take the Cell Biology Works-in-Progress and participate in the Cell Biology Seminar Series and Cell Biology Symposium.

Due to the broad nature of the Cell Biology PhD Training Program, there are no additional required courses. Rather, the program supports an individualized program of study. With the guidance of the cell biology program director and advisor, students choose classes to take from a wide range of elective courses and computational courses. Courses in cell biology and genome integrity emphasize active learning, teamwork, collaboration, discussion, and presentation, and practical modular courses provide hands-on experience in quantitative cell biology, emphasizing microscopy techniques and image analysis. Students enroll for elective courses that are tailored to their area of research.

The training program provides a number of venues for students to design their own learning and discuss their research. These include presentations of research works-in-progress in weekly meetings, selection of outside guest seminar speakers, participation in a journal club, and poster presentations at internal meetings such as retreats, symposia, and open houses, where students present and discuss their research in an informal atmosphere.

Learn more about graduation requirements for Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Current students can access forms for the qualifying exam, committee meeting reports, as well as seminar schedules and important information on thesis defenses and graduation by logging into our student community with their Kerberos ID and password.

Cell Biology Sample Training Timetable

Year One, Fall Semester

Laboratory rotation I (October to December)
Rigor and Reproducibility (Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science–required course)
Biostatistics and Exploratory Data Analysis (Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science–required course)
Topics in Molecular Biology
Practical Developmental and Stem Cell Systems course module

Year One, Spring Semester

Laboratory rotations II (January to March) and III (April to June)
Introduction to Research (Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science–required course)
Cell Biology
Genome Integrity
Peer Review in the Life Sciences
Practical Developmental and Stem Cell Systems course module

Year Two, Fall Semester

Laboratory training
Cell Biology Seminar Series
Cell Biology Work in Progress and Journal Club
Computational course/other electives

Year Two, Spring Semester

Laboratory training
Cell Biology Seminar Series
Cell Biology Work in Progress and Journal Club
Computational course/other electives
Cell Biology Student Symposium
Training in the responsible conduct of research (Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science–required course)

Year Two, Summer Semester

Qualifying Exam

Year Three Until Graduation

Laboratory training
Cell Biology Seminar Series
Cell Biology Work in Progress and Journal Club
Cell Biology Student Symposium
Thesis committee meetings
Individual Development Plan (year three; Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science–required course)
Ethics refresher course in responsible conduct of research (year five; Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science–required course)

Coursework

Students are expected to complete all their courses with an overall average of B or above.

Lab Rotations

In year one of the program, students are expected to complete three rotations, each approximately 12-weeks long. You are required to present the work you accomplish during your rotation at the lab meeting of each rotation lab.

Qualifying Exam

In the summer following year two in the program, students are required to successfully pass their qualifying exam. The qualifying exam is comprised of submission of a written thesis proposal and its oral defense before a committee that consists of three members and the student's thesis advisor. The exam is intended to test your analytical skills, evaluate your basic knowledge in your research area as well as your capacity to cogently formulate specific questions, and to design and interpret experiments directed toward answering them.

Thesis Committee Meetings

Once you have successfully completed the required coursework and the qualifying exam, the thesis committee regularly monitors your progress. The thesis committee meets at least once a year and returns written reports to the graduate advisor and program director.

Thesis Defense

At the end of your graduate training, you will prepare a written thesis. A thesis constitutes a substantial body of published or publishable research, with a general introduction and discussion to place the findings in a larger context. You must obtain the permission of your advisor and thesis committee to initiate preparation of the written thesis. You present your thesis research in a public Thesis Seminar open to the scientific community at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and then defend the thesis privately in front of a thesis defense committee consisting of the advisor, the members of the thesis committee, and an expert in the field from outside NYU Grossman School of Medicine.