Robert J. Wordinger, PhD, Graduate Advisor
Center for BioHealth 457
Adjunct Graduate Faculty: Aschenbrenner, Chatterton, Collier, Dickerson, Fleenor, Jacobson, McCartney, Pang, Romano, Shepard, Siede
The Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy has a primary mission to provide instruction in cell biology and the anatomical sciences; to develop and maintain research programs; and to participate in the service endeavors of the institution and profession. The major focus of research in the discipline includes (a) visual sciences involving degenerative retinal diseases, glaucoma, diabetic complications, and cataracts; (b) cellular mechanisms of HIV pathology and neuroinflammation; and (c) cellular and molecular fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging.
In support of the various research programs, the department maintains state-of-the-art facilities in microscopy, tissue culture and molecular biology. Research and educational facilities span almost 15,000 square feet of space in the Research and Education Building and the Center for BioHealth.
The department is home to three graduate programs: Cell Biology, Structural Anatomy, and Visual Sciences. The department is also home to the North Texas Eye Research Institute that examines the basic causes of visual diseases and involves faculty from various basic science disciplines, as well as professionals in industry and private clinical practice.
Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy
The qualifying examination within the discipline of Cell Biology must be successfully completed prior to concluding 72 semester credit hours (SCH). The main goal of the examination is to ensure that each doctoral student has a broad knowledge base in biomedical sciences and has mastered the fundamental principles of cell biology in order to be a successful doctoral candidate and an independent researcher. The qualifying examination consists of written and oral phases. The examination will be directed towards the didactic course work of the student. Basic knowledge and understanding of general research techniques in cell and molecular biology will be included.
The initial phase of the qualifying examination consists of a set of written questions administered by a Qualifying Examination Committee (QEC) composed of faculty members of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Within 4 weeks of taking the written examination, the chair of the QEC will schedule the oral examination. The oral examination will consist of questions that further explore the student's answers in the written phase, as well as questions on additional topics in cell biology as deemed appropriate by the QEC. The university member must be in attendance for the oral phase of the examination.
The qualifying examination will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Successful completion of the qualifying examination must be accomplished before the student can register for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310). Two attempts to pass the qualifying examination will be allowed. Failure to pass the qualifying examination after two attempts will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.
Grant Writing (6310)
After passing the qualifying examination, but prior to the completion of 84 SCH, the student must register for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310). This stage of the advancement to doctoral candidacy evaluates a student's aptitude for independent thought and scientific writing.
The student is required to demonstrate competence in the area of research chosen for the dissertation or a related topic as evidenced by (a) writing an NIH R21 grant application; (b) presenting the grant proposal in a public seminar; and (c) orally defending the grant proposal before his/her doctoral advisory committee. The proposal should be based on an original hypothesis and should describe specific experimental approaches to address the hypothesis. The graduate advisor will appoint a member of the student's advisory committee to coordinate the process. The student will meet with the advisory committee at least two times during the semester to review drafts of the proposal. The final written proposal must be prepared in NIH-style format and presented to the advisory committee at least two weeks prior to the public seminar and oral defense. The grant proposal and the student's oral presentation and defense will be evaluated on the basis of originality and ability to synthesize and communicate the proposal content. The student's university member must be present for the public seminar and oral defense of the proposal.
Upon successful completion of Grant Writing (BMSC 6310), the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy. Two attempts to successfully complete Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) will be allowed. Failure to pass Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.
This page last modified January 30, 2013