The Biosciences Doctoral program in Microbiology and Infectious ...

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12 Φεβ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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PhD in Biosciences

The George Mason University
Biosciences

Doctoral Program

is a research
-
oriented field of study
that prepares students for significant contributions

to research and development

in an academic
,

industrial
or corporate
setting.
Two concentr
ations are offered: Functional Genomics and
Biotechnology, and Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
Classes administered by this program
have the
BIOS

acronym.

In the
Functional Genomics concentration
,
Areas of emphasis include microarray analysis of
gen
e expression;
proteome analysis
;

the sequencing and analysis of gene

polymorphisms
; gene
and genome

evolution;
cell signaling in health and disease;
mechanisms of toxicology and
mutagenesis; and biotechnological applications.

In the
Microbiology and Infec
tious Diseases
concentration
, a
reas of emphasis include mechanisms of pathogenicity, physiology, metabolism,
and genomics of pathogens
, to give

s
tudents a firm foundation for future research in infectious
disease.
In both concentrations, s
tudents
are

intro
duced to advanced laboratory practices such
as

microarray,

cultures of human cells,
animal research methodologies and bio
-
containment
laboratory work.


In addition to research centers affiliated with the university, corporate partners include Naval
Researc
h Laboratories, Inova Fairfax Hospital, and American Type Culture Collection (ATCC).


Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) is an integral part of the
Life Sciences initiative in the College

of Science. Founded in 2001 to address the challenges to
national and international security posed by the threat of biological terrorism, the scope of the
center has evolved to include the study of infectious diseases that are emerging from populations
ar
ound the world due in part to today's internationally mobile society.


The Biosciences PhD program offers courses that prepare students for employment in
biodefense
-
related positions in academia, industry, private contracting and government agencies.
Inte
rnationally renowned scientists in the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases
implement George Mason University's long
-
term commitment to biodefense and infectious
diseases research by responding to US Department of Homeland Security, US De
partment of
Energy, and military initiatives to protect citizens nationwide. Students work closely with research
scientists in NCBID to explore innovative approaches for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of
infectious diseases caused by biological agent
s.

Research efforts focus on:



testing and evaluating new vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of
highly infectious pathogens;



in
-
vitro studies with growth factors;



creating pre
-
symptomatic diagnostic technologies for diseases that a
re potential
bioterrorist

threats, such as anthrax, tularemia, and plague, as well as emerging infectious
diseases, such as SARS, West Nile virus, and influenza;



Mechanisms of anti
-
microbial resistance;



Studies in geno
-
toxicology;

and



developing

technologi
es to detect and identify biological threat agents in environmental
samples.


Functional Genomics and Biotechnology

Recent advances in molecular biology have produced an avalanche of data, including
genomic
DNA

and mRNA

sequences and genetic maps that
tra
nslate into

hundreds of thousands of gene

products

whose functions are poorly understood or completely unknown. An understanding of
gene interactions at the genome level will eventually lead toward the development of the
knowledge base required to explain
the complex processes regulating biological functions. The
Biosciences PhD Program explores
functional genomics

through the use of DNA sequencing
and microarrays and
biotechnology

through targeted gene fusions

and the development of non
-
invasive diagnostic

assays
.

The Biosciences PhD Program

is paired with the applied research laboratories in the
Center for
Biomedical Genomics and Informatics

(
CBMGI
)

and the Center for the Study of Genomics of
Liver Disease (CGLD)
. The CBMGI
and CGLD are
dedicated to disco
vering the
mechanisms of
the molecular pathogenesis of complex human

diseases. It provides hands
-
on training and
graduate research opportunities in state
-
of
-
the
-
art laboratories
equipped

with the latest high
-
technology bioscience instrumentation maintained

by Mason's
Shared Research
Instrumentation Facility

(
SRIF
).

Functional genomics is an emerging field that focuses on the structure, function, and interaction
of genes, gene families, genetic pathways, and whole genomes. By utilizing accumulated genetic
da
ta, it seeks to address many current issues at the interface between medicine and biology,
such as the analysis of gene expression in human cancer cells with DNA microarrays, or drug
development and screening in cell cultures.

Biotechnology takes this ent
erprise one step further by seeking to utilize the results of functional
genomics for the benefit of mankind. The methods of biotechnology include

a number of high
-
throughput assays aimed at the development of novel antimicrobial and cancer medications, no
n
-
invasive diagnostic approaches
,

and

environmentally
-
friendly methods of insect pest control, to
name a few.

Some of the key research initiatives currently underway at George Mason University include:



Biomedical genomics

including genotoxicology



Molecula
r pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases



Proteome
-
based approaches to individualized medicine



Functional genomics
and systems biology of cancer



Functional genomics of development and differentiation



Mechanisms of anti
-
microbial resistance



Regulation of gen
e expression in eukaryotes



Development of new genomics
-
based diagnostic tools



Development and validation of novel non
-
invasive diagnostics for human diseases



Cancer genomics



Developmental Neurobiology