Elden "Andy" Byrd,
The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences at the (USA) University of South Alabama College of Medicine awards the Ph.D. degree in Basic Medical Science and is designed for students interested in careers in biomedical investigation. The program combines a new interdisciplinary core curriculum, advanced course work and original research, and is designed to give students a broad interdisciplinary base and flexibility. Students can choose a discipline/program upon matriculation or they can wait to make that choice following a series of research rotations in the first year. Research training is offered in each of six formal advanced programs organized around traditional disciplines basic to medicine: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Neuroscience, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, or Physiology, and the Cancer Biology Program. There are also a number of research focus areas shared among the graduate faculty in the College of Medicine . Information regarding the University of South Alabama Graduate School, courses, and academic standards can be found in the Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin available on-line.
The Department of Microbiology and Immunology is firmly committed to being an important component of the University and College by emphasizing teaching, research, and service. The high caliber of teaching and research on-the-cutting-edge attracts students and researchers world-wide. Students who have left our program with a Ph.D. are in exceptional jobs in industry, government and academia, due to the outstanding training they receive. Microbiologists today are needed in academia, government, hospitals, and industry. Pharmaceutical, food technology, veterinary product development, genetic engineering, environmental research and monitoring, and medical diagnostic industries are major employers in the field. Studies include identification of disease-causing microorganisms and controlling communicable diseases.
The Ph.D. Program in Microbiology and Immunology is designed to train scientists to enter a field where there is a progressively increasing demand to fill the gaps in biomedical research and technology. Our department is committed to the concept that the modern microbiologist and immunologist must possess a comprehensive knowledge of the physical, biochemical, molecular, and biological properties of microorganisms and of the interaction between these microorganisms and their hosts. The graduate program is designed to encourage independent investigation in an environment conducive to a stimulating exchange of ideas. The emphasis upon scholarship, original thinking, and the practical application of knowledge to the solution of complex problems will enable the students to make significant contributions to their specialty and to society.
The Microbiology/Immunology graduate students are active in student organizations and extracurricular activities. The Basic Medical Science Student Organization (BMSSO) is a service organization which represents the graduate students of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Students from the six basic science departments are represented by an elected governing body which serve as a liaison between the students and the administration. The organization provides enrichment of the students' professional careers through informal forums and lecturing opportunities. The BMSSO also organizes social events, encouraging interdepartmental interactions between the students. The purpose of the BMSSO is to unify the Basic Medical Sciences program and to encourage student involvement.