Department of Microbiology and Immunology

http://www.montana.edu/mbim/

Immunology offices:

PO Box 173610
Tel: 406-994-4705   Fax: 406-994-4303
Email: iid@montana.edu

Microbiology Offices:

PO Box 173520 
Tel: 406-994-2902  Fax: 406-994-4926


The Department of Microbiology and Immunology (M&I) conducts one of the premier infectious disease research programs in the Northwest, as demonstrated by the success of our faculty in competing nationally for extramural grant funding and publishing high-impact papers. Research funding comes from a range of sources such as the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation and the Montana Agricultural Experimental Station among others. Over the past five years, M&I averaged over $6 million for annual research expenditures. M&I is also home to an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases, which provides substantial core facilities and training opportunities for junior investigators. M&I is housed in a state-of-the-art facility with core laboratories for flow cytometry, cell biology, and molecular sciences, as well as pathogen containment facilities for small (BSL-3) and large animal research (ABSL-2). Instrumentation suites house equipment for DNA sequencing, genomic analysis, flow cytometry and cell sorting, and confocal microscopy.

We are truly unique in our close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.  On our doorstep is one of the most exciting microbial ecosystems in North America, ripe with opportunities to discover new microbial life forms and contribute to major biotechnological advances.  Many of our undergraduate and graduated students conduct research in the Park under the mentoring of our distinguished faculty.

Weekly seminars are offered by the department and the Frank N. Nelson Distinguished Lecture Series brings many accomplished scientists to Montana State University.

Admission

For detailed information, refer to the Admission Policies and Application Requirements sections. The M&I Core Committee will screen all applications and make recommendations to the Graduate Dean for acceptance to the M&I graduate program. Successful applicants are accepted into both the department and The Graduate School.

In addition to the documents required in the Application Requirements section, the Graduate Core Committee will consider the applicant's research experience and the potential of the applicant to complete an appropriate program of study and an independent research project. The final disposition of each application will also take into account other factors, such as the availability of research positions (stipends).

The Graduate Core Committee, M&I faculty, and the M&I head will decide on the acceptability of all applicants. The Graduate Core Committee will serve as the "adviser" for all students accepted into the program during their first year of study.

Research

The research problem will be chosen in consultation with the student's thesis or dissertation advisor. Research areas include microbiology, molecular biology and immunology, bacteriology, cell biology, mycology, parasitology, protozoology, phycology,  genetics, biochemistry, ultrastructural cytology, virology, immunopathology, and a strong focus on biomedical research. Specialized equipment and facilities include large and small animal isolation units, a flow cytometry core facility, automated DNA sequencers, proteomics and genomics instrumentation, a microscopy core, numerous analytical equipment, multiple tissue-culture and histopathology laboratories.

Financial Assistance

Normally, all students accepted into the M&I graduate program are offered graduate stipends funded by State sources and research grants obtained by M&I faculty. Teaching assistantships are normally not available. Appointments are made on a 12-month basis. Beginning stipends are supported at a level of $22,000 per year plus tuition, health insurance, and other fees.

See the Graduate Assistantship sections on the department website for detailed information on appointment criteria.

Degrees Offered

The Immunology and Infectious Diseases Program uniquely combines expertise in the study of pathogen biology, host defense, cell biology and use of small and large animal models. Four areas broadly encompass the scope of immunology and infectious diseases research:

  • Molecular and genetic studies of animal and pathogen biology
  • Understanding molecular pathways of communication between pathogen and host
  • Regulation of host immune responses in human and animal diseases
  • Uncovering molecular mechanisms of pathogen virulence

Immunology and Infectious Diseases Program Requirements

Graduate students are expected to have a basic understanding of biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, and microbiology. The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of twenty (20) course credits and ten (10) credits of Master's Thesis research beyond the baccalaureate degree as specified below. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

1. A maximum of 3 credits of 400-level coursework may be applied to the M.S. degree.

Elective 400-level coursework Credits

BCH 441Biochemistry of Macromolecules3
STAT 401Applied Methods in Statistics3

 2. There are 18 credits of required 500-level coursework for the M.S. degree.

Required 500-level coursework Credits

BIOB 524Ethical Practice of Science3
IMID 501Exper Immunology/Pathology3
IMID 505Eukaryotic Gene Regulation3
IMID 594Seminar2

 3. A minimum of 6 credits of elective 500-level coursework is required for the M.S. degree.

 Elective Coursework Credits(examples)

BCH 524Mass Spectrometry3
BCH 543Proteins3
BCH 544Molecular Biology3

 4. A minimum of 10 credits of IMID 590 (Master’s Thesis) is required for the M.S. degree.

Master’s Thesis Research Credits

IMID 590Master's Thesis10

Graduate students enrolled for the Ph.D. degree are required to take at least 25 credits of coursework and 35 credits of doctoral Thesis Research credits as specified below. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

1. 9 credits of 400-level coursework may be applied to the Ph.D. degree.

Elective coursework Credits

BCH 441Biochemistry of Macromolecules3
STAT 401Applied Methods in Statistics3

2. There are 23 credits of required 500-level coursework for the Ph.D. degree.

Required coursework Credits

BIOB 524Ethical Practice of Science3
IMID 501Exper Immunology/Pathology3
IMID 505Eukaryotic Gene Regulation3
IMID 521Laboratory Rotation I2
IMID 522Laboratory Rotation II2
IMID 523Laboratory Rotation III2
IMID 594Seminar1

3. A minimum of 6 credits of elective 500-level coursework is required for the Ph.D. degree.

Elective Coursework Credits

BCH 524Mass Spectrometry3
BCH 543Proteins3
BCH 544Molecular Biology3
MEDS 523Immunology & Human Diseases2

4. 35 credits of IMID 690 Doctoral Thesis is required for the Ph.D. degree

Doctoral Thesis Research Credits

IMID 690Doctoral Thesis35

Candidates for Ph.D. degree are required to pass qualifying examinations prepared by the members of their advisory committee. Refer to the For Master's Students and For Doctoral Students sections for further degree requirements.