Required Course Work

Required course work (4):

Students with a particularly strong background in any of the below areas may have the option of placing out of the related course; approval of the Graduate Education Committee is required.

  1. Methods and Problems in Microbiology –7.492J (Same subject as 1.86J, 20.445J) (Fall ) (G, 12 units) M. Laub  
    Students will read and discuss primary literature covering key areas of microbial research with emphasis on methods and approaches used to understand and manipulate microbes. Preference to first-year Microbiology and Biology students.
  2. Microbial Genetics and Evolution 7.493J (Fall) (G,12 units) A. D. Grossman, O. Cordero  
    Required of students in program, but open to others. Will cover aspects of microbial genetic and genomic analyses, central dogma, horizontal gene transfer, and evolution.
  3. Quantitative Analysis of Biological Data – 7.571 (Spring) (G, 6 units) J. Davis
    Application of probability theory and statistical methods to analyze biological data. Topics include: descriptive and inferential statistics, an introduction to Bayesian statistics, design of quantitative experiments, and methods to analyze high-dimensional datasets. A conceptual understanding of topics is emphasized, and methods are illustrated using the Python programming language. Although a basic understanding of Python is encouraged, no programming experience is required. Students taking the graduate version are expected to explore the subject in greater depth.
    AND: (Must complete both courses )
    Quantitative Measurements and Modeling of Biological Systems- 7.572 (Spring) ( G, 6 units) G. W. Li
    Quantitative experimental design, data analysis, and modeling for biological systems. Topics include absolute/relative quantification, noise and reproducibility, regression and correlation, and modeling of population growth, gene expression, cellular dynamics, feedback regulation, oscillation. Students taking the graduate version are expected to explore the subject in greater depth.
  4. Biochemistry
    One of the following courses:
    Principles of Biochemical Analysis –7.51 (Fall) (G, 12 units) A. Keating, R. T. Sauer 
    Principles of biochemistry, emphasizing structure, equilibrium studies, kinetics, informatics, single-molecule studies, and experimental design. Topics include macromolecular binding and specificity, protein folding and unfolding, allosteric systems, transcription factors, kinases, membrane channels and transporters, and molecular machines.or:
    Fundamentals of Chemical Biology –7.80 (Spring) (G, 12 units) B. Imperiali,  R. Raines
    Spanning the fields of biology, chemistry, and engineering, this class introduces students to the principles of chemical biology and the application of chemical and physical methods and reagents to the study and manipulation of biological systems. Topics include nucleic acid structure, recognition, and manipulation; protein folding and stability, and proteostasis; bioorthogonal reactions and activity-based protein profiling; chemical genetics and small-molecule inhibitor screening; fluorescent probes for biological analysis and imaging; and unnatural amino acid mutagenesis. The class will also discuss the logic of dynamic post-translational modification reactions with an emphasis on chemical biology approaches for studying complex processes including glycosylation, phosphorylation, and lipidation. Students taking the graduate version are expected to explore the subject in greater depth.

Research Rotations in Microbiology – 7.499 (Fall, Spring) (G, 12 units) Staff
Introduction to faculty participating in the Interdepartmental Microbiology graduate program and a series of lab rotations. During the first year, students will rotate through three labs of MIT faculty that participate in the Microbiology Graduate Program. These rotations will help provide students a broad exposure to microbiology research and will be used to select a lab for their thesis research by the end of the first year. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program and many research programs, students may be able to work jointly with more than one research supervisor. Required and limited to graduate students in the microbiology program.