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Molecular and Cellular Biology

Houston, Texas

Image 1: Ovulated mouse cumulus cell oocyte complex immunostained for matrix proteins hyaluronan and versican. By JoAnne Richards, Ph.D.; Image 2: By Yi LI, Ph.D.; Image 3: Mouse oocyte at meiosis I immunostained  for tubulin (red) phosphop38MAPK (green) and DNA (blue). By JoAnne Richards,  Ph.D.;  Image 4: Expanded cumulus cell ooctye ocmplex  immunostained for hyaluronan (red), TSG6 (green) and DAN (blue). By JoAnne  Richards, Ph.D.;  Image 5: Epithelial cells taken from a mouse  mammary gland were cultured in a dish and transduced with a retrovirus  expressing two genes. The green staining shows green fluorescent protein and the red  staining shows progesterone receptor expression. The nucleus of each cell is  stained blue. Photomicrograph taken at 200X magnification.  By Sandra L. Grimm,  Ph.D.; Image 6: Ovarian vasculature (red) is excluded from the granulosa cells (blue) within growing follicles (round structures); Image 7:  Ovulated mouse cumulus cell oocyte  complex immunostained for matrix proteins hyaluronan and versican. By JoAnne Richards, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
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Graduate Program Curriculum

Beginning Graduate School: Welcome Aboard

  • Students should arrive in Houston prior to orientation
  • Orientation starts the Wednesday before classes begin (usually the last week in July)
  • Classes begin the first week in August.


Year 1
Year one is arranged in five cumulative terms with one-week vacations between each term.

  • Term 1 (August - September)
    Organization of the Cell
    Molecular Methods
    Seminar in Molecular & Cellular Biology
    Ethics - year 1
    Research Rotation
  • Term 2 (October - December)
    Genetics B or Development
    Cell Division
    Cellular Signaling
    Research Rotation
  • Term 3 (January - February)
    Macromolecules: Structure and Interaction
    Gene Regulation
    Research Rotation
  • Term 4 (March - May)
    Cells, Tissues, and Organs
    Seminar in Molecular & Cellular Biology
    Research Rotation
  • Term 5 (June - July)
    Students select a lab by the end of term 4 (May 1) of year one

Students are encouraged to complete four research rotations.
* Students need to complete at least two readings in the first year.
Students are required to take at least three elective courses.

Basic Biostatistics
Bioinformatics and Genomic Analysis
Biostatistics for Translational Researchers
Biology of Aging & Age Related Disease
Cancer, Neuroscience and Immunology (Must take all three for one elective)
Concepts of Learning & Memory
Gene and Cell Therapy
Human Physiology II
Introduction to Biostatistics
Introduction to Molecular Carcinogenesis
Integrated Microscopy
Mammalian Genetics
Reproductive Biology
Translational Breast Cancer Research
Other electives require GEC approval

Year 2
Qualifying exams are usually taken at the beginning of year two
Students are usually admitted to candidacy by the end of year two

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