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Infectious Disease

Graduate work in the Infectious Disease Concentration Area includes research at the molecular and cellular level in bacteriology, parasitology, and virology, as well as investigations of the host immune response to these agents. This is accomplished via didactic courses, journal clubs, and seminars that span a wide-range of topics including focus on etiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic development, vaccine development, and antimicrobial therapies. Programs also focus on gene regulation and host-pathogen interactions that influence pathogenesis. Research approaches employ a wide variety of molecular, biochemical, pharmacological, and microscopic techniques, utilizing cell culture and whole organisms.

CBS Core Courses Required of all Students:
CBS 565 Fundamentals of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (3 credits)
ST 511 Experimental Statistics for Biological Sciences (3 credits)
CBS 662 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)
CBS 800 Seminar series (1 credit; minimum 3 credits total for doctoral students; minimum 2 credits total for master's students)

Courses Required for Infectious Disease Concentration:
CBS 810 Seminar in Infectious Diseases (1 credit; minimum 3 credits total for doctoral students; minimum 2 credits total for master's students)

Other Courses:
CBS 890 Doctoral Preliminary Exam (1 credit)
CBS 893 Doctoral Supervised Research (variable credit)
CBS 895 Doctoral Dissertation Research
CBS 896 Summer Dissertation Research (variable credit)
CBS 899 Doctoral Dissertation Preparation

Elective Courses
Elective courses are selected by the student and mentor, and must be approved by the student's graduate advisory committee. Possible elective courses include, but are not limited to, the following:

BCH 701(Macromolecular Structure; Fall)
BCH 703 (Macromolecular Synthesis and Regulation; Fall)

Microbiology and Immunology
MB 703 (Microbial Diversity; Spring alternate years)
MB 714 (Microbial Metabolic Regulation; Fall)
MB 718 (Introductory Virology; Fall)
MB/IMM 751 (Immunology; Spring)
IMM/TOX 705 (Immunotoxicology; Spring)
IMM/CBS 755 (Immunoparasitology; Spring alternate years)
IMM/CBS/MB/PO 756 (Immunogenetics; Fall alternate years)
IMM/PO 757 (Avian Immunology; Fall alternate years)
IMM/CBS/MB 783 (Adv. Immunology; Fall alternate years)
IMM/CBS 816 (Adv. Top. in Immun. and Biotech.; Fall, Spring, Summer)
CBS 770 (Cell Biology; Fall)
CBS 771 (Vet. Med. Virology II; Fall alternate years)
CBS 774 (Epidemiol. of Inf. Dis. of International Importance; Fall alternate years)
CBS 861 ( Bacterial Pathogenic Mechanisms; Spring alternate years)

Molecular and Cell Biology
GN 701 (Molecular Genetics; Fall)
GN 702 (Cellular and Developmental Genetics; Spring)
GN 710 (Eukaryotic Regulatory Mechanisms; Spring alternate years)
GN 750 (Developmental Genetics; Spring alternate years)
GN/ST 756 (Computations Molecular Evolution; Fall alternate years)
GN/MB 758 (Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics; Spring)
GN/BCH 761 (Adv. Molecular Biology of the Cell; Spring alternate years)
GN/BCH 768 (Nucleic Acids: Structure and Function; Spring alternate years)
GN 810X (Special Topics: Genetics; Spring)
BCH 705 (Molecular Biology of the Cell; Spring)

ST 501(Exp. Stats. for Biol. Sci. I; Fall & Spring)
ST 701 (Exp. Stats. for Biol. Sci. II; Fall & Spring)
GN/ST 770 (Statistical Concepts in Genetics; Spring alternate years)

BIT 810 (Core Technologies In Molecular and Cellular Biology; Summer)
BIT 815 (Advanced Topics In Biotechnology; Summer)
MB 705 (Biological Scanning Electron Microscopy; Spring)
MB 710 (Biological Transmission Electron Microscopy; on demand)
CBS 732 (Electron Microscopy in Vet. Med.; Spring)

Students entering the Ph.D. program having completed courses equivalent to the required courses may, with the consent of their thesis committee, petition the concentration area Graduate Committee to waive these requirements.


Before the end of the first year of the MS program and second year of the PhD program, the student is expected to select a graduate committee. This Committee will serve to direct and guide the student through the PhD program. The Committee will consist of the Supervisor (Chairperson) and a minimum of three other members of the Graduate Faculty. A member of the graduate faculty from outside of the degree program appointed by the Graduate School will serve to monitor the student's oral examinations. The Graduate School representative is to ensure that the process is conducted in a manner that is fair to the student.


It is expected that after the first year, and before the beginning of the third year, the doctoral student will take a comprehensive preliminary examination. The Graduate School of NCSU requires that this exam be taken not earlier than the end of the second year, and not later than one semester (four months) before the final oral examination. The student should schedule this examination at a convenient time after consulting with his/her advisor. This examination is intended to be comprehensive and assess the student's preparations to be a scholar in the concentration area discipline. The Preliminary Examination must consist of a written component in a research grant proposal format. The NIH NRSA individual fellowship application research plan component is the recommended format, but the committee can choose another format for the proposal. The topic of the written examination grant proposal is determined by the graduate committee and should be related to (but not necessarily the same as) the thesis project. A closed-book exam consisting of a series of essay questions or problems based on previous coursework and research can also be required by the committee. Written questions generally take one day to complete. The committee should agree on the format and provide instructions to the student during the first committee meeting. The written portion of the exam should be submitted to the committee at least one month prior to the scheduled oral examination and no later than two weeks prior to the oral examination.  Satisfactory completion of the written examination is required before a candidate can sit for the oral preliminary examination. The oral examination is designed to determine the depth and breadth of the student’s knowledge in their concentration area discipline and to test the student's ability to relate factual knowledge to specific circumstances, to use this knowledge with accuracy and promptness. It will consist of questions asked by members of the student's graduate committee. Students are expected to prepare and deliver a short presentation of their written grant proposal for the oral examination.


Graduate students are required to submit a Plan of Work in the MyPack Portal in consultation with their advisory committee. Master's students should complete the plan of work once they've competed half of the credits required for their degree. Doctoral students should complete the on-line plan of work once they've completed 18 hours of coursework. The Plan of Work must be approved by the student's advisory committee, Director of the Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS) Program, and the Graduate School. Students should meet with their advisory committee prior to submitting the on-line plan of work to present a written proposal. This written proposal should include a list of proposed courses, a brief description of the proposed field of study and research focus area, and a list of the members selected for the Graduate Advisory Committee. The selection of a dissertation must follow the guidelines imposed by the Graduate School. The publication, Thesis and Dissertation Guide is a helpful guide. During the second year, the student should be in preparation of research proposals to define the scope of work for the dissertation. This proposal can be used to submit to granting agencies for research funding. Description of research project should include a background of the proposed study area (literature review), hypotheses to be tested, description of studies to be conducted, methods to be used, methods of analysis, and a time-line that includes significant milestones.


The final oral examination will take place after the dissertation is complete, except for revisions that the committee feels are necessary. This examination must take place not earlier than one semester after the Preliminary Examination. The examination consists of oral questions concerning methods and conclusions reached in the research and as reported in the dissertation.


All graduate students are required to adhere to the NCSU Code of Student Conduct.