Skip to main content

The Cell Biology & Physiology Curriculum is very flexible and students must pass 5, one-semester classes, which includes meeting each of the requirements (a-e), as described below:

(a) Core Cell Biology and Physiology Curriculum (2 classes minimum) (or medical school course equivalents for students enrolled in the MD/PhD dual degree program):

At least one class of:
CBPH 850 Modern Concepts in Cell Biology I- Fall
or
CBPH 851 Modern Concepts in Cell Biology II-Spring

AND

At least one class of:
CBPH 852 Experimental Physiology of Human Health and Disease-Fall
or
CBPH 853 Experimental Physiology of Human Health and Disease-Spring

(b) An elective course approved by the DGS. It is recommended that students choose an elective from CBPH 850, 851, 852, or 853. However, elective courses in genetics, pharmacology, immunology, computational biology, biochemistry, pathology or another discipline that enhances the student’s specific research focus may also be chosen.

(c) A comprehensive Biostatistics Course or module (for example, BBSP 710 or GNET 743 (Data Analysis and Stats) or BCB 720 (Introduction to Statistical Modeling; BCB certificate requirement) (other higher level statistics with programming languages also fulfill this requirement)

(d) 2nd year students and beyond: Annual enrollment and participation in CBPH 855-fall/856-spring: Career and Research Enhancement Seminar (CaRES), which includes the Presentation and Grant Writing components of the CaRES Course in Year 2.

(e)  A fourth year refresher course in responsible conduct of research (RCR) (CBPH 895). In the fall of the fourth year students take a short course (once a week for 6 weeks) on topics relevant to advanced graduate students on RCR.

For Year 2 and Beyond:

  • Present a FUSION Seminar every year
  • Attend CBP Department Seminar Series
  • Attend CBP Curriculum dissertation defenses
  • Present a poster at Research Day
  • Submit an Annual Progress Report
  • After dissertation proposal, hold a committee meeting on an annual basis (minimum 1 per year)
  • Publish, at a minimum, one first-author or shared co-first-author primary research article. This paper must be formally accepted before the student can schedule the dissertation defense.

Students generally complete all of their classroom work by the end of their second year. Students should plan to complete all requirements for the PhD degree and defend their dissertation by the end of their fifth year in graduate school.

Course Descriptions:

MODERN CONCEPTS IN CELL BIOLOGY (CBPH 850 Fall/ 851 Spring) (4 credits). Literature based discussion course on experimental approaches in Cell Biology. Emphasis is on small group discussion and dissection of primary literature including methods, scientific logic, and critical thinking. Each session typically includes both a discussion of key background by a faculty member and student led discussions of selected papers from the primary literature. The course includes blocks on technologies and tools utilized to understand Cell Signaling, Cell Differentiation, Cell Cycle/Cell Death, Cytoskeleton/Motility, and Adhesion. To facilitate discussion, the course has a prerequisite of undergraduate cell biology or biochemistry and a maximum of 12 students. For assistance with enrolling, please contact Janice Warfford, janice_warfford@med.unc.edu. If any additional course questions, please contact, Course Directors (Fall) Sarah Cohen, sarahcoh@med.unc.edu.  Course Director (Spring) Richard Cheney, richard_cheney@med.unc.edu  .  T Th 3:00-5:00 pm. 6200 MBRB Paper Discussions Fall Syllabus Spring Syllabus

EXPERIMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN HEALTH & DISEASE (CBPH 852 Fall/853 Spring) (4 credits). Students will learn the principles of cell, organ and systems physiology and pathophysiology required to identify and understand important areas of current biomedical research. Companion course to CBPH 852. Both courses will cover a variety of physiological systems (cardiovascular, neuro, respiratory, etc), and will emphasize examples of specific diseases (channelopathies, schizophrenia, hypertension, diabetes, etc) and current research opportunities. CBPH 853 will include many examples of approaches that utilize human samples or human genomics , while CBPH 852 (offered in the fall) will focus mainly on non-human model systems (cultured cells, mice, zebrafish, drosophila, etc). In addition to lectures and ample time for in-class discussions, both courses will have a strong emphasis on the current research literature and will include journal-club discussion of assigned papers. For assistance with enrolling, please contact Janice Warfford, janice_warfford@med.unc.edu. If any additional course questions, please contact , Course Director (Fall), Scott Parnell, scott_parnell@med.unc.edu; Course Director (Spring), Natasha Snider, natasha_snider@med.unc.edu . MWF 9:00-10:30AM, 6200 MBRB, Lecture Course/Paper Discussions Fall Syllabus  Spring Syllabus