Cross-disciplinary Minor

The BTP faculty mentors understand the importance of a wide breadth of knowledge in today’s biotechnology industry, built through interfacing and collaborating with those in other disciplines. The BTP cross-disciplinary minor is one tool for achieving this breadth, helping trainees become more diversified in their expertise and more marketable in their careers.

The cross-disciplinary minor is designed to expose BTP trainees whose research focuses on the biological sciences to the physical sciences and vice versa. To accomplish this, trainees, with guidance from their thesis advisors, select a BTP faculty mentor from the opposite focus to serve on their thesis committees as the minor advisor. The minor advisor helps organize the trainee’s minor degree coursework, complementing the required BTP coursework, including BTP Seminar, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Foundations in Biotechnology. The Foundations class comes with the unique opportunity to work in cross-disciplinary teams and develop a new approach to an important research problem or issue of their choosing. The teams research and develop a cross-disciplinary proposal either to request grant funding or develop a new commercial product, bolstering their experience in the field of biotechnology and furthering the proposal if it fits into their doctoral research.

Additionally, the minor includes a course on the ways to carry out rigorous and reproducible research.  The topics of these courses cover the breadth of BTP research including structure determination and image analysis, systems biology, and statistics applied to biological problems.

The BTP minor does not replace the trainee’s home department or graduate program’s minor requirement, but in some cases courses can be applied to both minors.

Photo of Lindsay Bodart, BTP trainee

“BTP has been supportive since the day I started the program. It’s been a wonderful experience and the mission of interdepartmental communication and collaboration is so important. In any field, there is a whole melting pot of people who come from different scientific backgrounds — and you have to be able to communicate effectively and work together. BTP is a great way to work on those skills.” —Lindsay Bodart, current BTP trainee

Courses for Biological Emphasis Minor

Genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry/physiology make up three important sub-disciplines in the biological sciences. Biologically-oriented trainees will likely receive training in these areas as part of their home department or graduate program’s requirements. Physically-oriented trainees will be able to select from among the courses below to fulfill their cross-disciplinary minor coursework requirements. Students may also propose additional courses on the recommendation of their thesis committee.

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Genetics

  • Genetics / Chemistry 626, “Genomic Science” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Genetics 466, “Principles of Genetics” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
  • Genetics 660, “Comparative and Functional Genomics” (2 cr., Spring of even-numbered years)
  • Genetics 677, “Epigenetics” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Genetics 885, “Genomic and Proteomic Analysis” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Microbiology 607, “Advanced Microbial Genetics” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Microbiology 657, “Bioinformatics for Microbiologists” (3 cr., Spring)

Molecular Biology

  • Biochemistry/Genetics 620, “Eukaryotic Molecular Biology” (3 cr., Spring)
  • BioMolecular Chemistry 720, “Experimental design and paradigms of cellular biochemistry and molecular biology”, (3 cr., Spring)
  • Horticulture/Patho-Bio 500, “Molecular Biology Techniques” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Microbiology/Biochemistry/Genetics 612, “Prokaryotic Molecular Biology” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Microbiology/Genetics/Botany/MMI 655, “Biology and Genetics of Fungi” (3 cr. Fall)
  • Microbiology/Oncology 640, “General Virology, Multiplication of Viruses” (3 cr., Fall)

Biochemistry/Physiology

  • Biochemistry 570, “Computational Modeling of Biological Systems” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Biochemistry 601, “Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function” (2 cr., Fall)
  • Biochemistry 621, “Plant Biochemistry” (3 cr., Spring of odd-numbered years)
  • Biochemistry/Chemistry 704, “Chemical Biology” (2 cr., Fall)
  • Biomedical Engineering 545, “Engineering Extracellular Matrices” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Cell and Regenerative Biology 630, “Proteomics Approaches for Biologists” (2 cr., Fall)
  • Microbiology 523, “Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Microbiology 526, “Physiology of Microorganisms” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
  • Microbiology 632,”Industrial Microbiology/Biotechnology” (2 cr., Spring of odd-numbered years)
  • Microbiology/Biomolecular Chemistry 668, “Microbiology at Atomic Resolution”(3 cr., Spring)
  • Microbiology/Medical Microbiology and Immunology 528, “Immunology” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Nutritional Sciences 619, “Intermediary Metabolism of Macronutrients” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Oncology 703, “Carginogenesis and Tumor Cell Biology” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences 432, “Pharmaceutical Biochemistry” (4 cr., Fall)
  • Psych/Zoology 523, ‘Neurobiology’ (3 cr., Fall)

Courses for Physical Science Emphasis Minor

Chemistry, chemical engineering, and quantitative science make up three important sub-disciplines in the physical sciences. Physically-oriented trainees will likely receive training in these areas as part of their home department or graduate program’s requirements. Biologically-oriented trainees will be able to select from among the courses below to fulfill their cross-disciplinary minor coursework requirements. Students may also propose additional courses on the recommendation of their thesis committee.

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Chemistry

  • Biochemistry 625, “Coenzymes and Cofactors in Enzymology” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Biochemistry/Chemistry 665, “Biophysical Chemistry” (4 cr., Fall and Spring in odd-numbered years)
  • Biochemistry/Chemistry 704, “Chemical Biology” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemistry 613, “Chemical Crystallography” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Chemistry 625, “Separations in Chemical Analysis” (2-3 cr., Fall in even-numbered years)
  • Chemistry 668, “Biophysical Spectroscopy” (2-3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemistry 860, “Spectroscopy of Individual Molecules and Particles” (2-3 cr., Spring)
  • Oncology 675, “Protein Purification” (2 cr., Fall in odd-numbered years)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences 531, “Medicinal Chemistry” (2 cr., Spring)

Chemical Engineering

  • Biomedical Engineering 520, “Stem Cell Bioengineering” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 470, “Process Dynamics and Control” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 750, “Advanced Chemical Process Synthesis and Optimization” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 770, “Advanced Process Dynamics and Control” (3 cr., Spring in odd-numbered years)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 781, “Molecules, Cells, and Systems” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 782, “Modeling Biological Systems” (3 cr., Spring in odd-numbered  years)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 783, “Design of Biological Molecules (3 cr., Spring)

Computational Sciences

  • Biomedical Engineering 462, “Medical Instrumentation” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Biomedical Informatics/Computer Science 576, “Introduction to Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Biomedical Informatics/Computer Science 776, “Advanced Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Biostatistics and Medical Informatics 826, “Statistical Methods for Microbiome Data Analysis” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Chemistry 622, “Organic Analysis” (2 cr., Fall)
  • Chemistry 635, “Topics in Computational Chemistry” (cr./no cr., Spring)
  • Computer Science 300, “Programming II” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Computer Science 319, “Data Programming for Research I” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
  • Computer Science 320, “Data Programming II” (4 cr., Fall and Spring)
  • Computer Science 638, “Introduction to Data Science programming using Python” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
  • Computer Sciences 540, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Microbiology 657, “Bioinformatics for Microbiologists” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Statistics 571/572, “Statistical Methods for Bioscience” (4 cr. each, Fall and Spring)
  • Statistics 679, “Computational Tools for Data Analytics”  (3 cr. Fall)
  • Statistics/Biomedical Informatics 541, “Introduction to Biostatistics” (3 cr., Fall and Summer)

Courses for Rigorous and Reproducible Research

The rigorous and reproducible research courses have valuable content on the use of computational methods, quantitative and statistical approaches and experimental design, including several taught by BTP mentors. The topics of these courses cover the breadth of BTP research including structure determination and image analysis, systems biology, and statistics applied to biological problems. Trainees are required to take a course on ways to carry out rigorous and reproducible research for the BTP minor.

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All Courses

  • Biochemistry 570, “Computational Modeling of Biological Systems” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Biomedical Engineering 780, “Methods in Quantitative Biology” (1 cr., Fall)
  • Biomolecular Chemistry 609, “Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology” (1 cr., Spring)
  • Biomolecular Chemistry 768, “Experimental Design in Cell Biology” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics 511, “Introduction to Biostatistics, public health” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics 541, “Introduction to Biostatistics, biomedical research” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 782, “Modeling Biological Systems” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 783, “Design of Biological Molecules” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Genetics 546, “EvoSysBio: Modeling in Systems Biology” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Genetics 885, “Advanced Genomic and Proteomic Analysis” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Microbiology 675, “Bioinformatics for Microbiologists” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Statistics 571, “Statistical Methods for Bioscience I” (4 cr., Fall)
  • Statistics 572, “Statistical Methods for Bioscience II” (4 cr., Spring)
  • Statistics 768, “Statistical Methods for Medical Image Analysis” (2 cr., Spring)