Cross-disciplinary Minor

The BTP faculty trainers 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 trainer 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.

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.

Sara Montanez, BTP alumnae“If you’re going to work in biotechnology, it’s important to expand your knowledge beyond just your own research area and learn to collaborate with them because that’s how industry and usually even academia really function.” — Sara Montanez, Ph.D. ’14, Scientist at PPD

Read more about Sara’s experience here.

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.

  • Genetics
    • Genetics 466, “Principles of Genetics” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
    • Genetics / Chemistry 626, “Genomic Science” (2 cr., Spring)
    • Microbiology 607, “Advanced Microbial Genetics” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Genetics 660, “Comparative and Functional Genomics” (2 cr., Spring of even-numbered years)
    • Genetics 677, “Epigenetics” (2 cr., Spring)
    • Microbiology 875, “Bioinformatics for Microbiologists” (2 cr., Fall)
    • Genetics 885, “Genomic and Proteomic Analysis” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Molecular Biology
    • Microbiology/Biochemistry/Genetics 612, “Prokaryotic Molecular Biology” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Horticulture/Patho-Bio 500, “Molecular Biology Techniques” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Biochemistry/Genetics 620, “Eukaryotic Molecular Biology” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Microbiology/Oncology 640, “General Virology, Multiplication of Viruses” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Biochemistry/Physiology
    • Pharmaceutical Sciences 432, “Pharmaceutical Biochemistry” (4 cr., Fall)
    • Biochemistry 501, “Introduction to Biochemistry” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
    • Microbiology 523, “Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Microbiology 526, “Physiology of Microorganisms” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
    • Microbiology/Medical Microbiology and Immunology 528, “Immunology” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Biomedical Engineering 545, “Engineering Extracellular Matrices” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Biochemistry 601, “Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function” (2 cr., Fall)
    • Nutritional Sciences 619, “Intermediary Metabolism of Macronutrients” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Biochemistry 621, “Plant Biochemistry” (3 cr., Spring of odd-numbered years)
    • Cell and Regenerative Biology 630, “Proteomics Approaches for Biologists” (2 cr., Fall)
    • Microbiology 632,”Industrial Microbiology/Biotechnology” (2 cr., Spring of odd-numbered years)
    • Microbiology/Biomolecular Chemistry 668, “Microbiology at Atomic Resolution”(3 cr., Spring)
    • Oncology 703, “Carginogenesis and Tumor Cell Biology” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Biochemistry/Chemistry 704, “Chemical Biology” (2 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.

  • Chemistry
    • Pharmaceutical Sciences 531, “Medicinal Chemistry” (2 cr., Spring)
    • Chemistry 613, “Chemical Crystallography” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Chemistry 625, “Separations in Chemical Analysis” (2-3 cr., Fall in even-numbered years)
    • Biochemistry 625, “Coenzymes and Cofactors in Enzymology” (2 cr., Spring)
    • Biochemistry/Chemistry 665, “Biophysical Chemistry” (4 cr., Fall and Spring in odd-numbered years)
    • Oncology 675, “Protein Purification” (2 cr., Fall in odd-numbered years)
    • Biochemistry/Chemistry 704, “Chemical Biology” (2 cr., Fall)
    • Chemistry 860, “Spectroscopy of Individual Molecules and Particles” (2-3 cr., Spring)
  • Chemical Engineering
    • Chemical and Biological Engineering 470, “Process Dynamics and Control” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Biomedical Engineering 520, “Stem Cell Bioengineering” (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
    • Computer Science 300, “Programming II” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Computer Science 301, “Introduction to Data Programming” (3 cr., Fall and Spring)
    • Biomechanical Engineering 462, “Medical Instrumentation” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Computer Sciences 540, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Statistics/Biomedical Informatics 541, “Introduction to Biostatistics” (3 cr., Fall and Summer)
    • Statistics 571/572, “Statistical Methods for Bioscience” (4 cr. each, Fall and Spring)
    • Statistics 679, “Computational Tools for Data Analytics”  (3 cr. Fall)
    • Biomedical Informatics/Computer Science 576, “Introduction to Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Fall)
    • Biomedical Informatics/Computer Science 776, “Advanced Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Spring)
    • Microbiology 875, “Bioinformatics for Microbiologists” (3 cr., Spring)