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. Courses for a cross-disciplinary minor with a biological emphasis or physical sciences emphasis are outlined below.

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. Courses that fulfill the rigorous and reproducible research requirement are outlined below.

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 Andrea Killian

“I can’t imagine my graduate experience without BTP. I’ve been exposed to so many new career paths, had a successful internship, and made great friends and future colleagues. I’ve gained broader perspective as a scientist, understanding how entrepreneurship and industry can play a role in my life even if I decide to pursue an academic career. With BTP Seminar and BTP coursework making dedicated time in my schedule for professional development and career planning, I’ve made significant strides in understanding what’s next for me. ” —Andrea K. Wegrzynowicz, 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 677, “Epigenetics” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Genetics 885, “Genomic and Proteomic Analysis” (3 cr., Fall)
  • 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)
  • 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/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, “Carcinogenesis and Tumor Cell Biology” (3 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, Berry, “Chemical Crystallography” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Chemistry 668, “Biophysical Spectroscopy” (2-3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemistry 860, “Spectroscopy of Individual Molecules and Particles” (2-3 cr., Spring)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences 531, “Medicinal Chemistry” (2 cr., Spring)

Chemical Engineering

  • 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 781, “Molecules, Cells, and Systems” (3 cr., Fall)

Computational Sciences

  • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics /Computer Science 576, “Introduction to Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics /Computer Science 776, “Advanced Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Biostatistics and Medical Informatics 826, “Special Topics in Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Chemistry 622, “Organic Analysis” (2 cr., Fall)
  • Chemistry 635, “Topics in Computational Chemistry” (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” (3 cr. Spring)
  • Biomedical Engineering 780, “Methods in Quantitative Biology” (1 cr. Fall)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 781, “Biological Engineering: Molecules, Cells & Systems” (3 cr. Fall)
  • Biomolecular Chemistry 720, “Experimental Design in Cell Biology” (3 cr. Spring)
  • Microbiology 657, “Bioinformatics for Microbiologists” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Biomolecular Chemistry 609, “Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology (3 cr., Spring)
  • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics 541, “Introduction to Biostatistics, biomedical research” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics 551, “Introduction to Biostatistics, population health” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering 540, “Polymer Science & Technology” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Chemistry/CRB 630, “Proteomics Approaches for Biologists” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Chemistry 635, “Topics in Computational Chemistry” (1 cr., Fall and Spring)
  • Computer Science 576, “Introduction to Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Computer Science 776, “Advanced Bioinformatics” (3 cr., Spring)
  • Genetics 626, “Genomic Science” (2 cr., Spring)
  • Genetics 885, “Advanced Genomic and Proteomic Analysis” (3 cr., Fall)
  • Oncology 778, “Bioinformatics for Biologists” 3 cr., Spring)
  • Pharmaceutical Science 768, “Pharmacokinetics” (3 cr., Fall)
  • 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” (3 cr., Spring)