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Medical Microbiology Graduate Certificate

  • The University of Florida’s Medical Microbiology Online Graduate Certificate

    Most microorganisms are harmless. Some, like skin and gut flora, are even beneficial for human health. There are, however, microorganisms that can infect the body and cause diseases, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Medical microbiologists play an essential part in detecting these microbes, and their role is becoming increasingly clinical as they work with the medical community to prevent the spread of disease.

    The College of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in collaboration with the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science offers an online Graduate Certificate in Medical Microbiology. This 11-credit program provides foundational knowledge of infectious pathogens and diseases, covering such topics as bacteriology, virology, gene therapy and immunotherapy. A springboard for aspiring professionals, this certificate program is ideal for students set on continuing their graduate studies, and all credits earned in this program can be applied to the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology’s on-campus Master of Science in Medical Science and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. programs as well as the Microbiology and Cell Science online master’s degree program.

    Student learning outcomes:

    Students who complete this program will:

    • Develop an in-depth comprehension and mastery of the fundamental concepts of medical microbiology, including structure, physiology, and genetics of infectious agents.
    • Relate the pathogenesis of infectious diseases with the biology of the causative organisms – bacteria and viruses.
    • Understand the mechanisms of antimicrobial action and mechanisms of resistance.
    • Relate the molecular biology of gene therapy and immunotherapy with translational applications.
    • Utilize genomics to understand the biology and complexity of the microbiome.
    • Describe how microorganisms can be used to promote health in animals and humans.
    • Analyze and discuss the primary literature in the field of medical microbiology to improve critical thinking, evaluation, and communication skills.

    To earn the certificate, students must complete a selection of required and elective courses equaling 11 credits. All GMS courses are available spring, summer and fall semesters.

    Foundation Courses

    The following courses are required and can be completed at any point during the certificate program.

    GMS 6121: Infectious Diseases

    Basic biology and pathogenesis of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. Select representative organisms of each pathogen group and their diseases will be covered in detail. This course is coordinated with the Infectious Diseases section of GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy.

    See Full Course Description


    GMS 7133: Advanced Molecular Virology

    This course follows GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases and provides a more detailed molecular analysis of human pathogenic viruses. Replication mechanisms, molecular pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion strategies, development of antivirals and vaccines and the relationship between viral evolution and emerging viruses are taught using representative viruses from different viral families.

    See Full Course Description


    Plus, one of the following courses:

    GMS 6108: Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics

    To be taken after GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases, this course takes an in-depth look at bacterial physiology and genetics as well as antibiotics and the role they play in treating bacterial infections. Upon completion, students will have a deeper understanding of the relationship between bacteria cell structure and biology, the process of gene expression and the mechanisms of antibiotic action, among other learning objectives.

    See Full Course Description


    MCB 6670c: The Microbiome

    Increase knowledge, appreciation and use of genomics pertaining to the breadth of microbial diversity across a wide variety of organisms and habitats using methods that do not require culturing of the myriad of inhabitants. Students will use tools, practice analysis and interpretation of genomic data sets to analyze different microbiomes.

    See Full Course Description


    MCB 6424: Probiotics

    Probiotics is an upper division course on probiotics. This course will cover the use of microorganisms to promote a health status in the animal and human host. This course will provide a conceptual background in microbiology and immunology for the use of microorganisms for the prevention or treatment of animal and human diseases.

    See Full Course Description


    Elective Courses

    Students must earn 3 credit hours from among the following courses. Journal Colloquy may be repeated once to satisfy this requirement.

    GMS 7192: Journal Colloquy

    GMS 7192 is composed of three sections, all of which involve reading, analyzing and discussing primary research papers. Section one is correlated with material covered in GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases, and section two follows GMS 6108, an advanced bacterial course. The third section is devoted exclusively to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. This class may be taken twice, as long as students select a different section.

    See Full Course Description


    GMS 6132: Introductory Gene and Immunotherapy

    This course should be taken after GMS 6121.

    An overview of gene and immunotherapy with emphasis on translational applications, including fundamental understanding of the principles and mechanisms of gene and immunotherapy, specifically molecular biology of gene therapy and basic immunology and immunotherapy. Preclinical and clinical applications of both will be discussed.

    See Full Course Description


    MCB 6424: Probiotics

    Probiotics is an upper division course on probiotics. This course will cover the use of microorganisms to promote a health status in the animal and human host. This course will provide a conceptual background in microbiology and immunology for the use of microorganisms for the prevention or treatment of animal and human diseases.

    See Full Course Description


    MCB 6670c: The Microbiome

    Increase knowledge, appreciation and use of genomics pertaining to the breadth of microbial diversity across a wide variety of organisms and habitats using methods that do not require culturing of the myriad of inhabitants. Students will use tools, practice analysis and interpretation of genomic data sets to analyze different microbiomes.

    See Full Course Description


    GMS 6108: Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics

    To be taken after GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases, this course takes an in-depth look at bacterial physiology and genetics as well as antibiotics and the role they play in treating bacterial infections. Upon completion, students will have a deeper understanding of the relationship between bacteria cell structure and biology, the process of gene expression and the mechanisms of antibiotic action, among other learning objectives.

    See Full Course Description


    Suggested Course Plan

    Suggested Bacteriology track (Bold courses are mandatory):

    Semester 1

    • GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases (3 credits) – must be taken first
    • GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy (1 credit) - either Infectious Diseases or COVID-19 section

    Semester 2

    • GMS 6108 Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics (3 credits)
      Or
    • MCB 6670c: The Microbiome (3 credits) – only in spring
      Or
    • MCB 6424: Probiotics (3 credits) – only in spring
    • GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy (1 credit) – Advanced bacteriology section

    Semester 3

    • GMS 7133 Advanced Molecular Virology (2 credits)
    • GMS 6132 Introductory Gene and Immunotherapy (2 credits)
    • GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy (1 credit) – COVID-19 section

    Suggested Virology track (Bold courses are mandatory):

    Semester 1

    • GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases (3 credits) – must be taken first
    • GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy (1 credit) – either Infectious Diseases or COVID-19 section

    Semester 2

    • GMS 7133 Advanced Molecular Virology (2 credits)
    • GMS 6132 Introductory Gene and Immunotherapy (2 credits)
    • GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy (1 credit) – COVID-19 section

    Semester 3

    • GMS 6108 Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics (3 credits)
      Or
    • MCB 6670c: The Microbiome (3 credits) – only in spring
      Or
    • MCB 6424: Probiotics (3 credits) – only in spring
    • GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy (1 credit) – Advanced bacteriology section

    At a Glance