Apply Now

New Policy on Tuition Remission

FAQ Tuition Remission for Graduate Students

FAQ Tuition Remission for SOM

UAB Graduate School on Facebook

Biotechnology (M.S.)

View PDF of Biotechnology Admissions Checklist
Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

View PDF version of the Biotechnology catalog description

Degree Offered:

M.S.

Director:

Dr. Kathy Nugent (Biotechnology)

Phone:

(205) 934-7384

Email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web site:

http://www.uab.edu/shp/cds/academic/graduate/biotech

Faculty

Joanne Brock, Assistant Professor

Michelle Brown, Assistant Professor and Clinical Education Coordinator (CLS-PE); Body Fluids, Immunohematology

Todd Casanova, Associate Professor and Director (Interim; CLS-PE); Hematology, Hemostasis, Molecular Diagnostics

Janelle M. Chiasera, Professor and Chair (Clinical Chemistry)

Joseph Garner, Assistant Professor

Pat Greenup, Associate Professor (CLS-PE); Laboratory Management, , Health and Safety, Instrumentation and Automation, Technology Assessments, Scientific Publications

Linda H. Jeff, Associate Professor (CLS-PE); Clinical Microbiology; Immunology, Educational Methodology, Clinical Correlations

Kathy Nugent, Assistant Professor

Vivian Pijuan-Thompson, Associate Professor

Tino Unlap, Associate Professor (Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences); Biotechnology; Recombinant DNA, Protein Chemistry

Program Information

Program Mission

The faculty members of the Biotechnology Program are devoted to providing an excellent service to the community and its graduates. The faculty, in its concern for the health and safety of the general public, is committed to ensuring that each student develops knowledge, skills, and values essential to the appropriate role providing the basis for continuing intellectual and professional growth.

Out of a great concern for applied technology and the role that it plays in the diagnosis, management and treatment of human disease, and in developing products to solve problems for present and future generations, the Program is designed to provide instruction through didactic and practical training in order to ensure that its graduates possess the critical knowledge and skill sets that are required for intellectual and professional growth in the future.

Biotechnology

The Master of Science degree and certificate options in Biotechnology are designed to prepare a diverse student body for careers in various fields involving biotechnology and its related sciences.  This program is designed to provide students with broad training and education in scientific principles and knowledge underlying biotechnology, scientific principles and knowledge underlying emerging diagnostic technologies associated with biotechnology, basic laboratory techniques in biotechnology, instrumentation and automation principles used in the biotechnology industry, and legal, regulatory and marketing issues in biotechnology.

The Biotechnology Program consists of a Master of Science option and a Graduate Certificate option that requiring 3 semesters for completion as full-time students.  The Master of Science option requires 34 credit hours and is designed for individuals who hold a Bachelor of Science degree in a related discipline including biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, psychology and sociology. 

The Graduate Certificate option requires 20 credit hours and is designed for individuals who wish to obtain only a certificate in biotechnology (not an M.S. in CLS) in order to either find a position in the Biotech/Pharma Industry or to advance in their current position in the Biotech/Pharma or related industries.

M.S. Admission Requirements

In addition to the general Graduate School admission requirements, applicants to the M.S. program must:

  • have a biology, chemistry, or a related major from an accredited college or university if applying for the Professional Entry Program,
  • have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (A = 4.0), computed from all undergraduate credits or from the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course credit,
  • have scores of at least 500 in each of the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE General Test, 
  • provide a written statement of career goals,
  • complete an interview with the program admissions committee, 

If foreign-educated, have a score of at least 550 for paper version (or 80 for Internet version; or 213 for computer version) on the TOEFL, submit a transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES) at www.wes.org

If accepted, students must complete the UAB medical history questionnaire and physical, provide proof of required immunizations, and receive satisfactory screening by the UAB Medical Center Student Health Service before enrollment.

Persons with a Bachelor of Science degree may be eligible to register for courses as non-degree seeking graduate students before acceptance into the M.S. program. If a non-degree seeking graduate student meets the M.S. program admission requirements, up to 12 semester hours of approved non-degree graduate coursework may be accepted for the M.S. degree. Admission of a student to any course as a non-degree student does not constitute admission to the M.S. degree program.

Essential Requirements

Fundamental tasks, behaviors, and abilities necessary to successfully complete the requirements of the Program are available upon request from the CLS program office. If you have a disability, but have not contacted Disability Support Services (DSS), please call 934-4205 or visit DSS at 516 Hill University Center or http://students.uab.edu/dss.

Additional Information:

Entry Term:

Fall semester

Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:

Six weeks before term begins

Number of Evaluation Forms Required:

None

Entrance Tests

GRE and for international applicants from non-English speaking countries, scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Written English(TWE)

Comments

Financial aid (fellowship, stipend or assistantship) is not available from the program; scholarship availability is limited; transcript evaluation by WES is required for applicants with foreign university degrees

Contact Information

For detailed information, contact the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program, UAB School of Health Professions, SHPB 430, 1705 University Blvd., Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1212.

Telephone 205-934-3209.

E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course Descriptions

Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS)

Biotechnology Courses
* Upon approval
** Required courses for certificate
*** Upon Approval

**CLS 500. Health and Safety Management. – Online Course.  Review of infection control principles focused on bloodborne, airborne, drug-resistant and opportunistic pathogens, and general health and safety guidelines and standards. Prerequisites: Open to all graduate students. 1 hour.

**CLS 506. Laboratory Techniques. Overview of issues and skills surrounding working in the modern laboratory environment; includes safety, collection of specimens, equipment, mathematics, measurements, microscopy, dilutions, quality assurance, basic spectrophotometry, phlebotomy, automation of laboratory testing and lab computers. 2 hours.

**CLS 526. Instrumentation and Automation. This course includes the study of the theory and principles of automation and instrumentation used in laboratories. An emphasis will be placed on quality control, quality assurance, instrumentation principles, basic statistics, and the regulatory, and economic issues encountered in laboratories including, clinical labs, health labs, government labs, private labs and other laboratories. 3 hours.

**CLS 527.Instrumentation and Automation Lab. This course includes the practical application of automation and instrumentation used in laboratories. An emphasis will be placed on quality control, quality assurance, instrumentation principles, basic statistics, and the regulatory, and economic issues encountered in laboratories including, clinical labs, health labs, government labs, private labs and other laboratories. 1 hour.

**CLS 542. Molecular Diagnostics. Overview of nucleic acid structure, gene expression and genetic disease. Principle and performance of DNA and RNA isolation, amplification, hybridization, and analysis. Applications in microbiology, prenatal diagnosis, cancer management, transplantation, paternity testing, thrombosis risk testing and forensic medicine. 4 hours.

**/***CLS 545. Protein Chemistry. This course focuses on applications of protein chemistry and examines the structure of proteins, their function, their binding to other molecules and the methodologies for the purification and characterization of proteins. 2 hours.

**/***CLS 555.  Immunology.  Overview of the function of the innate defense mechanism, antigens, antibodies, development of the immune system, lymphocytes, immunoglobulins, lymphokines and inflammation.  Includes discussion of advanced  concepts of B-and T- lymphocyte ontogeny, generation and antibody diversity and genetics of the major histocompatibility complex, cytokine network and immunogenetics. 2 hours.

**CLS 637.  Emerging Diagnostic Technologies. This course covers emerging diagnostic technologies for use in clinical laboratories, including methods for molecular microbiology, oncology, hematology, genetics, and identity testing; flow cytometry, automation, and robotics. Review of rapid tests and new in vitro methodologies; economic factors; regulations and licensing issues; accreditation criteria; and social, ethical, and legal issues associated with emerging in vitro diagnostic technologies. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. 2 hours

CLS 640.  Biotechnology Regulations and Quality Systems.  This course provides an overview of regulatory and quality systems requirements for drugs, biologics, medical devices or combination products; includes guidance and compliance requirements with GXP (Good Laboratory/Clinical/Manufacturing Practices), Quality Systems Regulations, responsible conduct in human/animal research, inspection processes (FDA, ISO, CLIA), intellectual property and related ethical and legal issues such as dual use biodefense countermeasures development and distribution. 3 hours

**/***CLS 655.  Recombinant DNA.  This course will cover the following general topics: DNA as the primary genetic material, information flow from DNA to protein, control of gene expression, basic tools for recombinant DNA, fundamental features of Eukaryotic genes, mobile DNA sequences in the genome, regulation of gene action by RNA interference, genome analysis, finding human disease genes, understanding the genetic basis for cancer, and DNA fingerprinting and forensics. 3 hours.

CLS 693.  Scientific Publications Analysis.  Review and scientific critique of current literature related to laboratory medicine, overview of research design and interpretation of statistics, sources of publication journals and government documents, content and style of scientific papers, writing of grant proposal and scientific poster presentation.3 hours

CLS 698.  Master's Level Thesis/Non-Thesis Research.  Completion of research paper that is based on an original research project. 4 hours

Professional Entry Courses
*        Courses may be repeated for credit with defined stipulations
**      Courses not open to non-degree graduate students
***    Upon Approval

CLS 500. Health and Safety Management. – Online Course.  Review of infection control principles focused on bloodborne, airborne, drug-resistant and opportunistic pathogens, and general health and safety guidelines and standards. Prerequisites: Open to all graduate students. 1 hour.

CLS 503. Body Fluids.  Diagnosis and monitoring of renal and systemic disease through the physical, biochemical, and microscopic analysis of urine and feces. Diagnosis of central nervous system and systemic disease through cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Diagnosis of metabolic and infectious disease through analysis of peritoneal fluid, synovial fluid, transudates, and exudates. Fertility testing using semen analysis. 1 hour.

CLS 504. Body Fluids Laboratory.  Diagnosis and monitoring renal and systemic disease through the physical, biochemical, and microscopic analysis of urine and feces. Diagnosis of central nervous system and systemic disease through cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Diagnosis of metabolic and infectious disease through analysis of peritoneal fluid, synovial fluid, transudates, and exudates. Fertility testing using semen analysis. 1 hour.

CLS 505. Laboratory Management. Roles and functions of clinical laboratories and practitioners; professionalism and ethics; educational methodology and training; professional and interpersonal communication; behavioral aspects of management; leadership styles and management theory; team-building; legal issues related to employment; recruitment, interview and selection of personnel; organizational culture and behavioral change; laboratory operations; safety, governmental regulations, standards and compliance; marketing, outreach, and business plan; budget, cost analysis, reimbursement; critical pathways, decision-making, test utilization; performance improvement, quality assessment; risk management, evidence-based laboratory medicine. 3 hours.

CLS 506. Laboratory Techniques. Overview of issues and skills surrounding working in the modern laboratory environment; includes safety, collection of specimens, equipment, mathematics, measurements, microscopy, dilutions, quality assurance, basic spectrophotometry, phlebotomy, automation of laboratory testing and lab computers. 2 hours.

CLS 518. Immunology. --Physiology of immune responses to infectious agents, tumors, transplants; abnormal responses: hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, immunoproliferative disorders, and immunodeficiencies; antigen-antibody reactions; complement; applications of immunology tests. 4 hours.

CLS 519. Immunology Lab. Specimen requirements, principle, procedure, clinical significance, and sources of error of common clinical immunology tests; performance and interpretation of tests; application of results to clinical situations.  1 hour.

CLS 523. Clinical Microbiology.  Reservoirs, modes of transmission, disease associations, and morphological and biochemical characteristics of microorganisms commonly isolated in the clinical laboratory; methods used to isolate and identify bacteria, parasites, and fungi 3 hours.   

CLS 524. Clinical Microbiology Lab.  Performance of techniques and tests used in the isolation and identification of bacteria, fungi, and parasites commonly seen in a clinical microbiology laboratory. 1 hour. 

CLS 526. Instrumentation and Automation. This course includes the study of the theory and principles of automation and instrumentation used in laboratories. An emphasis will be placed on quality control, quality assurance, instrumentation principles, basic statistics, and the regulatory, and economic issues encountered in laboratories including, clinical labs, health labs, government labs, private labs and other laboratories. 3 hours.

CLS 527. Instrumentation and Automation Lab. This course includes the practical application of automation and instrumentation used in laboratories. An emphasis will be placed on quality control, quality assurance, instrumentation principles, basic statistics, and the regulatory, and economic issues encountered in laboratories including, clinical labs, health labs, government labs, private labs and other laboratories. 1 hour.  

CLS 528. Hematology I.--Systematic examination of blood cells: normal function; recognizing their microscopic appearance; blood cell disorders; standard and special clinical hematology laboratory procedures; validation of laboratory data; interpretation of results, quality assurance. 4 hours.

***CLS 530. Immunohematology.  This course covers blood group antigen-antibody reactions; donor blood collection and testing; serological characteristics and immunogenetics of the major blood group systems; pretransfusion testing, basic and advanced techniques of antibody identification and problem-solving; transfusion therapy; laboratory evaluation of hemolytic disease of the newborn; and the investigation of immune coating of red cells in vivo, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia.  Application of theory and problem-solving skills is emphasized. Prerequisites: CLS 500 (or concurrent enrollment). 4 hours.

***CLS 531. Immunohematology Lab. This course includes the study of red cell phenotyping, antibody detection and identification, pretransfusion testing, and laboratory investigation of hemolytic anemias. 1 hour.

***CLS 532. Hematology II.  Structure and function of hematopoietic and lymphatic tissue. Stem cell differentiation, hematopoiesis, erythrocyte and leukocyte kinetics. Laboratory diagnosis and case management of anemia, lymphoma, myeloma, acute and chronic leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders, and myelodysplastic syndromes. Application of cell morphology, cell population scatter plots and histograms, cytochemistry, immunophenotyping, molecular methods, and cytogenetics. Hematology laboratory problem solving. 4 hours.   

***CLS 537. Infectious Diseases. Pathogenic mechanisms of infectious diseases; normal flora and pathogens of various body sites; methods for collection, transport, and culturing different types of clinical specimens; interpretation of cultures. 3 hours.  

***CLS 538. Infectious Diseases Lab. Performance and interpretation of direct gram stains; culturing various types of clinical specimens for isolation of bacteria; performing and interpreting tests used in the identification of potential pathogens; reporting culture results; antimicrobial susceptibility and resistance testing. 1 hour.

CLS 542. Molecular Diagnostics. Overview of nucleic acid structure, gene expression and genetic disease. Principle and performance of DNA and RNA isolation, amplification, hybridization, and analysis. Applications in microbiology, prenatal diagnosis, cancer management, transplantation, paternity testing, thrombosis risk testing and forensic medicine. 4 hours.

***CLS 551. Clinical Chemistry I. --Principles and methods of analysis of biochemical metabolites used in medical laboratories; problem solving; quality control and quality assurance. Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, heme, lipids and enzymes, and correlation of laboratory data. Case studies of common diseases and specimen problems. 3 hours.

***CLS 552, Clinical Chemistry Lab. Performance of techniques and tests used in a clinical chemistry lab to diagnose, treat and monitor human diseases.  Application of quality control to commonly measured analytes. 1 hour. 

**/***CLS 560. Clinical Correlations.  Correlate clinical, technical and analytical proficiencies that comprise clinical laboratory science practice. Analyze and interpret case studies through selection, application, and interpretation of clinical laboratory protocols. Prerequisites: CLS 518, 523, 528, 530, 537, 542 , 551 or concurrent enrollment.  3 hours.

**CLS 570. Professional Development. Review of medical technology/ clinical laboratory science body of knowledge with required comprehensive trial certification final examination using self-directed online materials. Experience with the development of a personal certification maintenance plan to meet requirements defined by national certification agencies in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. 1 hour.

**CLS 595. Clinical Practice. Directed clinical practice in immunohematology, Immunology, Hematology, Microbiology, and Chemistry; laboratory procedures and methods, problem-solving, quality assurance, preventive maintenance, and safety. Prerequisite: Admission to the CLS program. 1-12 hours.  

CLS 610. Advanced Technology Assessment.--Analysis of technology assessment information for test methods and instruments utilized in diagnostic laboratory medicine services; experience with determining and evaluating performance characteristics and clinical utility information for specific diagnostic test procedures; application of quality management practices to establish the diagnostic accuracy of products sold and to establish process quality for services delivered; application of critical thinking skills to evaluate methodological and substantive validity of correlation and evaluation studies relevant to laboratory medicine practices. Prerequisites: Biostatistics, CLS 693 or concurrent enrollment.

*CLS 686. Special Topics in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.--Selected advanced topics of current scientific, clinical, and professional importance; specific topics designed to meet student need and interest. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. 1-4 hours.

CLS 693. Scientific Publications Analysis.--Review and scientific critique of current literature related to laboratory medicine, overview of research design and interpretation of statistics, sources of publication journals and government documents, content and style of scientific papers. Prerequisites: CDS 610.

*/**CLS 698. Master's Level Non-Thesis Research.—Project completion. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. 1-6 hours.

*/**CLS 699. Master's Level Thesis Research.--Implementation of research. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. 1-6 hours.

Cytology Courses
*        Courses may be repeated for credit with defined stipulations
**      Courses not open to non-degree graduate students
***    Upon Approval

CT 501. Gynecologic Cytopathology.  Study of the anatomy, physiology, histology, cytology and pathophysiology of the female genital tract and corresponding sellular manifestations which provide diagnostic information. Normal biologic variations, atypical changes, premalignancy, and types of malignancy are studied. Patient management and follow-up based on cytologic findings is addressed. 6 hours.

CT 521. Gynecologic Cytopathology Laboratory. Application of diagnostic criteria to develop practical analytical expertise to microscopically evaluate genecologic specimens with sufficient competence to issue the final report for a negative interpretation and prepare preliminary reports for all other cases, for review by the pathologist. Concurrent with CT 521. 6 hours.

CT 611. Non-Gynecologic Cytopathology. Study of the anatomy, histology, cytology and pathophysiology of the respiratory tract, body cavities, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and breast. The course will include fine needle aspiration cytology of these body sites and organs commonly sampled with a fine needle (thyroid, salivary glands, lymph nodes, liver, pancreas, kidney) as well as bone, soft tissue and other organs accessible by fine needle aspiration. 4 hours.

CT 624. Non-Gynecologic Laboratory. Application of diafnostic criteria to develop practical analytical expertise to microscopically evaluate cytologic specimens from all non-gynecologic body sites. Cell morphology, clinical history, and immunocytochemsitry will be used to differentiate between inflammatory, benign and malignant disease processes. Students will provide a differential diagnosis based on the synthesis of appropriate data. Concurrent with CT 611. Prerequisite: CT 521. 6 hours.

*CT 680. Gynecologic Cytology Practice. Microscopic evaluation and interpretation of gynecologic class slide specimens in a clinical laboratory setting. Students will evaluate gynecologic specimens with sufficient competence to issue the final report for a negative interpretation and prepare preliminary reports for all other cases, for review by the pathologist. Prerequisite: CT 521. 1 hour.

CT 690. Professional Practice. Clinical internships in a variety of cytopathology laboratories. Students gain proficiency in evaluating and interpreting gynecologic and non-gynecologic specimens, and processing cytology specimens. Students participate in all phases of diagnostic service work and laboratory functions that may include continuing education activities, adjunct diagnostic technologies and seminar attendance. Prerequisite: CT 680. 3-9 hours. Students must complete 9 hours of CT 690.

CT 693. Advanced Diagnostic Cytopathology. Students will have the opportunity to select and design a clinical experience to gain more knowledge and skills in a specific area. 2 hours.

CT 694. Clinical Molecular Pathology. Online course. Molecular basis of disease processes, analysis of current assays used in the clinical laboratory, impact on patient management, and ethical considerations. 2 hours.

CT 695. Certification Examination Review. Review of cytotechnology or molecular biology body of knowledge with required comprehensive trial certification finale examination. 1-3 hours. Prerequisite: CT 690 or permission of instructor; available for qualified non-degree seeking students desiring to prepare for the certification examinations.

CT 610. Research Design and Statistics. Introduction to clinical research methods and review of concepts involved in descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics covered include: overview of the research process, literature review, research hypothesis, research designs, sample selection, measurement methods, descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics. 3 hours.

CLS 500. Health and Safety Management. - Online course. Review of infection control principles focused on bloodborne, airborne, drug-resistant and opportunistic pathogens, and general health and safety guidelines and standards. Prerequisites: Open to all graduate students. 1 hour.

CLS 505. Laboratory Management. Roles and functions of clinical laboratories and practitioners; professionalism and ethics; educational methodology and training; professional and interpersonal communication; behavioral aspects of management; leadership styles and management theory; team-building; legal issues related to employment; recruitment, interview and selection of personnel; organizational culture and behavioral change; laboratory operations; safety, governmental regulations, standards and compliance; marketing, outreach, and business plan; budget, cost analysis, reimbursement; critical pathways, decision-making, test utilization; performance improvement, quality assessment; risk management, evidence-based laboratory medicine. 3 hours.

CLS 506. Laboratory Techniques. Overview of issues and skills surrounding working in the modern laboratory environment; includes safety, collection of specimens, equipment, mathematics, measurements, microscopy, dilutions, quality assurance, basic spectrophotometry, phlebotomy, automation of laboratory testing and lab computers. 2 hours.

CLS 542. Molecular Diagnostics. Overview of nucleic acid structure, gene expression and genetic disease. Principle and performance of DNA and RNA isolation, amplification, hybridization, and analyses. Applications in microbiology, prenatal diagnosis, cancer management, transplantation, paternity testing, thrombosis risk testing and forensic medicine. 2 hours.

CLS 543. Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. Performance of molecular methods including, but not limited to nucleic acid isolation and purification, polymerase chain reaction, agarose gel electrophoresis, enzymatic manipulation of nucleic acids and metaphase chromosome spreads. 2 hour.

CLS 693. Scientific Publications Analysis.--Review and scientific critique of current literature related to laboratory medicine, overview of research design and interpretation of statistics, sources of publication journals and government documents, content and style of scientific papers. Prerequisites: CDS 610.

*/**CLS 698. Master's Level Non-Thesis Research.--Project completion. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. 1-6 hours.