ALBANY MEDICAL COLLEGE
Graduate Studies Program
Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease
Program of Study
• The Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease (CIMD) focuses on the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of human
disease, including viral and bacterial infections and the role of the host response in disease.
• Investigators from basic science centers and clinical departments collaborate on important clinical questions that are answered by
biomedical research in the basic sciences.
• All students participate in a core curriculum in their first semester and program-based courses thereafter.
• Research experience is provided at an early stage in the program by rotations through individual laboratories, leading to the selection of
a mentor before the end of the first year of study.
• A comprehensive preliminary examination, given at the end of the first year, tests the Ph.D. student’s ability to use basic knowledge in
designing an experimental approach to asking scientific questions.
• Ph.D. students select a thesis committee in the second year and submit a thesis proposal by the end of the third year.
• Thesis committee meetings are scheduled at regular intervals to provide support and guidance from faculty.
• A thesis, based on original research, is required for the Ph.D. and is usually completed within four to six years.
• For M.S. students, a thesis is required and is usually completed within two to three years.
• Applicants must have achieved a record of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated a high degree of competency in the biological
sciences and chemistry.
• For applying M.S. and Ph.D. students, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4 point scale).
• GRE scores of at least 500 in each of the two general sections (verbal and quantitative) and at least 4.0 on the analytical writing section.
• TOEFL (foreign students only) score of at least 100 (internet-based) or 240 (computer-based) or 600 (paper-based).
Applying to the Graduate Program
• While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, students are encouraged to submit completed applications before December 31
in the year prior to the Fall entry they are applying for (ex., December 31, 2007 for Fall 2008 entry).
• Submit a four-page application and include:
• Transcripts from all institutions attended as an undergraduate and graduate student
• A statement (500 words or less) of scientific interests, career goals and objectives
• A minimum of two letters of reference
• Official GRE and TOEFL scores.
Cost of Study
• For all full-time graduate students, the tuition of $17,400 is covered by a Trustee Tuition Scholarship or Senior Research Tuition
• A stipend of $23,000 and full health insurance are available for all Ph.D. students.
• The Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease includes seventeen independent research laboratories that are well equipped to
support the research interests of its faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
• Immunology Core Laboratory- Flow cytometry, cell sorting, cytometric bead analysis and histotechnology
• Microscopy Core Laboratory- Confocal and electron microscopy
• Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Laboratory
• Facilities at the Veterans Administration Hospital Research Laboratories and the New York State Health Department’s Wadsworth
Center for Laboratories and Research are also available to students.
• The Schaffer Library of Health Sciences is housed in the same building as CIMD.
• The New York State Medical Library is located within a mile of the College.
Living and Housing Costs
• Numerous private rooms and apartments, offered at a wide range of rents ($300-$1200/month), are available in various locations
convenient to the campus. Many are located on or near public transportation bus routes or within walking distance to the College.
• Albany Medical College has an enrollment of about 530 medical students and nearly 200 graduate students in basic and clinical science
divisions. The student group within CIMD varies from 15 to 20 degree candidates.
• Greater than 90 percent of graduates go on to postdoctoral research at institutions throughout the country and abroad. Following
completion of their postdoctoral work, graduates are recruited to faculty positions at academic/research institutions and to research
posts in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
• To learn where previous CIMD students are now, please visit http://www.amc.edu/research/IMD/PastPredoctoral.html.
• The campus of the Albany Medical College is located in the University Heights section of Albany. Nearby academic institutions include
the Albany Law School, the Albany College of Pharmacy, the Veterans Administration Hospital, the Wadsworth Center for Laboratories
and Research of the New York State Department of Health and the Ordway Research Institute.
• As the Capital of New York State, the Albany metro region has a population of nearly one million with eight undergraduate colleges
within its borders.
• The Capital District is within 2 hours of many ski resorts in New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
• New York City, Boston, and Montreal are within two to three hours by car.
• Saratoga Springs, only 30 minutes away, has the well-known Saratoga Performing Arts Center and is the summer home of the
Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet. There are also two horse-racing venues in the city. Saratoga Flat Track is home
to the six-week summer session and the Saratoga Harness Track has racing February through mid-December.
• Lenox, Massachusetts, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the site of the famed Tanglewood Music Festival, is
less than an hour away.
• Mountains and lakes are close by, providing excellent facilities for camping, bicycling, boating, fishing, hunting, and mountain climbing.
More information can be found at http://www.albany.org/ .
The Medical College
• Albany Medical College was founded in 1839. The value of a university affiliation was recognized early. In 1873, Albany Medical
College united with Union College, a college of liberal arts, sciences, and engineering, and along with the Albany Law School, the
Albany College of Pharmacy, and the Dudley Observatory, formed Union University. In 1971, Albany Medical College became affiliated
with the Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities, through which students at member institutions may take courses at
any of the others at no additional tuition. The Albany Medical College Graduate Studies Program is designed to provide the student with
the broadest possible selection of choices for research specialization while emphasizing breadth, depth, versatility, and skill
Correspondence Director of Graduate Studies
and Information Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease
Albany Medical College
47 New Scotland Avenue, MC-151
Albany, New York 12208
Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease
Albany Medical College
THE FACULTY AND THEIR RESEARCH
The faculty members in the Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease represent a range of traditional disciplines and
are investigating aspects of immune regulation, bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogenesis, cancer development and cell
transformation, and the biochemical and genetic mechanisms responsible for human disease.
• Chandra Shekhar Bakshi, D.V.M., Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Pathogenesis and immune protective
mechanisms in pneumonic tularemia.
• James A. Bennett, Ph.D., Professor. Hormonal regulation of cancer growth and adjuvant therapy of cancer.
• Mario Canki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Basic mechanisms of HIV-1 pathogenesis with potential clinical
applications; cell-virus interactions; novel antiviral compounds derived from natural sources and their mechanism
• Dana R. Crawford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Modulation of mammalian gene expression by stress, especially
oxidative stress; immune system, cancer and neural disorders and treatment.
• Carlos de Noronha, Sc.D., Assistant Professor. Molecular mechanisms of HIV pathogenesis and replication.
• James R. Drake, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Cell biology and molecular mechanisms of antigen processing and
presentation in B lymphocytes and macrophages
• Karen M. Duus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Effects of molecular interactions between HIV-1 and opportunistic
herpes viruses on viral replication, pathogenesis, and host cell gene expression in lymphoid and epithelial
• Thomas D. Friedrich, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Molecular mechanisms of altered cell cycle control in virus
• Deborah H. Fuller, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Role of virus-specific mucosal immunity and T cell responses in
the prevention and control of HIV infection; development of molecular adjuvants and vaccines for HIV prophylaxis
• Edmund J. Gosselin, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Cellular immunology, antigen processing and presentation;
improved vaccines through immunotargeting and development of biodefense vaccines.
• Jonathan A. Harton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Molecular regulation of immune responses relevant to innate
immunity, inflammation, and cancer.
• Karsten R.O. Hazlett, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Bacterial pathogenesis; molecular identification and
characterization of the virulence determinants of Treponema pallidum and T. denticola, the causative agents of
syphilis and periodontal disease respectively.
• J. Andrés Melendez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Antioxident-dependent regulation of signal transduction,
infectious disease and tumor growth.
• Dennis W. Metzger, Ph.D., Professor and Center Director. Regulation of mucosal immunity to viral and bacterial
pathogens, biodefense, and cytokines as vaccine adjuvants.
• Stanley P. Mudzinski, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Immunotoxicology of environmental chemicals. Clinical
• Lisa M. Petti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Molecular mechanisms of cellular growth transformation and apoptosis
in response to sustained receptor tyrosine kinase activation in mortal fibroblasts.
• Timothy J. Sellati, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Innate immune responses and the role pattern recognition
receptors in bacterial pathogenesis.
• Jing-Ren Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Professor. Bacterial pathogenesis, mechanisms of bacterial
colonization in the respiratory tract.
Graduate Studies in
Immunology and Microbial Disease
At Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
The Future of Biomedical Research
The emergence of new biothreats and the increasing development of drug resistance and emerging
infections have combined to create an increased demand for scientists to investigate the mechanisms of
disease and the body’s ability to combat these diseases. The Center for Immunology & Microbial Disease
(CIMD) provides the education and expertise needed for a career in medical research. Specialized areas of
study include understanding the immune response, microbial and viral pathogenesis, and biochemical and
genetic mechanisms responsible for human disease. Students are supervised by internationally renowned
faculty whose unified goals are to train and prepare students for careers in disease research in the
biotechnology industry and academic medicine.
The Doctoral Training Program in Immunology and Microbial Disease
The Training Program in Immunology and Microbial Disease begins
with a common Fall semester program required of all first year
graduate students. This includes core courses in Molecular Cell
Biology and Biochemistry that provide foundation material in a
literature-based format for more advanced study in the Spring
semester and in subsequent years. During the Spring semester
Immunology and Microbial Disease students take introductory courses in immunology and microbial disease.
They also participate in weekly journal club meetings in which students present recent research papers or
their ongoing research. In the second and third years, students select a series of advanced courses
consistent with their research program. Students also attend national and
international meetings as well as weekly scientific presentations by well respected
and world-renowned scientists.
Students typically require four to five years to complete the requirements to obtain a
Ph.D. degree. Students enrolled in the MS program normally take two years to
complete their requirements. An advantage of our Program is that all Ph.D. students
are supported by either institutional funds or funds derived from faculty research
grants. Current support includes a full tuition waiver, health insurance and a Ph.D. research stipend
As the capital of New York State, Albany is a bustling urban center well known for its "small-town"
atmosphere. It is at the heart of New York's Capital Region, an environmentally and culturally diverse area
that is home to nearly one million residents. The nearby Catskill and
Adirondack Mountains provide year-round recreation for fishing, hiking and
camping to skiing and snow shoeing.
For more information: Visit our website at
http://www.amc.edu/Academic/Research/imd.htm Or contact the Director of Graduate Studies at:
email@example.com or 518-262-6750
Immunology and Microbial Disease Graduate Program
at Albany Medical College
Albany Medical College, one of the oldest private medical schools in the nation, prides itself in offering an
intimate, collegial environment that fosters humane values and genuine learning. The institution was
founded in 1839 with an initial enrollment of 57 medical students. Over 60 faculty in four research centers
are now engaged in the training of Masters and Doctoral candidates in basic science fields. Our well-
equipped laboratories contain the most modern research tools and equipment for both faculty and students.
As expressed in the Act of Incorporation, the primary mission of Albany Medical College is to "promote
medical science and instruction in the departments of learning connected therewith." Albany Medical
College continues to pursue excellence in the education of health care personnel, research in the basic and
clinical medical sciences, and service to the community.
The Immunology & Microbial Disease Training Program currently consists of 17 basic science faculty
members. We offer Doctor of Philosophy and Masters of Science degrees with a concentration in
immunology and microbial disease. The program is research-oriented with an emphasis on molecular
aspects of disease pathogenesis and protection. Of special interest is the development of novel
approaches for the prevention and treatment of disease caused by biothreats and emerging infectious
agents. The small student-to-faculty ratio facilitates one-on-one interactions on a daily basis both in the
laboratory and the classroom. In addition, many of our research activities involve collaborations with
investigators in other research programs within the College, as well as other universities, research
institutions, and corporations. Our research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health,
National Science Foundation, Lupus Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, American Lung Association, and the
The Training Program in Immunology & Microbial Disease begins with a common first semester program
required of all first year graduate students. This includes core courses in molecular cell biology and
biochemistry that provide foundation material in a literature-based format for more advanced study in the
Spring semester and in subsequent years. During the Fall semester, students participate in a research
colloquium which involves in depth discussions of current literature that are complementary to the lectures
in molecular cell biology and biochemistry. Also during this period of time, students begin laboratory
rotations where they are involved in learning techniques and refining their benchwork skills. In the Spring
of the first year each student identifies a laboratory for their thesis work.
During the spring semester, Immunology and Microbial Disease students take introductory courses in
immunology and microbial disease. They participate in a weekly journal club meeting in which students
present recent research papers or their ongoing research. In the second and third years of study, students
select a series of advanced and elective courses consistent with their research interest. Students also
participate in the Monday Seminar Series. Every week, nationally recognized scientists are invited to the
campus to spend a day meeting with the Training Program faculty and students. This provides students
and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to discuss their research with experts in the field and foster
scientific interactions at the national level.
All students are supported by either institutional funds or funds derived from faculty research grants which
includes full trustee tuition scholarships. In addition, all Ph.D. students receive a predoctoral research
assistantship and health insurance.