Structural Biology & Biophysics Program @ Duke University

The curriculum


For students interested in molecular biophysics, the SBB Director of Graduate Studies can serve as a resource in addition to Departmental (or degree-awarding Program) DGS and Departmental Advisory Committees to help advise new students on laboratory rotations and a course of study. In the first semester in graduate school, students take courses, some full semester, some chosen from half-semester courses designed to give all students a basic knowledge of fundamental principles and techniques. Departmental advising committees may require or recommend courses depending on the student's background, interests, and with a view of course requirements of the Department and of rounding out their individual breadth and depth of formal knowledge.

Training re: SBB certificate

First year: Course work: the SBB courses and others chosen for the individual student's interests and needs. Attendance at SBB seminars, expect rotations in 3 different laboratories. Usually by the end of the second semester, the student chooses and the advisory committee approves a thesis advisor and topic. A student can have a second advisor (formally, or informally), and it is possible to earn an SBB certificate even working with a non-SBB faculty member if the thesis subject is appropriate and SBB is reasonably represented on the student's thesis-mentoring committee.

All later years: emphasis is on research, possibly some course work, attendance and presentations in SBB seminars.

Third year (Fall): preliminary examination (to actually qualify as a candidate for the PhD degree).

Completion: Thesis acceptance, public seminar, thesis examination.

Courses: specific SBB courses usually taken by all SBB students, (also see department listings in the areas of your interests)

622. (Spr) Structure of Biological Macromolecules. J. & D. Richardson.

658-659. (Fall, half-courses) Structural Biochemistry I & II. Prerequisite: biochemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry or consent of instructor. L. Beese, P. Zhou and staff.

685-686. Concentrated courses covering curent practice of Crystallography and NMR

546 (Fall and Spr). Structural Biology and Biophysics Seminar. Required of all SBB students.

High resolution crystal structures reveal a common but subtle mode of local backbone motion -- the "backrub".

SBB student Ian Davis, Richardson lab
Structure. 2006 Feb;14(2):265-74