UF Department of Microbiology and Cell Science Debuts Microbiome Concentration for Online Master of Science Degree

Gainesville, FL: The Department of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida is expanding its online Master of Science degree with the addition of a concentration in Microbiome in Health and Disease. With the recent advancement of DNA sequencing technologies, microbiology research has revealed the human microbiome as a driving factor in health homeostasis, disease onset, and immunological response to commensal and pathogenic bacteria. Microbiome research is a rising field in the worlds of pharmaceutical drug development and disease biomarker discovery.

Dr. Jennifer Drew, genomics lecturer and STEP program professor, in her office.“The human microbiome has become a critical component in our understanding of digestive, autoimmune, and cognitive health issues,” says Professor Eric Triplett, department chair. “Understanding how the microbiome is analyzed and interpreted is an increasingly important component of microbiology and medicine as well as in many non-human host-microbe interactions. Our society needs more trained people on the microbiome and this concentration is intended to do exactly that.

Students of the Master of Science in Microbiology and Cell Science with a concentration in Microbiome in Health and Disease degree program will acquire an in-depth understanding of the role of the microbiome in disease pathogenesis, effects of antibiotic use on the human gut microbiome, benefits of probiotic treatment in health homeostasis, regulatory aspects of microbiome-based therapies and fundamental methodologies to analyze microbiomes. 

Online student studying microbiome in health and disease.Students can further focus their education by choosing between two tracks—Microbiome/Host Interactions and Microbiome Quantitative. The Microbiome/Host Interactions track focuses on the clinical impact of the microbiome on the human immune system. The Microbiome Quantitative track develops bioinformatics and computational analysis skills for microbiome research. 

This 30-credit program is designed to be completed entirely online with flexible scheduling and asynchronous classes. Applications are currently being accepted for Summer 2024 enrollment. Prospective students can find admission requirements at the Microbiology and Cell Science online graduate program website

At nearly ten years old, the online graduate program offered by the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science is a well-established program designed to provide working adults the opportunity to advance their careers. In addition to the new microbiome concentration, the microbiology department offers a master’s concentration in Medical Microbiology and Biochemistry, a graduate certificate in Microbiome and Health, and a graduate certificate in Environmental Biology.

About UF Microbiology and Cell Science: The Department of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida is the largest microbiology program in the United States with an enrollment of approximately 1000 undergraduate majors, 700 graduate students,  and over 50 doctoral students. Faculty research programs span areas of broad interest in the cellular and molecular aspects of bacterial, plant, and animal life functions.


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Posted: February 13, 2024

Category: UF/IFAS
Tags: College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences, Department Of Microbiology And Cell Science, Master's Degree, Microbiology Online

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