Year Fall Winter Spring
1st Year M252A&B (6) or BC 254A&B (6)1
M596 Lab rotation (6)2
211A Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
M262A&B (6) or BC 254C&D (6)1
M596 Lab rotation (6)2
211B Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
EHS 240 (4)3
596 Lab rotation (6)2
CM234 (2)4
211C Molecular Toxicology Seminars(1)6
2nd Year Mol & Medical Pharm 2375
Research (Molecular Toxicology 596)
211A Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
EHS 242 (2)8
Research (Molecular Toxicology 596)
211B Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 596)
211C Molecular Toxicology Seminars(1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Qualifying Exam
3rd Year Epidemiology 1009
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211A Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211B Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211C Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
4th Year Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211A Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211B Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211C Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
5th Year Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211A Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211B Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7
Research (Molecular Toxicology 599)
211C Molecular Toxicology Seminars (1)6
One of 296A-296F Research Topics in
Molecular Toxicology(2)7

Footnotes

1. Requirements for 1st Year Students

First year Molecular Toxicology students can either take the ACCESS curriculum in fall and winter quarters (Biological Chemistry 254 in those two quarters) or Molecular and Medical Pharmocology M252 (fall) and Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology M262 (winter). Students should select between these two series in consultation with their graduate advisor.

2. Laboratory Rotations

In order to sample the range of research areas represented in the Molecular Toxicology Program, students carry out a minimum of three laboratory rotations during their first year (one during each quarter, 10 weeks duration). In most cases students are able to "match" with a mentor after three rotations.

3. Environmental Health Sciences 240: Fundamentals of Toxicology. (4)

Lecture, four hours. Essential aspects of toxicology with emphasis on the human species; absorption, distribution, excretion, biotransformation as well as basic toxicological process and organ systems will be discussed. Letter grading.

4. Microbiology, Immuniology and Molecular Genetics CM234: Ethics and Accountability in Biomedical Research (2)

The course focuses on situations arising in the laboratory that may present ethical dilemmas for graduate students. (Students may take this course any time in their first two years of study.)

5. Mol and Medical Pharm 237. Research Frontiers in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. (6)

Lecture, six hours; laboratory, five hours total. Detailed examination of principles of pharmacology and mechanisms of drug action at organismal, tissue, cellular, and molecular levels, with emphasis on receptors, receptor/effector coupling, neurotransmitters, cardiovascular pharmacology, autonomic and central nervous system pharmacology. Letter grading.

6. Mol Tox 211A-C. Molecular Toxicology Seminar. (1)

All Molecular Toxicology students will be required to attend two toxicology seminar series, each of which will meet once per month during the academic year. The first series consists of presentations by outstanding toxicological researchers from outside UCLA. Collectively, the Molecular Toxicology graduate students are responsible for selecting and inviting one "Graduate Students - Invited Lecturer" each year.

The second series consists of internal seminars presented by toxicology students and postdoctoral fellows. Trainees will be required to both attend this seminar, and give a presentation. Since we anticipate a total of about 18 Molecular Toxicology pre- and post-doctoral students, each trainee will present about once every two years in this series.

7. Mol Tox 296A-E. Research Topics in Molecular Toxicology. (2)

One of sections A to E is chosen. These are research group meetings. Students give presentations to their research group members on their current research. This provides an opportunity for the students to acquire skills presentation skills in a supportive environment, and to receive expert input into the progress of their research. Research group meetings occur weekly for about 1.5 hours. S/U grading:

296A. Chemical Toxicology
296B. Molecular Carcinogenesis
296C. Teratogenesis
296D. Germ Cell Cytogenetic/Genetic Biomarkers
296E. Genetic Toxicology

8. EHS 242: Toxicodynamics (2)

The overall goal of this course is to examine current literature in the field of toxicodynamics or mechanisms of toxicity. Recent primary literature in the field will be presented by students, whereas review articles providing overview material will be presented by the instructor.

9. Epidemiology 100

Unless the student has passed a course in epidemiology while an undergraduate or Master's student, he/she will be required to take an epidemiology course while he/she is studying for the doctorate in Molecular Toxicology. This course can be Epidemiology 100 or another epidemiology course that is relevant to the student's area of research interest.

Public Health Requirement

Students who have not previously taken and passed a course in Public Health at the undergraduate or graduate level are required to either take Public Health 150 "Contemporary Health Issues" or take CHS M242 "Determinants of Health" or they can attend 6 FSPH Grand Rounds over the course of 2 years and must submit a report for each seminar attended.

Representative Electives

  1. M201. Cell, Developmental, and Molecular Neurobiology (6). Fundamental topics concerning cellular, developmental, and molecular neurobiology, including intracellular signaling, cell-cell communication, neurogenesis and migration, synapse formation and elimination, programmed neuronal death, and neurotropic factors. Letter grading.
  2. Epidemiology 200(4) Lecture, two hours; laboratory, four hours. Introduction to epidemiology, including factors governing health and disease in populations. Letter grading.
  3. Pathology 294. Basic Concepts in Oncology (4). Lecture, three hours. Fundamental biological, genetic, and molecular process involved in genesis and growth of cancer cells, and diagnosis, characterization, and treatment of cancer. Letter grading.

Teaching Requirements

All students will obtain instruction in teaching skills by serving as teaching assistants (TAs) or readers for one or two quarters, typically one quarter during the second year and one during the third. Assignments are made at the end of the first year and are influenced by student preference and expertise.

Qualifying examinations—written and oral

This examination will usually typically be taken towards the end of the student's second year at UCLA. Both a written and oral qualifying examination is required. The format for the written qualifying examination will consist of a NIH-style research proposal on a topic which is approved by members of the Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee will consist of four faculty members including the student's advisor, who will serve as the Chair.

The written proposal will be an original research proposal consisting at a minimum of the following sections:

  1. Statement of the Proposal: A concise statement should be given regarding the aims and goals of the proposal. This will provide the committee with a clear understanding of the proposed studies and rationale (approximately 1 page).
  2. Background and Significance: This section will cover the background and significance of the research topic. This should not be a comprehensive review of the research area. It should, however, provide enough background on the subject to allow the committee to evaluate the relevance and novelty of the proposal. Key references should be included (approximately 4 pages).
  3. Methods: In this section, the student should state the specific questions being asked and describe experimentally how these questions will be addressed. Sufficient experimental detail should be provided such that the committee can evaluate the student's understanding of the techniques. A brief discussion of the legitimacy and appropriateness of the proposed methods (versus others) should be provided, and the merits and limitations of the methods are should be discussed (this may not be necessary for routine or widely utilized techniques). This section should also include a discussion of the interpretation of the possible results of the proposed experiments (approximately 5 pages).
  4. Conclusion: A brief discussion of how the results of the proposed studies may further the field of Molecular Toxicology should be provided (approximately 1 page).

The oral examination of the written proposal will allow the Thesis Committee to fully evaluate the ability of the student to discuss the subject matter in a scholarly fashion. The student must be able to defend the validity and importance of the proposed research as well as the experimental approaches taken. The oral qualifying examination also provides the Thesis Committee the opportunity to specifically address perceived weaknesses in the student's educational background as well as evaluate the student's communication skills. Thus, it is expected that students will be able to both write about and verbally discuss his/her research proposal and experiments in a manner commensurate with someone receiving a Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology.

After successful completion of both the oral and the written qualifying examinations, the student will advance to candidacy.

Dissertation

A dissertation based on original research is required. The dissertation must be written in the format approved by UCLA. As a general guideline, the dissertation should consist of research equivalent to at least two peer-reviewed publications in reputable journals in the field.

Final examination

A final defense of the Ph.D. thesis will be required.

Normative time from matriculation to degree

Students who fail to complete the dissertation within 18 quarters will have their record evaluated to determine if an extension of time is warranted. If an extension is granted, the student will be carefully monitored to make sure the dissertation is completed within the additional time allowed.