Animal and Nutritional Science (ANSC)

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Degree Offered: Ph.D.

This program is offered in Durham.

The Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems offers the Ph.D. in animal and nutritional sciences. The Ph.D. degree in animal and nutritional sciences has, as its primary research foci, the study of biological and nutritional processes that promote animal and human health and disease, and in the case of animal health, its effect on production. Areas of research specialization include human nutrition, mammalian physiology and pathology, nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, and reproduction and endocrinology. Research activities utilize human, animal, and cell culture systems to investigate nutrient metabolism and a molecular-­level understanding of life processes and diseases.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for the Ph.D. program will be expected to present recent (within five years) general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and possess a background in basic sciences appropriate for advanced study in the proposed area of specialization (for example, courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics). Although not required for candidacy in the Ph.D. program, an M.S. degree is suggested for most students. The student's committee may require certain undergraduate courses as part of the graduate program if additional competencies would be beneficial to the student.

Animal Science (ANSC)

ANSC 801 - Physiology of Reproduction

Credits: 4

Comparative aspects of embryology, anatomy, endocrinology, and physiology of reproduction. Lab.

ANSC 808 - Ruminant Nutritional Physiology

Credits: 3

Anatomy of the ruminant gastrointestinal tract, physiological factors related to rumen function, and microbial and whole-body metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and lipids. Prereq: general microbiology or equivalent.

ANSC 810 - Dairy Nutrition

Credits: 4

Feeding and related management of dairy cows, nutrients and their use, digestive anatomy, physiology, energy systems, forage quality and conservation methods, metabolic disorders, ration balancing. Prereq: principles of nutrition; nutritional biochemistry or equivalent, permission.

ANSC 814 - Research Methods in Endocrinology

Credits: 5

Principles of biochemical, cellular and molecular techniques and their applications to research in the endocrine system. Techniques include protein and nucleic acid assays, thin layer chromatography, radioimmunoassay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, transfection, restriction analysis, plasmid amplification, RNA extraction, and dot-dot hybridization. Seven lab reports required. Prereq: physiology of reproduction or general biochemistry or endocrinology; permission. Special fee. Lab.

ANSC 815 - Physiology of Lactation

Credits: 4

Examines the biological and biochemical influences of the lactation process. Emphasis on the physiological effects of environments, hormones, and nutrition on milk synthesis and secretion, mammary physiology, and maternal response. Prereq: physiology of reproduction, permission.

ANSC 818 - Mammalian Physiology

Credits: 4

Advanced study of the systems that control mammalian functions with emphasis on cellular and molecular mechanisms. Includes the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. Prereq: BMS 501 or BMS 503-504; GEN 604. Permission required.

ANSC 824 - Reproductive Management and Artificial Insemination

Credits: 4

Focus on goals and fundamentals of reproductive management of horses, dairy and livestock animals, and, through experience, development of competency in performing modern breeding techniques for equine or bovine reproduction. Permission required. Special fee. Lab.

ANSC 827 - Advanced Dairy Management I

Credits: 4

Advanced management evaluation of milking procedures, reproduction, nutrition, mastitis, and calf and heifer management. Prereq: principles of nutrition, permission.

ANSC 828 - Advanced Dairy Management II

Credits: 4

Advanced management evaluation of dairy cattle, housing milking equipment, milk quality, record keeping, herd health, financial, personnel management, environmental issues. Visits to farms in the area to provide critical assessments of dairy farm businesses. Prereq: advanced dairy management I, permission. Special fee.

ANSC 853 - Cell Culture

Credits: 5

Principles and technical skills fundamental to the culture of animal and plant cells, tissues and organs. Introduction to the techniques of sub culturing, establishing primary cultures, karyotyping, serum testing, cloning, growth curves, cryopreservation, hybridoma formation and monoclonal antibody production, and organ cultures. Application of cell culture to contemporary research in the biological sciences. Prereq: general microbiology and lab. Special fee. Lab.

ANSC 895 - Investigations

Credits: 1-4

Investigations in genetics, nutrition, management, diseases, histology, equestrian management/agribusiness, physiology, cell biology, microbiology, dairy management, or teaching experience. May be repeated up to a maximum of 4 credits. Prereq: permission.

ANSC 899 - Master's Thesis

Credits: 1-6

Master's students must enroll for a total of 6 credits of this course. Students may enroll in 1-6 credits per semester. Cr/F.

ANSC 900 - Contemporary Topics in Animal, Nutritional, and Biomedical Sciences

Credits: 1

An informal forum for graduate students to gain experience in evaluating the current literature of a contemporary topic. (Also offered as NUTR 900.) May be repeated for a maximum of 2 credits. Offered both fall and spring semesters. Cr/F.

ANSC 902 - Philosophy of Research in the Life Sciences

Credits: 2

Designed to acquaint master's and doctoral students (second year and beyond) with the theories and principles for understanding, designing, conducting, and communicating research in the Life Sciences. Readings and class discussions will focus on issues such as: What is research? How is it performed? How is validity determined? How are isolated findings integrated into a coherent system? What is the social context? Offered fall semester.

ANSC 913 - Contemporary Topics in Immunobiology

Credits: 2

Topical lectures, seminars, and assigned reading emphasizing recent advances in immunology. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits. (Offered in alternate years.)

ANSC 995 - Non-thesis Investigations in Animal Science

Credits: 1-4

Advanced investigations in a research project, exclusive of thesis project. Elective only after consultation with the instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits. Offered both fall and spring semesters.

ANSC 999 - Doctoral Research

Credits: 0


Molecular, Cellular, and Biological Sciences (MCBS)

MCBS 901 - Introduction to Research in the Life Sciences

Credits: 2

This two-credit graduate course is designed to acquaint first-year master's and doctoral students with facilities and tools for designing, conducting, and communicating research. Topics include: acquiring proper background information; the art of oral presentation; effective writing; data analysis and graphics using computers; ethics in science; and issues in research.

MCBS 905 - Contemporary Topics in Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

Credits: 1

Presentation, discussion, and critical evaluation of currnt research literature in molecular/cellular life sciences and in biomedical sciences. Topics will vary each semester. May be repeated for a maximum of 5 credits. Cr/F.

MCBS 913 - Applied Bioinformatics

Credits: 3

Genome-enabled biology is the exploration of basic biological questions by combining high-throughput data gathering approaches, such as DNA sequencing, with computational skills in the area of Bioinformatics. Course is designed to provide an opportunity for graduate students in the life sciences to develop sophisticated methods of data analysis by participating in a collaborative project. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

MCBS 995 - Special Topics

Credits: 1-4

Special topics course.

MCBS 997 - Seminar

Credits: 1

Graduate student and faculty presentations on current topics in the molecular life sciences and biomedical sciences. Graduate students are expected to present one seminar per year and attend all seminars each semester. May be repeated. Cr/F. (Offered both fall and spring).