Master of Biology Program for International Students

About the Institute

The newly formed Institute of Life Sciences at Southeast University is located at Sipailou Main Campus of Southeast University, which is a historic site of ancient Imperial Academy in the heart of Nanjing City, surrounded by beautiful environment, convenient transport facilities and good schools. It has a Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases, Ministry of Education. The vibrant and highly collaborative research environment recruits a team of excellent faculty, most of which have oversea education backgrounds. Currently, the institute offers Doctoral and Master’s degree programs, and also hosts a postdoctoral research center in biology.


Master’s Degree Program in Biology for international students is designed to prepare our students for their careers in the fast-growing biotechnology industry and biomedical research. The curriculum is a blend of foundational coursework, seminars in biotechnology frontiers and hand-on research training, which aims to deepen our students’ knowledge of the latest biotechnology and hone their professional skills that enhance their job opportunities in biotechnology research, such as clinical laboratory, genetic analysis, drug R&D.


Program Requirements

Students will spend a total of 36 months in this program and are required to obtain a minimum of thirty credits for graduation. One credit in Master’s Literature Review and two credits in Seminar and Journal Club are mandatory.


Course Descriptions

(All courses are given in English)

Required Courses

B041117 Fundamental of Protein Research (Fall)

2 credit hours;

This course is designed for PhD and Master graduate students of Biochemistry major, or others who will conduct protein research. It will start with a brief introduction on protein properties and structures, and continue with a detailed analysis of the relationship between protein structure and function. The third part of the course will systematically introduce the methods used in current protein research。Students of this course will obtain both theoretical and practical knowledge of protein research. The course format includes lectures, literature studies lab work and presentations. At the end, the students are required to take both writing and oral exams.

B041119 Scientific Writing (Spring)

2 credit hours;

This course is designed to help the graduate students get the first-hand experience about the grant application process, which is critical for their future career. The course will start with an introduction on searching grant information and understanding the basic requirements for proposal writing, followed by case studies and writing practice. Each student is required to finish writing a grant proposal along the course and present for review. The last part of the course is interactive proposal review, which allow the students get feedbacks from their fellows and experienced mentors and improve their writing skills.

S041106 Advanced Technology of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Spring)

3 credit hours;

This course is designed to help the students grasp advanced technology of biochemistry and molecular biology. This course contains two major parts. The first part of this course is genetic engineering and the second part is protein purification. All the hands-on experiments are connected to mimic areal research project, which allow the students to have a systematic view about biochemical researches.

S041125 Molecular Biology A (Fall)

3 credit hours;

The students can grasp the basic knowledge of molecular biology, and are familiar with the principle of molecular biology technology; know development of it and application in medical.

S042207 Statistics in Medicine/Medical Statistics (Fall)

3 credit hours;

The graduates should be able to master the basic theory, knowledge and methods of medical statistics after learning this subject. This subject will been bring about good base for graduates selecting appropriate methods to deal with design, sorting and analyzing their research data.



B040101 Cancer Biology (Spring)

2 credit hours;

Cancer is the leading cause of human death. It has been proven that investigations on the mechanism under cancer facilitate the development of new anti-cancer drugs and new diagnosis techniques for cancers. The mechanism of cancer are extensively uncovered from basic researches involved model animals including yeasts, c. elegans, fruit flies, mice and so on using many techniques related to molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology and genetics etc. In this course, we will introduce you the cancer biology via discussing the import findings on cancer research and their impacts on cancer diagnosis and treatment as well as the related research techniques.

Besides the lessons taught by the professor, each student will be requested to present a cancer-related research article from high-impact journal (IF>10) and to submit a cancer-related research proposal. The course will involve lots of discussion. The success of this class is highly dependent upon student participation in the discussions. During this course, your scientific thinking abilities will be trained via practicing critical reading and discussion of scientific papers and learning to evaluate data and methodologies in additional to research proposal writing. You will also be introduced to a variety of modern techniques in cancer biology.

The main goal of this course is to familiarize you with cancer biology both knowledge and research techniques.

This course will be graded based on attendance, participation and completion of the assignments.

B040102 Neuroscience Methods (Spring)

2 credit hours;

This course is designed to help the graduate students be familiar with history and evolution of techniques used in Neuroscience research, as well as the conventional and state-of-the-art techniques used by Neuroscientists. The students will learn about current popular research topics and gain the ability to gather useful information to address scientific questions. Students will have the hands-on experience with some of the most advanced imaging and electrophysiology methods

Course Syllabus:

Animal Behaviours;

In vivo techniques and animal surgeries;

Electrophysiology – extracellular; intracellular; patch-clamp recordings;

Microscopy – fluorescence microscopy; electron microscopy and data analysis;

Visualising Nervous System Structure – sample preparation; qualitative and quantitative study;

Cell culture techniques – how to prepare and manipulate samples;

Visualising nervous system functions;

Hands-on experience with Electrophysiological methods with focus on patch clamp;

Hands-on experience with imaging methods – conventional fluorescence microscopes; confocal microscopes and multiphoton microscopes.

B041109 Essential Molecular Genetics (Fall)

2 credit hours;

Course Syllabus:

1.      Genetic material—DNA; organism、chromosome and gene;

2.      Regulation of gene expression and its molecular mechanism;

3.      Non-Mendel genetics——mitochondrion;

4.      Non-Mendel genetics——epigenetics;

5.      From DNA to diversity;

6.      Trend in Molecular Genetics;

7.      Presentation.

B041111 Neurobiology (Fall)

3 credit hours;

Neurobiology is a compulsory course for students in Master Programs of Neurobiology, Human Anatomy, Embryology and Histology, and Physiology.  It is also a required compulsory course for students in the PhD program of Genetics. Neurobiology is a field of multidiscipline including molecular biology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and neuroembryology.  The course will provide cutting-edge as well as basic science and technology in the frontiers of the field. The minimal requirements for students are: to built-up a firm foundation of neurobiology; to follow up the dynamics of the field; to acquire the capability of independent research.

B041113 Drosophila Genetics (Fall)

1 credit hours;

Drosophila is one of powerful model organisms used for research in genetics, development and neuroscience, which has been helped to get significant achievements in biological research. This course will introduce basic knowledge and new methods of drosophila genetics. At the end of the course, we will give a practice chance to show how to identify some useful drosophila genetic markers.

B041115 Molecular Neurobiology (Fall)

2 credit hours;

The course will focus on various hot research topics. The students will get familiar with basic knowledge of synaptic transmission and plasticity, and know the various techniques utilized in today’s neuroscience research. Meanwhile, the students will learn the ability to understand and critically assess research topics and articles, learn to how to raise questions, formulate hypothesis and address questions, using specific examples, and learn to how write a research article.

Course Syllabus:

  1. Neuronal morphology;

  2. Basic principles of synaptic transmission;

  3. Synaptic plasticity (LTP and LTD);

  4. Glutamate Receptors;

  5. Molecular mechanisms of LTP and LTD;

  6. Techniques in molecular neuroscience;

  7. Molecular genetic manipulations in model systems;

  8. Molecular mechanisms of learning and memory;

  9. Animal models of synaptic deficits and brain diseases.

B041118 Stem Cell Biology (Spring)

2 credit hours;

This course mainly contains two parts: the first part gives an introduction about the role of stem cells in human development and potential for treating diseases, the second part introduce the basic methods used in stem cell biology and the cutting edge stem cell research in different organs. The course consists of lectures and seminars. The students are required to have the preliminary knowledge of Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, and Genetics. The students are expected to reading, discussing and presenting recently published scientific papers related to stem cell research and to write a review assay on selected topics. The main purpose of this course is to give students an overall introduction of stem cell, make the students familiar with the cutting edge stem cell research and prepare them ready to initiate their own research project related to stem cell biology.

B041120 The Principles and Advances of Neuroscience (Fall)

1 credit hours;

This course provides the students with fundamental concepts about neuroscience. Students will learn about the neuron system from molecular level, cellular level to system level. The contents include 1) the structure and function of the brain;2)the pathological mechanisms of neural diseases;3) the properties of neurons and glial cells;4) synaptic physiology;5) signal transduction within the nerve system;6) neural development;7) pain and memory etc.

S040999 Literature Discussion (Spring)

1 credit hours;


S041104 Medical genetics and genetics analysis (Fall)

3 credit hours;

The recognition of the role of genetic factors in the causation of human disease has made clinical genetics one of the most rapidly development fields in medicine.important genetic contributions to the etiology of major desease,such as coromary artery disease,diateres mellitus,and the major psychoses, have been identified. Much of this progress has been propelled by rrecent advances in the area of molecular genetics and gene mapping. Medical genetics has become the first new specialty so recognized in recent years.

Requirements: To grip the basic principal of medical genetics and genetic mechanism of inheritable disorders; to understand and to apply the basic method and strategies of analysis in inheritable disorders.

S041105 Developmental biology: fundamentals and current advances (Fall)

2 credit hours;

This course concerns the principles that govern the process of development in multicellular organisms. Based on the current model organisms, the course is devoted to describing how a single cell gives rise to different cell types, how these differentiated cells are organized into tissues and organs, how cell growth and differentiation are regulated, and how genes, cells and the environment interact to guide development. Through this learning process, students are cultivated to become familiar with the key concepts and routine techniques in developmental biology, and are expected to keep abreast of current advances of this discipline.

S041117 Studies on Model Organisms (Fall)

2 credit hours;

This course is a very new subject, which is formed as an important branch from the developmental biology.  Recently, the study on model organism has gradually been developed as an independent subject.  Through the study from this course, we hope the students can grasp the properties and essential values of different model organisms in elucidating the related developmental mechanisms.  For the details, we will select 8 typical and widespread used model organisms as the teaching topics in this course.  These model organisms are Myxobacteria, yeast, Arabidopsis, worm, xenopus, zebrafish, fly and mice.