Brief Description of Secondary Field
Microbial sciences is an interdisciplinary approach to studying the impact of microbes at scales from global ecosystems down to single-celled microenvironments. The academic program emphasizes the joint study of species diversity, metabolic function, geochemical impact, and medical and pharmaceutical applications of microbial sciences. Faculty affiliated with the Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI) include members from Molecular and Cellular Biology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and the Forsyth Institute.
The MSI secondary field is intended to provide a strong foundation in interdisciplinary microbial sciences to students who have sufficient preparation in other natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering. In particular, the MSI curriculum is intended to (i) be interdisciplinary, (ii) not be specifically biomedical, and (iii) incorporate elements from physical sciences as well as life sciences. An important aspect of the MSI secondary field is the laboratory component, which provides hands-on experiential learning to all students.