PhD Graduate Program

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers a program of study leading to a PhD degree within the framework of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. Areas of research strength include growth signaling and cancer, DNA and RNA binding proteins, and protein/peptide structure, function and folding. Graduate training in the department draws on tools of modern biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, bioinformatics, biophysics and chemistry.

The faculty are committed to helping its students acquire both a breadth of knowledge in biomedical sciences and an ability to think critically, creatively, and imaginatively about scientific problems. The program of study is tailored individually for each student, initially at the Departmental level and subsequently in consultation with the student’s advisor and dissertation committee. The training program is designed to ensure that every student receives broad training in biochemical sciences and achieves significant goals in a specialized field of research.

Program of Study

Doctoral students are required to complete core courses in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BMS) and advanced courses in biochemistry and molecular biology during the first two years of graduate training. Students are introduced to research during the first year by a program of rotations through faculty laboratories and begin their thesis research the summer of their first year. Graduate students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree after successfully completing the required courses and passing a qualifying examination.  Minimum requirements for the Ph.D. include 48 hours of formal course work, seminar presentations, scholarly conducted research and successful defense of a dissertation.

Admission Information and Application Process

Ph.D. students admitted to the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program are offered a tuition remission, a stipend for living expenses, and health insurance. They can choose to pursue their course of study and research training in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology during the first year of their graduate program.

For more information about the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Departmental program, contact Dr. Jeffrey Han, Graduate Program Director at For general information about the BMS program and the application process, contact Dr. Diane Blake, Co-Director of the BMS Program at

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