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Interdisciplinary PhD Program

poster presentations

What Makes Tulane's Program Unique?

Tulane’s Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences takes an interdisciplinary approach to graduate education and research. There are many ways to shape your Tulane experience to fit your needs and career goals, and our program has an array of options to accelerate, customize, and enrich your education and, ultimately, your career. The program is dynamic, giving you an array of controls that allows you to heavily customize your experience here to suit you.

All PhD students receive a full tuition waiver,  paid health insurance and a stipend of approximately $30,000 per year for the entire duration of the program, usually between four and seven years.

Students complete all course requirements in their first two years. Core courses including Advanced Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Human Molecular Genetics, Biostatistics and Systems Biology, which along with Basic Science electives provide a broad foundation for future research. More than one hundred scientists from Basic Science and Clinical Departments and School Of Medicine Centers participate fully in the BMS program. Students have ample opportunities to match with one of these scientists by conducting at least three lab rotations in their first year prior to selecting their Dissertation Advisor. A funded rotation prior to classes begin in August is optional. Finally, you get to study in perhaps the most unique city in the United States – New Orleans

All PhD degrees are in Biomedical Science. Students have the option to specialize in selected areas. Core courses are the same for most concentrations.  However, some concentrations may require additional courses. New this fall is a Biomedical Informatics specialization. The core courses for this specialization are slightly different starting in the Spring of the first year. You will have the option to select interest in this area in the application. 

Student Publications

2 students in lab discussing research

Baker, S. M., J. B. McLachlan and L. A. Morici (2020). "Immunological considerations in the development of Pseudomonas aeruginosa vaccines." Hum Vaccin Immunother 16(2): 412-418.

Fears, A. C., W. B. Klimstra, P. Duprex, A. Hartman, S. C. Weaver, K. C. Plante, D. Mirchandani, J. A. Plante, P. V. Aguilar, D. Fernández, A. Nalca, A. Totura, D. Dyer, B. Kearney, M. Lackemeyer, J. K. Bohannon, R. Johnson, R. F. Garry, D. S. Reed and C. J. Roy (2020). "Comparative dynamic aerosol efficiencies of three emergent coronaviruses and the unusual persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosol suspensions." medRxiv.

Foreman, T. W., A. N. Bucşan, S. Mehra, C. Peloquin, L. A. Doyle, K. Russell-Lodrigue, N. R. Gandhi, J. Altman, C. L. Day, J. D. Ernst, H. M. Blumberg, J. Rengarajan and D. Kaushal (2020). "Isoniazid and Rifapentine Treatment Eradicates Persistent Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Macaques." Am J Respir Crit Care Med 201(4): 469-477.

Hebert, K. D., N. McLaughlin, M. Galeas-Pena, Z. Zhang, T. Eddens, A. Govero, J. M. Pilewski, J. K. Kolls and D. A. Pociask (2020). "Targeting the IL-22/IL-22BP axis enhances tight junctions and reduces inflammation during influenza infection." Mucosal Immunol 13(1): 64-74.

Hodel, K. P., M. J. S. Sun, N. Ungerleider, V. S. Park, L. G. Williams, D. L. Bauer, V. E. Immethun, J. Wang, Z. Suo, H. Lu, J. B. McLachlan and Z. F. Pursell (2020). "POLE Mutation Spectra Are Shaped by the Mutant Allele Identity, Its Abundance, and Mismatch Repair Status." Mol Cell 78(6): 1166-1177.e1166.

Hoffmann, A. R., S. Guha, E. Wu, J. Ghimire, Y. Wang, J. He, R. F. Garry and W. C. Wimley (2020). "Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Entry Inhibition by Interfacially-Active Peptides." J Virol.

Kaul, T., M. E. Morales, A. O. Sartor, V. P. Belancio and P. Deininger (2020). "Comparative analysis on the expression of L1 loci using various RNA-Seq preparations." Mob DNA 11: 2.

Kiefer, M. C., N. I. Motyka, J. D. Clements and J. P. Bitoun (2020). "Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Heat-Stable Toxin Increases the Rate of Zinc Release from Metallothionein and Is a Zinc- and Iron-Binding Peptide." mSphere 5(2).

Kurtz, J. R., W. Nieves, D. L. Bauer, K. E. Israel, H. E. Adcox, J. S. Gunn, L. A. Morici and J. B. McLachlan (2020). "Salmonella Persistence and Host Immunity Are Dictated by the Anatomical Microenvironment." Infect Immun 88(8).

Matossian, M. D., H. E. Burks, S. Elliott, V. T. Hoang, W. J. Zuercher, C. Wells, D. H. Drewry, N. Kapadia, T. Chang, T. Yan, G. O. Windsor, K. Nguyen, F. Fang, K. P. Nephew, A. Buechlein, D. B. Rusch, R. A. Sabol, D. A. Ucar, J. Zabaleta, L. Miele, B. A. Bunnell, B. M. Collins-Burow and M. E. Burow (2020). "A novel screening approach comparing kinase activity of small molecule inhibitors with similar molecular structures and distinct biologic effects in triple-negative breast cancer to identify targetable signaling pathways." Anticancer Drugs 31(8): 759-775.

Sabol, R. A., V. Bubenzer, K. Moroz, S. Halat, A. Dang, K. Ferdinand, A. Traylor, C. Boyd and K. Harris (2020). "Image-Guided Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy for IgG4-Related Ophthalmic Disease." Case Rep Ophthalmol Med 2020: 8873078.

Sabol, R. A., V. A. Villela, A. Denys, B. T. Freeman, A. B. Hartono, R. M. Wise, M. A. A. Harrison, M. B. Sandler, F. Hossain, L. Miele and B. A. Bunnell (2020). "Obesity-Altered Adipose Stem Cells Promote Radiation Resistance of Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer through Paracrine Signaling." Int J Mol Sci 21(8).

Saleh, F. M., Chandra, P. K., Lin, D., Robinson, J. E., Izadpanah, R., Mondal, D., … Abdel-Motal, U. M. (2020). A New Humanized Mouse Model Mimics Humans in Lacking α-Gal Epitopes and Secreting Anti-Gal Antibodies. The Journal of Immunology, 204(7), 1998–2005. 

Sharan, R., A. N. Bucşan, S. Ganatra, M. Paiardini, M. Mohan, S. Mehra, S. A. Khader and D. Kaushal (2020). "Chronic Immune Activation in TB/HIV Co-infection." Trends Microbiol 28(8): 619-632.

Starr, C. G., J. Ghimire, S. Guha, J. P. Hoffmann, Y. Wang, L. Sun, B. N. Landreneau, Z. D. Kolansky, I. M. Kilanowski-Doroh, M. C. Sammarco, L. A. Morici and W. C. Wimley (2020). "Synthetic molecular evolution of host cell-compatible, antimicrobial peptides effective against drug-resistant, biofilm-forming bacteria." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117(15): 8437-8448.

Wang, Y., J. P. Hoffmann, C. W. Chou, K. Höner Zu Bentrup, J. A. Fuselier, J. P. Bitoun, W. C. Wimley and L. A. Morici (2020). "Burkholderia thailandensis outer membrane vesicles exert antimicrobial activity against drug-resistant and competitor microbial species." J Microbiol 58(7): 550-562.

Wu, E., R. M. Jenschke, K. Hristova and W. C. Wimley (2020). "Rational Modulation of pH-Triggered Macromolecular Poration by Peptide Acylation and Dimerization." J Phys Chem B 124(40): 8835-8843.

Zhang, Q. and H. Liu (2020). "Functioning mechanisms of Shugoshin-1 in centromeric cohesion during mitosis." Essays Biochem 64(2): 289-297.

Zhang Q, Hu L, Chen Y, Liu H. “Multisite Phosphorylation Determines the Formation of Ska-Ndc80 Macro-complexes That Are Essential for Chromosome Segregation during Mitosis”[J]. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2020: mbc. E19-10-0569.

Hoffmann, J. P., J. K. Friedman, Y. Wang, J. B. McLachlan, M. C. Sammarco, L. A. Morici and C. J. Roy (2019). "In situ Treatment With Novel Microbiocide Inhibits Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Murine Wound Infection Model." Front Microbiol 10: 3106.

Matossian, M. D., H. E. Burks, S. Elliott, V. T. Hoang, A. C. Bowles, R. A. Sabol, B. Wahba, M. Anbalagan, B. Rowan, M. E. Abazeed, B. A. Bunnell, K. Moroz, L. Miele, L. V. Rhodes, S. D. Jones, E. C. Martin, B. M. Collins-Burow and M. E. Burow (2019). "Drug resistance profiling of a new triple negative breast cancer patient-derived xenograft model." BMC Cancer 19(1): 205.

Sabol, R. A., A. Beighley, P. Giacomelli, R. M. Wise, M. A. A. Harrison, B. A. O'Donnnell, B. N. Sullivan, J. D. Lampenfeld, M. D. Matossian, M. R. Bratton, G. Wang, B. M. Collins-Burow, M. E. Burow and B. A. Bunnell (2019). "Obesity-Altered Adipose Stem Cells Promote ER⁺ Breast Cancer Metastasis through Estrogen Independent Pathways." Int J Mol Sci 20(6).

Sabol, R. A. and B. A. Bunnell (2019). "Discussion: CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated BRCA1 Knockdown Adipose Stem Cells Promote Breast Cancer Progression." Plast Reconstr Surg 143(3): 757-758.

Sabol, R. A., P. Giacomelli, A. Beighley and B. A. Bunnell (2019). "Adipose Stem Cells and Cancer: Concise Review." Stem Cells 37(10): 1261-1266.

Moss DL, Park HW, Mettu RR, Landry SJ. Deimmunizing substitutions in Pseudomonas exotoxin domain III perturb antigen processing without eliminating T-cell epitopes. J Biol Chem. 2019.  

Qu Q, Zhang Q, Yang L, Chen Y, Liu H. SET binding to Sgo1 inhibits Sgo1–cohesin interactions and promotes chromosome segregation. JCB Jun 21:jcb-201810096. 2019.

Galeas-Pena M, McLaughlin N, Pociask D. The role of the innate immune system on pulmonary infections. Biol Chem. Mar 26;400(4):443-456. 2019.

Hebert KD, Mclaughlin N, Galeas-Pena M, Zhang Z, Eddens T, Govero A, Pilewski JM, Kolls JK, Pociask DA. Targeting the IL-22/IL-22BP axis enhances tight junctions and reduces inflammation during influenza infection. Mucosal Immunol. 2019.

Mackel J.J. and C. Steele. Host defense mechanisms against Aspergillus fumigatus lung colonization and invasion. Current Opinion in Microbiology. May 16; 52:14-19. 2019.
Zenere G, Olwenyi OA, Siddappa N. Byrareddy, Braun SE. Optimizing intracellular signaling domains for CAR NK cells in HIV immunotherapy: a comprehensive review. Drug Discovery Today. 24: 4 (983-991). 2019.

Guha, S., Ghimire, J., Wu, E., & Wimley, W. C.. Mechanistic Landscape of Membrane-Permeabilizing Peptides. Chemical reviews, 119(9), 6040-6085. 2019.

Tonnessen-Murray C, Frey W, Rao S, Shahbandi A, Ungerleider N, Olayiwola J, Murray L, Vinson B, Chrisey D, Lord C, and Jackson J. Chemotherapy-induced senescent cancer cells engulf other cells to enhance their survival. J Cell Bio 218 (11): 2019.

Chatterjee, D., Deng, W.M. Drosophila Models in Cancer: The Drosophila Model in Cancer, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1167, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2019.

Mohiuddin, O.A., Campbell, B., Poche, J.N., Ma, M., Rogers, E., Gaupp, D., Harrison, M.a.A., Bunnell, B.A., Hayes, D.J., and Gimble, J.M. Decellularized Adipose Tissue Hydrogel Promotes Bone Regeneration in Critical-Sized Mouse Femoral Defect Model. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7.211. 2019.

Park VS & Pursell ZF. POLE proofreading defects: Contributions to mutagenesis in cancer. DNA Repair. 76:50-59. 2019.

Cao S, Ma T, Ungerleider N, Roberts C, Kobelski M, Jin L, Concha M, Wang X, Baddoo M, Nguyen HM, Corey E, Fazli L, Ledet E, Zhang R, Silberstein JL, Zhang W, Zhang K, Sartor O, Dong X, Flemington EK, Dong Y. Circular RNAs add diversity to androgen receptor isoform repertoire in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Oncogene 38: 7060-7072; 2019.

Ungerleider NA, Jain V, Wang Y, Maness NJ, Blair RV, Alvarez X, Midkiff C, Kolson D, Bai S, Roberts C, Moss WN, Wang X, Serfecz J, Seddon M, Lehman T, Ma T, Dong Y, Renne R, Tibbetts SA, Flemington EK. Comparative Analysis of Gammaherpesvirus Circular RNA Repertoires: Conserved and Unique Viral Circular RNAs. J Virol 2019.

Freeman BT, Sokolowski M, Roy-Engel AM, Smither ME, Belancio VP. Identification of charged amino acids required for nuclear localization of human L1 ORF1 protein. Mob DNA 10:20. 2019

Maciel M Jr, Bauer D, Baudier RL, Bitoun J, Clements JD, Poole ST, Smith MA, Kaminski RW, Savarino SJ, Norton EB. Intradermal or Sublingual Delivery and Heat-Labile Enterotoxin Proteins Shape Immunologic Responses to a CFA/I Fimbria-Derived Subunit Antigen Vaccine against Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Infect Immun. 2019.

Cheslock, M. A.; Embers, M. E., Human Bartonellosis: An Underappreciated Public Health Problem? Trop Med Infect Dis 2019.

Tiffany A. Peterson, Andrew G. Maclean, Kase E. Russell-Lodrigue, Peter J. Didier, Scott C. Weaver, Chad J. Roy. Adverse event following live attenuated chikungunya vaccine in a cynomolgous macaque with pre-existing chronic hydrocephalus. J Med Primatol. 2019.

Tiffany A. Peterson, Andrew G. MacLean. Current and Future Therapeutic Strategies for Lentiviral Eradication from Macrophage Reserviors. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2019

O. Marzhana, L.T. Swientoniewski, I. Tsengam, D.A. Blake, V. John, A. McCormick, G. Bothun, S. Raghavan, A. Bose. (2019) Biofilm Formation by Hydrocarbon-Degrading Marine Bacteria and Its Effects on Oil Dispersoin. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 7:14490-99. 2019.

Kauffman WB,  Guha S, William C. Wimley. Synthetic molecular evolution of hybrid cell penetrating peptides. Nat Comm, 9: 2568. 2018.

Fears AC, Metzinger RC, Killeen SZ, Reimers RS, Roy CJ. Comparative in vitro effectiveness of a novel contact lens multipurpose solution on Acanthamoeba castellanii. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect. Oct 24;8(1):19. 2018.

Schouest B, Weiler AM, Janaka SK, Das A, Myers A, Wilder SC, Furlott J, Baddoo M, Flemington EK, Rakasz EG, Evans DT, Friedrich TC, Maness NJ. Maintenance of AP-2 Dependent Functional Activities of Nef Restricts Pathways of Immune Escape from CD8 T Lymphocyte Responses. Journal of Virology, 10.1128/JVI.01822-17. 2018.

Zhang Q, Sivakumar S, Chen Y, Gao H, Yang L, Yuan Z, Yu H, Liu H. Ska3 phosphorylated by Cdk1 binds Ndc80 and recruits Ska to kinetochores to promote mitotic progression. Current Biology. May 22;27(10):1477-84. 2017.

A Full List of Biomedical Sciences PhD Students' Publications can be found here.