Curriculum Summary: Course of Study
The program offers a firm foundation in biomedical sciences, epidemiology and biostatistics. The program trains research scientists who are interested in the following areas of cellular and molecular biology: nutritional biochemistry, cardiovascular biology, gene regulation, cell-environmental interactions, pulmonary inflammation, immunology, infections diseases, protozoa, helminths, viruses and bacteria, and genetic approaches to disease mechanisms. It has become increasingly evident that progress in disease prevention is optimally promoted by a close interaction between epidemiologists and laboratory scientists, where laboratory discoveries and epidemiological observations interact in an iterative manner to advance research in both fields.
To realistically evaluate their research interests, suitability of a laboratory and a potential dissertation advisor, students engage in 3-4 laboratory rotations in their first year before selecting a dissertation advisor. Students engage in two years of coursework before taking a preliminary qualifying exam that must be passed prior to beginning dissertation work. The dissertation must be successfully defended prior to the granting of the Ph.D. degree, typically within 5-6 years.