Co-program directors
Mary Kearns-Jonker
Julia Unternaehrer-Hamm

The School of Medicine offers basic sciences curricula leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The core curriculum provides a broad background in molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.  Advanced courses allow each student to fully develop an area of interest.

Research strengths of the program include: cancer biology (prostate, breast, thyroid, ovarian, cervical, pancreatic, leukemia), molecular mechanisms controlling normal development and regeneration, stem cell-based cardiovascular repair, oxidative stress in mechanism of anticancer agents, stem cell delivery of gene therapy for regenerative medicine, neuronal injury and axonal regeneration, transcriptional regulation, normal and malignant immune cell development and function, nanoparticles for therapeutic applications, cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases and aging, plasticity and interconnection between normal and cancer stem cells, miRNA regulation in ovarian cancer and early development, epigenomic/transcriptomic reprogramming and longevity, calcium signaling during lung development, developmental programming of health and disease, stem cell reprogramming, and genome editing.

The thesis or research Master of Science degree provides training for individuals who will become technicians involved in biomedical research in universities or in the biotechnology industry. The non-thesis Master of Science degree provides content appropriate for secondary teachers seeking advanced training in areas such as molecular biology, cancer biology, developmental biology, and regenerative medicine; and for students seeking admission to a professional school, such as medicine or dentistry.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to prepare students for careers in independent research and teaching in a university, clinical, or biotechnology environment. Doctoral degree students are expected to develop creativity and independence in addition to technical skills.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the biomedical sciences.
  2. Demonstrate subject mastery in cancer, developmental, or regenerative biology.
  3. Interpret the current literature in the field.
  4. Design hypothesis-driven studies to address key questions in the field.
  5. Make original contributions to the body of biomedical knowledge.
  6. Demonstrate the principles of scientific and professional ethics.
  7.  Write effective scientific publications and grant proposals.*

*This outcome is not applicable to M.S. degree students.