The Program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Michigan is an interdisciplinary gateway program that coordinates admissions and the first year of Ph.D. studies for 14 department programs, including Molecular & Cellular Pathology. PIBS offers you the flexibility and convenience of applying to any of our participating programs through one application. We invite you to thoroughly explore Molecular & Cellular Pathology and the other 13 programs before selecting your top preferences when you apply.
The Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program is situated in the Department of Pathology and takes advantage of its unique position in a department that bridges basic and clinical sciences to encourage interdisciplinary projects and interdepartmental cooperation. A variety of educational experiences are offered with the objective that persons destined for research careers have a better understanding of disease-related clinical problems.
The primary goal of the doctoral program is to train individuals for careers as independent scientific investigators in academic or biotechnology sectors, with a focus on the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of disease processes. The graduate program has grown to include 18 students and nearly 30 faculty members. Many faculty members also hold joint appointments with other biomedical science departments and graduate programs at the University of Michigan, offering students an interdisciplinary approach to their training.
Students will be trained not only in basic mechanisms and research technology, but will be immersed in a research environment that highlights internationally known faculty supported by a departmental structure that encourages investigative interactions.
Areas of study include:
- Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer
- Inflammation and immunology
- Cell death and regulation
- Stem cell and developmental biology
- Gene regulation
The newly formed Translational Research Division allows integration of the strong clinical research effort in the Department with basic research programs, and gives our trainees an important prospective on "bench to bedside" approaches. Each year the research within the program is highlighted in our Annual Departmental Symposium.
Our diverse research faculty investigate a broad range of disease topics and integrates their knowledge into the course curriculum. Students have the flexibility to select from a wide array of specialized courses offered at the Medical School and throughout the University.
A required didactic course provides students with a background in basic areas of biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, and genetics in preparation for in-depth study of the cellular and molecular pathogenesis of disease. Graduate students also get broad exposure to basic and applied research with a weekly departmental seminar series that integrates visiting speakers, local research faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows.
A standing committee of MCP program faculty gives the Preliminary exam to students in the Spring term of their 2nd year. Students are required to prepare a written research proposal for approval by the committee and give an oral presentation as an overview, followed by an oral defense of the proposal.
The MCP graduate program has no formal teaching requirement, but will provide access and training to individuals that want a teaching experience.
Expected Length of Program
Students normally graduate on average after 5 years of training.
Our students’ successes have been recognized through institutional and national awards including Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research and Service, Rackham Distinguished Dissertation Award, Rackham Predoctoral Fellowships, and the Harold W. Weintraub Graduate Student Award. Our students have also earned training positions on competitive NIH training grants.
The Annual Departmental Symposium is graduate student-organized and invites internationally known external keynote speakers. This conference is used not only to introduce new researchers to our department, but also to highlight several of the research laboratories in the Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program.
Many of our Ph.D. graduates pursue careers in industry and government, in addition to academic teaching and research. The training students receive in disease models and processes has made them invaluable in assessing drug efficacy and toxicity; consequently, a significant number of these individuals take positions in pharmaceutical companies. Governmental research and regulatory agencies also benefit from this expertise, partly for the same reasons as the drug companies, and also for their basic and applied research skills.