Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences (IDP)
The Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences (IDP) is committed to providing a broad and integrated education in biomedical science. This education is designed to serve the students well as they move on to pursue specialized research projects. During the first year, students take a core curriculum designed to provide a foundation in biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, signaling, and genetics.
Students will also explore their individual research interests through four laboratory rotations that emphasize experimental design and integration into a research team. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the diversity of opportunities in the five participating departments. Once a student selects a dissertation advisor at the end of their first year, they will become affiliated with one of the following programs: Biochemistry; Biophysics; Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; or Pharmacology and Toxicology. In addition students may also pursue a clinical focus if admitted into the Basic and Translational Science Program. Additional information about individual departmental programs is given elsewhere in this publication.
During the second year of their studies, students prepare and defend a mock proposal that will provide them with valuable experience in mastering a scientific problem, formulating a suitable hypothesis, and drafting a feasible and productive experimental scheme with which to test it. Successful completion of this qualifying exam is a major step towards being admitted to candidacy for a PhD degree in one of the participating departments. During their second and subsequent years, students are also expected to successfully complete a number of advanced courses selected with the guidance of their dissertation mentor, dissertation committee, and the Graduate Program Director of their affiliated department. Upper level students will focus on the development of their research skills, preparation of a dissertation outline, performance of their doctoral research, and completion of their dissertation.
Once affiliated with a particular laboratory and department, students can expect attentive personal mentoring by their dissertation advisor. Throughout their graduate careers, students in the Interdisciplinary Program continue to meet as a group to share ideas, insights and research accomplishments with each other and with the faculty.
This program prepares students for advanced study in one of the following PhD degree-granting programs: Basic and Translational Science, Biochemistry; Biophysics; Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; or Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Program Admissions Requirements
In addition to the general Graduate School admission requirements, this program has additional specific requirements.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Successful applicants will show undergraduate achievement in science and mathematics courses and strong performance on national examinations (preferably the GRE). Prior research experience, particularly in mentored research programs, is an advantage for admission.
Faculty participating in the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Research have diverse research interests such as:
- Bacterial Pathogenesis
- Cancer Biology
- Cardiovascular Biology
- Cell Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology
- Enzymology and Metabolism
- Free Radical Biology
- Molecular Genetics
- Molecular Pharmacology
- Signaling and Gene Expression
- Structural Biology
Required First-Year Curriculum
16202 Biochemistry of the Cell. 4 credits.
This interdisciplinary course provides students with a solid foundation in the understanding of the structure and function of proteins. This knowledge is then applied to proteins involved in various metabolic pathways to understand the manner in which these pathways are organized and controlled. The material is presented primarily in lecture format, interspersed with occasional discussion sessions.
16210 Introduction to Biomedical Research. 2-6 credits.
This course reflects the students’ participation in four nine-week research laboratory rotations and their attendance at seminars and/or journal clubs.
16242 Techniques in Molecular and Cell Biology. 2 credits.
This interdisciplinary course is designed to expose graduate students to the technical and practical aspects of techniques currently used in molecular and cell biology.
16244 Molecular and Cellular Biology. 4 credits.
This interdisciplinary course provides students with a solid foundation in the areas of gene expression and cell biology. The material is presented primarily in lecture format, but a significant number of discussion sections are also included.
16250 Mechanisms of Cellular Signaling. 4 credits.
This interdisciplinary course provides first-year graduate students with a foundation in cellular signal transduction. The course has three sections; in the first, students learn the basic building blocks of signaling, including ligands, receptors and adaptor proteins; in the second section, students learn about representative signaling cascades; and in the third section, students consider signaling in the context of cellular or tissue biology. The material is presented in lectures, primary paper discussions and in open-ended discussion sessions.
16252 Classical and Molecular Genetics. 4 credits.
This interdisciplinary course provides students with a foundation in classical and molecular genetics, model systems genetics, the replication, repair and recombination of the genetic material, developmental biology, cancer, and genomics. The material is presented primarily in lecture format, but a significant number of discussion sections are also included.