The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in biochemistry requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit (34 s.h. of course work and 38 s.h. of research). Qualified students interested in earning the Doctor of Medicine along with the Ph.D. may apply to the Medical Scientist Training Program, which offers a joint M.D./Ph.D. program.

Students have the opportunity to tailor their curriculum with courses that enhance their educational goals. They take a combination of graduate-level courses that include a first-year laboratory research rotation course, seminar courses, and topic-based courses that are divided into 1 s.h. modules.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in biochemistry requires the following course work.

BIOC:5261Research Techniques (first-year laboratory rotation)1-6
BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
Graduate seminar3
Research techniques8
Additional courses offered by the Department of Biochemistry and other departments, as appropriate for each student13

Biophysical Chemistry

Students choose at least one course from the following.

BIOC:5241Biophysical Chemistry I3
BIOC:5242Biophysical Chemistry II3

Molecular or Cellular Biology

Students select at least 4 s.h. from the following.

BMED:5205Practical Bioinformatics1
BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
MCB:6215Transcription and Multi-Functional Regulation by RNA1
MCB:6217Epigenetics, Cancer, and Mouse Models of Disease1
MCB:6225/ACB:6225/MPB:6225Growth Factor Receptor Signaling1
MCB:6226/ACB:6226/MPB:6226Cell Cycle Control1
MCB:6227/ACB:6227/MPB:6227Cell Fate Decisions1
PCOL:5204Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design1

The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in cancer biology provides training in many areas of research—cell biology, genetics, immunology, and cell metabolism, among others—that are necessary to understand the complexities of cancer etiology and treatment. Cancer biology is affiliated with the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was founded in 1980 and has been designed as a National Cancer Institute NCI-designated cancer center since 2000. The cancer biology subprogram does not offer a master's degree.

The curriculum is a sequence of required and elective courses that provides students with advanced knowledge in current concepts related to molecular, cellular, and genetic processes that contribute to the development and treatment of cancer. It also provides specialized training in experimental methodology used to study cancer in a laboratory setting. Cancer biology prepares students for a variety of career paths in academic, clinical, and industry environments that deal with the study and/or treatment of cancer.

Students have flexibility in their research rotations and can adapt their studies to permit specialization, as well as gaining clinical exposure by shadowing oncologists.

Entering students are expected to have a solid background in chemistry, mathematics, and the biological sciences. They should have completed undergraduate course work in introductory biology and chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and calculus; and previous course work in cancer biology is desirable. Deficiencies in a particular area, as determined by the Graduate Studies Committee, can be remedied by completion of appropriate courses during the first year of graduate study.

Selection of a Ph.D. mentor (thesis advisor) is normally finalized near the end of the spring semester of a student's first year of study. The deadline for selection is determined by the biomedical science program.

Students are required to complete the core courses listed below prior to their comprehensive examination. Students who wish to take the comprehensive examination should first make arrangements in consultation with their mentor, the program director, and the Student Advisory Committee. The exam is typically completed during the second summer of study.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in cancer biology requires the following course work.

First Year, Fall

BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
CBIO:5000Experimental Methodologies6
CBIO:5500Topics in Cancer Biology1
CBIO:6000Seminar: Cancer Research1
FRRB:7001Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer3
PCOL:5204Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design1

First Year, Spring

CBIO:5500Topics in Cancer Biology1
CBIO:6000Seminar: Cancer Research1
CBIO:6500Research in Cancer Biologyarr.
Elective

Second Year, Fall

BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
BMED:7271Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research II0
CBIO:5500Topics in Cancer Biology1
CBIO:6000Seminar: Cancer Research1
CBIO:6500Research in Cancer Biologyarr.
CBIO:7000Clinical Connections1
CBIO:7500Crafting a Scientific Proposal1
Elective

Laboratory Rotations

In order to gain more widespread experience in cancer biology research and to aid in selecting a laboratory home and thesis project, students perform three to seven laboratory rotations prior to selection of a thesis advisor. Laboratory rotations are normally carried out in research laboratories of the cancer biology faculty. A rotation can be completed with a faculty member outside the cancer biology program, with permission of the program director.

Rotations begin in the spring semester of the first year. The length of a laboratory rotation is flexible and can vary from a minimum of two to five weeks. Two laboratory rotations may be completed in the same lab with the approval of the program director. The goal of the rotations is to gain a comprehensive view of the mentor’s research program, to gain exposure to experimental methods used in mentor’s lab, and to learn about the mentoring styles of faculty members.

Students who pursue the Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in cell and developmental biology gain admission to graduate training laboratories in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology through the cell developmental biology program, Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, or through direct admission into a specific laboratory. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in cell and developmental biology requires the following course work.

First Year, Fall

All of these:
BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
MCB:6280Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology1
Biostatistics for biomedical research
Graduate research in cell and developmental biology
Cell and developmental biology graduate student seminar

First Year, Spring

Three of the following, on recommendation from the student advisory committee and the graduate program director:
MCB:6215Transcription and Multi-Functional Regulation by RNA1
MCB:6217Epigenetics, Cancer, and Mouse Models of Disease1
MCB:6225/ACB:6225/MPB:6225Growth Factor Receptor Signaling1
MCB:6226/ACB:6226/MPB:6226Cell Cycle Control1
MCB:6227/ACB:6227/MPB:6227Cell Fate Decisions1
All of these:
MCB:6280Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology1
Graduate research in cell and developmental biology
Cell and developmental biology graduate student seminar

Second Year, Fall

All of these:
ACB:6237Critical Thinking in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology1
ACB:6238Critical Thinking in Genetics1
ACB:6239Critical Thinking in Cell Biology1
Cell and developmental biology graduate student seminar
Graduate research in cell and developmental biology
Genetic analysis of biological systems
Elective

Second Year, Spring

All of these:
ACB:6237Critical Thinking in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology1
ACB:6248Critical Thinking in Development1
ACB:6249Critical Thinking in Cellular Physiology1
Cell and developmental biology graduate student seminar
Graduate research in cell and developmental biology
Elective

The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in free radical and radiation biology is interdisciplinary. The possibility exists for a major emphasis in radiation biology or redox biology. Although students with diverse academic backgrounds may enter the program, each student should have a science background which includes at least two years of chemistry, including organic chemistry; one year of physics; two years of biology; and mathematics, including at least one semester of calculus. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in free radical and radiation biology requires the following.

All of these:
BIOC:3120Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I3
BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
FRRB:5000Radiation Biology4
FRRB:6000Seminar: Free Radical and Radiation Biology1
FRRB:6004Research: Free Radical and Radiation Biologyarr.
FRRB:6006Topics in Free Radical Biology and Medicine1
FRRB:6008Topics in Radiation and Cancer Biology1
FRRB:7000Redox Biology and Medicine4
FRRB:7001/PATH:7001Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer3
MCB:6226/ACB:6226/MPB:6226Cell Cycle Control1
PCOL:5204Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design1
Collaborative instructional training initiative1
Two of these:
BMED:5205Practical Bioinformatics1
MCB:6225/ACB:6225/MPB:6225Growth Factor Receptor Signaling1
MCB:6227/ACB:6227/MPB:6227Cell Fate Decisions1

The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in immunology provides interdisciplinary training in the concepts and methodologies of basic and applied immunology. Faculty members are involved in a variety of research projects dealing with the immune system at all levels—structural, functional, cellular, biochemical, and molecular.

Students take course work in immunology and related disciplines, and are directly involved in laboratory research throughout their study. Immunology graduate courses are offered not only to teach students the current concepts and paradigms within the field, but to emphasize the scientific approaches and methods used to attain this understanding.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in immunology requires the following course work.

All of these:
BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
BMED:7270-BMED:7271Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I-II0
IMMU:6201/MICR:6201Graduate Immunology3
IMMU:6211Immunology Seminar1
IMMU:6241Writing a Scientific Proposal1
IMMU:6247/MICR:6247Graduate Immunology and Human Disease4
IMMU:7221/MICR:7207Advanced Topics in Immunology3
PCOL:5204Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design1
Elective from an approved list; consult advisor3

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in microbiology is designed to help students become highly qualified in microbiology and immunology research and education. Students admitted to graduate study usually pursue the Doctor of Philosophy. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit.

Graduate study is offered in four general subdisciplines: bacteriology, immunology, virology, and parasitology. Areas of emphasis within the subdisciplines include bacterial and viral pathogenesis, microbial genetics and physiology, innate and cellular immunity, and bioinformatics. Opportunities for interdisciplinary training, both within and outside the department, allow students to gain broad experience during their course of study.

Students may participate in immunology, infectious diseases, genetics, bioinformatics, molecular and cellular biology, biocatalysis/biotechnology, and electron microscopy courses and seminars.

All students are expected to assist in departmental teaching.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in microbiology requires 12 s.h. of graduate credit selected from the following course list.

BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
IMMU:7221/MICR:7207Advanced Topics in Immunology3
MICR:5218/ACB:5218/BIOL:5218Microscopy for Biomedical Research3
MICR:5220/ACB:5220/BIOL:5220Advanced Microscopy for Biomedical Research3
MICR:6201/IMMU:6201Graduate Immunology3
MICR:6247/IMMU:6247Graduate Immunology and Human Disease4
MICR:6259Graduate Bacteria and Human Disease3
MICR:6260Graduate Molecular Microbiology3
MICR:6267Graduate Viruses and Human Disease4
MICR:6268Biology and Pathogenesis of Viruses2
MICR:6270Graduate Microbial Genetics3
MICR:6279Graduate Bacterial Diversity and the Human Microbiome3
MICR:7217/IMMU:7217Integrated Topics in Infectious Diseases1
MICR:7221Advanced Topics in Prokaryotic Biology Module 11-2
MICR:7222Advanced Topics in Prokaryotic Biology Module 21-2
MICR:7223Advanced Topics in Prokaryotic Biology Module 31-2
MICR:7224Advanced Topics in Prokaryotic Biology Module 41-2
MICR:7225Advanced Topics in Prokaryotic Biology Module 51-2
MICR:7226Advanced Topics in Prokaryotic Biology Module 61-2
MICR:7261Graduate Research in Microbiologyarr.
MICR:7263Graduate Student Research Seminar1

The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in molecular medicine provides interdisciplinary training in the concepts and methodologies fundamental to the investigation of biological mechanisms at the molecular level. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit.

The curriculum is a sequence of required and elective courses, which provides students with broad exposure to areas including molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, and integrative sciences. It ensures a comprehensive exposure to conceptual and experimental aspects of molecular and cellular biology. In addition, sufficient flexibility is provided so that students can adapt the program to permit specialization in their own area of interest. Faculty members are involved in a variety of research projects related to gene expression and regulation.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in molecular medicine requires the following course work.

All of these:
BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
BMED:7270-BMED:7271Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I-II0
MCB:6215Transcription and Multi-Functional Regulation by RNA1
MCB:6217Epigenetics, Cancer, and Mouse Models of Disease1
MCB:6220/ACB:6220/MPB:6220Mechanisms of Cellular Organization3
MCB:6280Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (taken twice)2
MCB:7290Seminars in Molecular and Cellular Biology (taken twice)2
PCOL:5204Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design1
Electives from an approved list to fulfill minimum of didactic course work; consult advisor18

The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in molecular physiology and biophysics offers opportunities for training and research. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit.

Students join an active group of faculty members and advanced students at a time of expanding interdisciplinary biomedical research at the University of Iowa. Faculty in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics have a strong research focus on the cellular, molecular, and physical mechanisms of physiological processes.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in molecular physiology and biophysics requires the following course work.

Core Curriculum

All of these:
BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
MPB:5153Graduate Physiology4
MPB:6302Research Physiology and Biophysicsarr.
Advanced electives, approved by the director of graduate studies9

Typical Curriculum

Fall Semester

BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
MPB:5153Graduate Physiology4
MPB:6302Research Physiology and Biophysics6

Spring Semester

BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
MCB:6215Transcription and Multi-Functional Regulation by RNA (elective)1
MCB:6217Epigenetics, Cancer, and Mouse Models of Disease (elective)1
MCB:6226/ACB:6226/MPB:6226Cell Cycle Control (elective)1
MCB:6227/ACB:6227/MPB:6227Cell Fate Decisions (elective)1
MPB:6225/ACB:6225/MCB:6225Growth Factor Receptor Signaling (elective)1
MPB:6302Research Physiology and Biophysics2

Other Elective Course Work Options

Any elective preapproved by the director of graduate studies can be used to meet the elective requirement. A total of 9 s.h. of elective course work is required.

The most common elective options are the following.

BMED:5205Practical Bioinformatics1
GENE:6150Genetic Analysis of Biological Systems3
MPB:6220/ACB:6220/MCB:6220Mechanisms of Cellular Organization3
Biostatistics for biomedical research1
Fundamental neurobiology3
Pathogenesis of major human diseases3

The Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science with a subprogram in pharmacology provides professional training for health science students and participates with other departments in educational and research activities such as the Medical Scientist Training Program, the Physician Scientist Training Pathway, the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, the Neuroscience Program, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center, and the UI Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit.

The Ph.D. in biomedical science with a subprogram in pharmacology requires the following course work.

First Year, Fall

BMED:5207Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology3
MPB:5153Graduate Physiology4
PCOL:5204Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design1
PCOL:6080Pharmacology Seminar1

First Year, Spring

PCOL:5135Principles of Pharmacology1
PCOL:5136Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics1
PCOL:5137Neurotransmitters1
PCOL:6080Pharmacology Seminar1
PCOL:6250Advanced Problem Solving in Pharmacological Sciences1

Second Year, Fall

BMED:7270Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research I0
PCOL:6080Pharmacology Seminar1
PCOL:6203Pharmacology for Graduate Students6

Second Year, Spring

BMED:7271Scholarly Integrity/Responsible Conduct of Research II0
MCB:6225/ACB:6225/MPB:6225Growth Factor Receptor Signaling1
PCOL:6080Pharmacology Seminar1
PCOL:6207Ion Channel Pharmacology1
PCOL:6208G Proteins and G Protein-Coupled Receptors1
PCOL:6209/MPB:6209/NSCI:6209Steroid Receptor Signaling1

Other Requirements

Electives6
Journal Club (choice of offerings each semester)
PCOL:6090Graduate Research in Pharmacologyarr.