Program Basics

The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease program

The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease (MCBD) Ph.D. program is designed for students with a research interest in the mechanisms of disease processes, with a particular emphasis on the skills necessary to perform translational research.

The Department of Pathology offers a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology through its program entitled, “Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease (MCBD) Graduate Program.” Our students experience a unique interface between clinical, medical, and basic science realms, designed to elucidate the mechanisms of disease processes and cultivate the skills necessary to perform basic science and translational research.

Students interested in Experimental Pathology, that is, mechanisms of disease processes with an emphasis on translational research, arrive at the Molecular and Cellular Disease Graduate Program (MCBD) by selecting our program near the middle of their first year of the Biomedical Sciences umbrella program (BIMS), or through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Potential mentors are engaged in research on many different aspects of human diseases including cancer, infectious diseases, immunological disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, among other disease-related topics, as well as medical automation, robotics and artificial intelligence in managing the laboratory. In addition to basic laboratory skills, the program offers opportunities for collaborative work with top-ranked and internationally recognized pathologists and other clinicians as part of the PhD training program.

All MCBD trainees complete a month-long rotation in various sections of the the hospital pathology labs where they work one-on-one with pathologists, residents, and fellows. As part of this experience trainees may choose to do one rotation working one-on-one with a clinician as s/he makes rounds with patients, consents participants for clinical trials and performs therapeutic interventions including surgery or radiation therapy. These translational opportunities provide our students with a  first-hand exposure to modern medical problems and help them discover ways that their research can go from bench to bedside.

Dissertation research into the molecular basis of human disease, or towards improved treatments or diagnoses, will be aided by access to our clinical laboratory and tissue specimen archives, as well as access to shared resources in histology and individuals with expertise in the performance and interpretation of immunohistochemical stains.

We want to be a part of your future. Please let us know how we can help:

MCBD Graduate Program Director: Timothy Bullock, Ph.D.

MCBD Program Administrator: Mary T. Hall