Make Biomedical Discoveries That Inform Public Health Initiatives
Learn how to contain and control infectious and non-infectious diseases by investigating the underlying biological mechanisms of disease and developing novel drugs and therapeutic strategies for treatment.
In the highly individualized PhD program in biomedical sciences, you work with advisors to choose courses that build on your background and support your professional goals in the biomedical sciences.
Research themes include cancer biology; infection and immunity; genes and genomes; neuroscience; stem cells; structural biology; and drug discovery and therapeutics. The Department also offers special training in emerging infectious diseases and RNA biology programs developed with NIH funding (see below).
Ultimately, you plan and conduct major biomedical research that culminates in a meaningful dissertation and scientific publications.
Program of Study
- Molecular Cell Biology
- Introduction to Biomedical Sciences
- Laboratory Rotations in Biomedical Sciences
- Current Literature in Biomedical Sciences
- Responsible Conduct of Scientific Research
- Principles of Public Health
Sample course subjects: Biodefense Sciences, Bioecology of Vector-Borne Diseases, Cancer Biology, Cellular Neuroscience, Chemical Principles in RNA Biology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Microbial Pathogenesis, Nervous System Disorders, Structural Molecular Biology
Part 1 of the qualifying exam, completed at the end of your first year, is an oral presentation of a primary research paper related to your area. Part 2 is a written research proposal and oral defense of the your dissertation project and is completed at the end of your second academic year.
Develop proficiency in an approved research tool, such as competency in computer programming, statistical analysis, or biostatistics, or reading knowledge of an appropriate foreign language.
Doctoral Research: 30 credits (minimum)
Dissertation and Defense
NIH Doctoral Training Program in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID)
As a doctoral student at UAlbany, you can receive biodefense and EID training through the School of Public Health in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health, and NIH funding through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The program provides in-depth instruction in the BLS3-rated high-containment laboratories of the renowned Wadsworth Center. Participants work with individual mentors and collaborate with expert practitioners on real public health research projects.
Training topics include: disease surveillance, bioterrorist agents, biodefense science, biodefense preparedness, biocontainment, and infectious threat response.
- Dynamics of introns and inteins in bacterial pathogens
- Evolutionary and population genetics, ecology, mosquito vectors of viral and protozoan pathogens
- Molecular genetics and genomics of mycobacteria, virulence, mobile DNA, drug design
- Host-vector-virus interrelationships and viral evolution of Category B viral encephalides
- Mucosal immunity to ricin and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B
- Reverse genetics, RNA synthesis, and pathogenesis of coronaviruses, including SARS
- Tuberculosis and plague virulence gene regulation and pathogenesis
- Mutagenic effects of lesion-bypass DNA polymerases
- Regulation of gene expression in bacteria
Most PhD graduates in biomedical sciences pursue post-doctoral training or employment at universities, schools of medicine and health sciences, biotechnology firms, and government research agencies such as:
- Centers for Disease Control
- National Institutes of Health
- Food and Drug Administration
- National Science Foundation
- United States Department of Agriculture
- U.S. Veterans Administration
Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.
- Apply fundamental concepts in the core areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology to a succinct research problem in the chosen specialty area.
- Apply laboratory skills such as planning of experiments, data acquisition, management and analysis to a selected research problem.
- Critically evaluate the scientific literature.
- Demonstrate needed communication skills, both verbal and written.
- Apply fundamental concepts in the biomedical sciences to public health issues, in particular, in the detection, treatment and prevention of disease.
- Understand the contribution of advanced biomedical science disciplines to public health.
- Understand and demonstrate the proper conduct of scientific research.
- Plan and execute, with considerable independence, original and extensive laboratory research on a significant problem in the biomedical sciences.
- Critically evaluate the work of peers in biomedical sciences, including the choice of methods applied to problems and the interpretation of results obtained.
- Demonstrate advanced communication skills, both verbal and written, to disseminate the results of research.