As a discipline, Pathobiology ties together the fundamental concepts of biology, medicine, and public health, particularly as applied to Global Health issues. The program applies a multidisciplinary approach as well as the latest research technologies to the study of public health problems such as viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases, as well as other conditions such as cancer. Investigating the mechanisms underlying multifactorial diseases emphasizes the preventive as well as the curative, and a broader view of disease etiology. The program applies the research tools of immunology, molecular biology, pathology, and genetics to the detection and characterization of cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and respiratory and parasitic infections.

The Pathobiology Graduate Program offers research and training programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees. Coursework includes basic courses in pathobiology, with additional courses required in epidemiology and molecular biology. Students may also choose electives from other basic medical sciences, such as microbiology, biochemistry, pathology, and genetics. The Program places equal emphasis on research and training for both graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The Pathobiology Graduate Program has established learning objectives for its doctoral program:

  • Develop a fundamental understanding of basic cellular and molecular processes and techniques important in the application of basic biomedical research to diseases of global public health interest. Specifically, this includes familiarity with the paradigms for control, prevention, and treatment of diseases of public health importance, an understanding of the epidemiology and diseases processes of important diseases of national and international importance, an understanding of how biomedical research can approach such diseases, and basic methodologies used in this type of research, including relevant areas of molecular biology, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Students are also expected to develop familiarity with the major classes of pathogens.
  • Become an independent scholar capable of conducting independent research leading to the expansion of knowledge of Pathobiology. This includes developing the skills to approach an unfamiliar experimental system, and identify and explore important questions concerning pathogenesis and infection.
  • Learn to collect, analyze, interpret, and use data for solving problems in Pathobiology.
  • Develop advanced research skills and expertise in the area of his/her research concentration.
  • Develop skills in communicating research findings to scientific audiences through publications and oral presentations.

The PhD Program

Time to completion: 4-5 years.
TOTAL CREDIT REQUIREMENT: 81 CREDITS.
MINIMUM: 18 GRADED CREDITS.


Required Courses   Credits Graded
or C/NC

 PABIO 551 Biochemistry and Genetics of Pathogens and Their Hosts  4  Graded
 PABIO 552  Cell Biology of Human Pathogens, Disease, and Public Health  4  Graded
 PABIO 553  Survival Skills for Scientific Research  2  Graded
 PABIO 580*  Pathobiology Seminar  1  C/NC
 GH 580**  Global Health Doctoral Seminar: Biology, Systems, and Measurement 2  C/NC
 PABIO 581***  Current Literature in Pathobiology  1  C/NC
 PABIO 582****  Critical Thinking & Research Design in Pathobiology
 1.5  C/NC
 PABIO 590*****  Pathobiology Minicourse Series  1  C/NC
 PABIO 598  Didactic Pathobiology (teaching)  2  C/NC
 PABIO 500  Rotation  3  C/NC
 PABIO 600  Research  Variable  C/NC
 PABIO 800  Doctoral Dissertation  Variable  C/NC
 EPI 511  Principles of Epidemiology  4  Graded
   Plus one of these courses:
   
 IMMUN 441  Introduction to Immunology  4  Graded
 IMMUN 532  Advanced Immunology  3  Grade


* Students are required to attend PABIO Seminar (580) each winter  while enrolled, and to attend the presentations of dissertation research in the Final Exam of students completing the Pathobiology doctoral program. Three credits each of Seminar may be counted toward your degree. Those students in the writing stage of their dissertation are exempted from PABIO 580 for that quarter.
**Students are required to take GH 580 in Autumn and Spring during the first two years of their study for a total of four quarters and 8 credits.
***All students are required to enroll in PABIO 581 (autumn quarter) in each of the first three years in the PhD program.
**** Students must take Pabio 582 each year until they have passed their General Exam and advanced to doctoral candidacy.
***** Students are required to take a PABIO 590 mini-course (spring quarter) the first four years of the Pathobiology Program.

Electives

You must take two or more courses selected on the basis of your track and emphasis. PABIO 536 Bioinformatics is strongly recommended for all students. Please consult with your advisor and your committee regarding your selection and schedule of electives. Your research advisory committee may advise you to take additional electives or electives in lieu of those designated for your track. If the latter occurs, this should be documented in your file in the program office. Some electives are more suitable for students with advanced backgrounds.

Elective Recommendations by Emphasis

Students should consult a current catalog to verify course offerings. Each student in the Ph.D. program will select a track based on his or her research interests; this is done at the time of the formation of the student-mentor partnership (end of the third quarter in the first year). Students should choose electives based on their track.

Emphasis in Eukaryotic Pathogens

Strongly Recommended:      
 PABIO 548
 Molec & Cell. Parasitology.  3  Every other year, Winter or Spring
 IMMUN 532  Advanced Immunology  3 Winter

Additional electives can be selected from the courses below to fulfill the total graded credit requirements, depending on the  background and interests of the student:

 EPI 520  Epidemiology of Infect. Dis.  4 Autumn
 EPI 532  Epidemiology of Infect. Dis. of Third World Importance  3  Spring, odd years
 MICROM 444  Med. Mycology & Parasitology  4  Spring
 CONJ 531-544  Select modules from the Molecular Conjoint Series  6  

Emphasis in Bacterial Pathogens

Strongly Recommended:      
 IMMUN 532
 Advanced Immunolog 3  Winter or Spring
Additional electives can be selected from the courses below to fulfill the total graded credit requirements, depending on the background and interests of the student:
 MICROM 553  Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenesis 3  Autumn, odd years
 MICROM 555  Advanced Clinical Microbiology 2.5  Autumn, Winter, Spring
 EPI 520  Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases  3  Winter
 EPI 529
 Emerging Infections of International Public Health Importance 3  Winter
 PABIO 568  Molecular Epidemiology  2  Winter
 MICROM 510  Physiology of Bacteria  3  Winter, odd years
 GENOME 576  Genetic and Genomic Analysis of Bacteria  1.5  Autumn

Emphasis in Viral Pathogens and Cellular Pathology

Two or more of the following are strong recommended:
 IMMUN 532  Advanced Immunology  4  Winter
 MICROM 540  Virology  3  Winter, even years
 CONJ 531-544  Select modules from the Molecular Conjoint Series    
 MCB 532  Human Pathogenic Viruses  3  Autumn, odd years
Additional electives selected from courses below to fulfill the total graded credit requirements, depending on the background and interest of the student:
 EPI 520  Epidemiology of Infectious Dis.  3  Winter
 EPI 530  AIDS: A Multidisciplinary Appr.  2  Autumn
 EPI 524  Epidemiology of Cancer  4  Winter

Schedule for Coursework

For the first three quarters, students should enroll in PABIO 500 for the rotation program, as well as in their courses. After the student arranges for a permanent lab, he/she will enroll in PABIO 600 for research credit. After completing the General Examination, students will enroll in PABIO 800 for dissertation research credit.
The following example shows the general course progression through the Ph.D. program. While "elective" slots are listed, this does not mean that students are required to take electives at all of those slots. Generally all formal coursework should be completed by the end of the second year. A full time course load is 10 credits per quarter (except Summer). Students desiring to enroll in more than this need approval from the Graduate Program Director.

Suggested Schedule of Coursework

Year  1 
 
Autumn  
PABIO 551 
Biochemistry and Genetics of Pathogens and Their Hosts
GH 580 Global Health Doctoral Seminar: Biology, Systems, and Measurement
PABIO 581 Current Literature in Pathobiology
IMMUN 441 Introduction to Immunology, or elective for advanced students
Winter  
PABIO 552 Cell Biology, Immunology, and Disease
PABIO 580 Pathobiology Seminar
PABIO 582 Critical Thinking and Research Design in Pathobiology
IMMUN 532   
Advanced Immunology or other elective.
Spring  
PABIO 553 Survival Skills for Scientific Research
PABIO 536 Bioinformatics or other elective
GH 580 Global Health Doctoral Seminar: Biology, Systems, and Measurement
PABIO 590 Selected Topics in Pathobiology (Mini-courses)
Year 2  
Autumn  
EPI 511 Principles of Epidemiology
GH 580
Global Health Doctoral Seminar: Biology, Systems, and Measurement
PABIO 581 Current Literature in Pathobiology
  Elective
  Elective
Winter
PABIO 580 Pathobiology Seminar
PABIO 582 Critical Thinking and Research Design
  Elective
  Elective
Spring  
GH 580 Global Health Doctoral Seminar: Biology, Systems, and Measurement
PABIO 590 Selected Topics in Pathobiology (Mini-courses)
  Elective
  Elective
  PABIO 598 (Didactic teaching) is usually taken during the 3rd or 4th years.
 

Several students have also taken TC509 - Writing the Scientific Article as an elective class and have found it very helpful.

Pathobiology Seminar

Pathobiology Rotation Program

First year students in the PhD program participate in the laboratory rotation program. This program is designed to provide research experience in various projects and experimental systems that are being investigated in the program. It will give students the opportunity to interact with faculty, students, postdoctoral scientists, and staff in different research groups and facilities, and assist students in deciding in which laboratory they wish to conduct their dissertation research. Students rotate through three labs, one quarter each for their first three quarters.

Admissions

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