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Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program

Graduate Studies

Welcome to the Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology (MCBP) Program

The Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program at the Medical University of South Carolina is a cooperative effort by faculty from sixteen university departments. It brings together a large number of faculty (currently more than 60) and PhD and MD/PhD students (currently 34) with research interests spanning all the modern aspects of biomedical sciences from the molecular mechanisms and basis of disease to translational research. The program sponsors an extensive series of outside seminar speakers and other activities which foster communication and scientific interaction among the members of the biomedical sciences community.

During the first year, the students take the core Biomolecular, Genetic and Cellular Essentials Curriculum curriculum as well as Techniques and Experimental Design. In the spring, the students choose three mini-courses (from a total of six options) that allow them to deepen their knowledge in topics such as Cancer Biology, Drug Discovery and Development, Bioenergetics and Metabolism, Cardiovascular Biology, Immunobiology, Cancer Biology, Human Genetics & Genomics or Host/Pathogen Interactions while delving into the primary literature. The students also do three lab rotations with faculty of their choosing. These rotations allow students to explore different disciplines and to familiarize themselves with the research environments and the laboratories of different investigators. In May, the students choose their primary mentor, enter the laboratory in which they will perform their dissertation research, and become a part of MCBP. The diverse research interests of the MCBP Program faculty offer a wide variety of potential thesis projects in all areas of the biomedical sciences. In the summer after their first year, students take the “Science Writing as Persuasion” course.

Owing to the large number of participating faculty, the MCBP Program offers a wider variety of advanced courses taught by experts in their respective areas than any one departmental program could offer. The MCBP Program has been divided up into four divisions, offering flexibility and choice of any of the participating faculty from multiple departments while still retaining the small focused environment of an individual training program,. These divisions include Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Biology, Molecular Cell Regulation, and Oral Health Sciences. Three additional tracks are being developed. Each of these Divisions offer journal clubs, advanced courses and informal interactions between student lab groups and departments which provide excellent venues for collaboration and brainstorming. Several of the divisions are also supported by T32 training grants.

The MCBP Program has an outstanding tradition in research training. Our graduates have gone on to prominent positions in both academia and industry. We invite you to get to know the program better and to read descriptions of the research interests of our faculty located on our web page. If you have any questions not answered by this material, please call or e-mail us. We think you would enjoy training at the Medical University of South Carolina and living in the historic city of Charleston. We encourage you to apply. The application fee is paid for by the program for U.S. citizens. Successful applicants are invited to visit at our expense on interview weekends and look at our research community. We look forward to hearing from you.

Robin Muise Helmericks Director

Robin Muise-Helmericks, Ph.D.

Director, Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology Program