The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers a predoctoral training program in Molecular and Cellular Pathology. The objective of the Graduate Training Program is to ensure that the student who receives the Ph.D. from this Department is a highly trained, competitive scientist capable of pursuing a productive career in experimental pathology. Students acquire a broad background of knowledge in the biomedical sciences, detailed knowledge of his or her research area, the ability to pose scientific questions, the skills to seek answers in the laboratory, the ability to present concisely his or her research in written form, the ability to carry out a critical analysis of the scientific literature, and the ability to prepare and present formal seminars.
Pathology is the study of disease (abnormal biology), and stands at the interface between medicine and biology. Classical pathology focuses mainly on the diagnosis and the status of disease. Its resources are the microscopic examination of cells and tissues, and the utilization of clinical laboratory methodologies, such as chemical, molecular, immunological, and microbiological analyses of body fluids or tissue biopsies. In contrast, contemporary experimental pathology is concerned with the laboratory investigation of disease mechanisms. Experimental pathologists apply methods of cellular and molecular biology to study interactions of etiologic agents with cellular macromolecules. They are also interested in how these interactions lead to the expression of disease at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organismic levels. To the interested student, training in experimental pathology provides the biological background and opportunity for development of basic research in areas at the forefront of medicine. Our program emphasizes the inquiry into human disease processes by using a multilevel approach to research and state-of-the-art techniques. Graduates of this training program should be able to fill positions within academia, industry, and government that are concerned with human health, and the cause and prevention of human illness.
The mission of the Molecular and Cellular Pathology Ph.D. program is to provide opportunities for students to (i) acquire knowledge and advance their understanding of the origins and pathogenesis of human disease, and the consequences of pathology on human physiology, (ii) develop basic methodological skills, state-of-the-art investigative techniques, and advanced experimental approaches to enable them to elucidate mechanisms of disease, (iii) harness their laboratory skills in experimental pathology to generate new scientific knowledge related to mechanisms of disease and human pathology, (iv) gain experience in the practical aspects of scientific writing as it relates to dissemination of scientific knowledge and generation of scientific proposals, and (v) prepare for future careers in science, including but not limited to basic scientific research, translational research, industrial research and development, biotechnology, governmental research and regulation, and teaching of undergraduate, graduate, medical, or allied health students.