The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease (MCBD) Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia is designed to elucidate the mechanisms of disease processes, with a particular emphasis on the skills necessary to perform translational research. Admission to the MCBD program is in most cases through the combined Molecular Medicine (Pathology Pharmacology, and Physiology) (MM/PPP) admissions program, or through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).
There are over 50 faculty members in the Program who are engaged in different aspects of diseases, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, infectious diseases, immunological disorders, brain tumors, leukemia, hypertension, 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 as part of the students’ training.
The program course of study requires a month long rotation in the pathology laboratories that enables close understanding of modern medical problems, and completion of selected components of the human pathology course. The qualifying exam is a logical and well-documented presentation of the thesis project, and the thesis dissertation is presented both in written form and in a public seminar. Most projects will be investigations into the molecular basis of human disease, or towards improved treatments or diagnoses. All students have access to clinical laboratory and tissue specimens and shared resources in histology and histochemistry, and biomarker discovery facilities through the Department’s collaborative mass spectrometry facility.
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