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School of Medicine Graduate Programs

Ph.D. Programs

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology

The Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program offers graduate training in the breadth of the biological sciences where students focus on problems of biomedical importance from a mechanistic perspective. Our students choose their thesis advisers from seven departments: biological chemistry, biophysics and biophysical chemistry, cell biology, molecular biology and genetics, neuroscience, pharmacology and molecular sciences, and physiology. (Ph.D.)

Biological Chemistry

The graduate program in Biological Chemistry offers training in the molecular mechanisms underlying a wide variety of biologic processes including nuclear structure & gene regulation, miRNA biogenesis & function, signaling, lipid metabolism & enzymology, exosome biology, cell polarity & migration, bacterial cell biology & cell division, immunology, host-pathogen interactions, pain & inflammation, stress responses, glycobiology, neurobiology, cancer, metabolism & bioenergetics, and proteomics and metabolomics.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering applies modern approaches from the experimental life sciences in conjunction with theoretical and computational methods from engineering, mathematics and computer science to the solution of biomedical problems of fundamental importance, such as human health. Students train in the school of medicine and school of engineering in fields such as neuroengineering, medical imaging, computational medicine, and cell and tissue engineering. (Ph.D.)

Molecular Biophysics

The Program in Molecular Biophysics utilizes methods in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, engineering and computer science to provide students with training in both the fundamental principles of biophysics and contemporary advances in the field. The program offers opportunities in such areas as X-ray crystallography, and optical spectroscopies, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics and biophysical chemistry, and it emphasizes studies of macromolecules and their assemblies. (Ph.D.)

Cellular and Molecular Medicine

The Graduate Training Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine prepares scientists for laboratory research at the cellular and molecular level with a direct impact on the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human diseases. Coursework covers human physiology, anatomy and histology, cellular and molecular basis of disease and introduction to clinical research. There are 130 mentoring faculty from 28 basic science or clinical departments. A clinical co-mentor directs individualized bench-to-bedside experience. Training in rigor and reproducibility and career opportunities are emphasized. (Ph.D.)

Functional Anatomy and Evolution

The Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution focuses on the exploration of relationships among functional anatomy, behavior and evolutionary biology of extant and extinct vertebrates. Graduate students conduct original research in evolutionary organismal biology, working in laboratory settings, exploring collections at JHMI and the Smithsonian, and conducting fieldwork. Students also gain experience teaching human anatomy in the school of medicine. (Ph.D., M.S.)

Health Sciences Informatics

The Division of Health Sciences Informatics seeks to advance the development and use of information technology for decision-making, research, health care delivery and individual academic growth. (Ph.D. and master’s programs; also, see online graduate programs)

History of Science, Medicine and Technology

The Graduate Program in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology prepares students for scholarly careers in teaching, research and policy, exploring the histories of global health and disease, biomedicine, medical ways of knowing, healing practices and the body. Expertise in multiple specific temporal and geographic emphases affords many options for student research in this program. (Ph.D.; also, see online graduate programs)

Human Genetics and Molecular Biology

The Human Genetics and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine seeks to further the understanding of human heredity and genetic medicine and use that knowledge to treat and prevent disease. The program trains students for academic careers in the field of human genetics. (Ph.D.)


The Graduate Program in Immunology trains students in the basic mechanisms of the immune system and the application of this knowledge to the understanding and treatment of disease. Research areas include investigations of human infectious diseases, exploration of cell signaling and genetic pathways critical for immune development and function, or engaging in the study of immune–mediated processes in autoimmunity, transplantation or cancer. (Ph.D.)

Medical and Biological Illustration

The Medical and Biological Illustration graduate program provides a two-year interdisciplinary education and training curriculum including rigorous science and visual communication scholarship. Student projects in illustration, animation, 3D modeling, interactive design and a research thesis prepare graduates as professionals in the field of visual communication of science and medicine. (M.A.)


The Neuroscience Training Program curriculum spans the breadth of modern neuroscience, from molecular/cellular underpinnings to systems/cognitive integration. Work with our trainees has led to fundamental discoveries in the organization of the cerebral cortex, neurotransmitter signaling, neuronal and glial cell development, and circuit function. (Ph.D.)


The Graduate Program in Pathobiology in the Department of Pathology educates Ph.D. trainees in basic and translational research in human pathology. Students effectively bridge molecular and cell biology with clinically relevant biological science and pathological biology. Students are rigorously trained in mechanisms of disease by clinical and basic science experimental pathologists, therefore gaining unparalleled access to human tissues and specimens in health and disease. (Ph.D.)


The focus of the Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences graduate program is on chemical biology, the molecular interactions of living systems and the application of this knowledge in pharmacology to fields including immunology, virology, cancer and neuroscience. (Ph.D.)

Cellular and Molecular Physiology

The Cellular & Molecular Physiology graduate program emphasizes fundamental and translational research on the mechanisms by which an organism maintains processes essential for life. The studies are characterized by integration of molecular, cellular and systems biology approaches and aim to mechanistically understand both normal and disease states. (Ph.D.)

Cross-Disciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences

The Cross-Disciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (XDBio) aims to facilitate interdisciplinary research training bridging biology, engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry and medicine. Students will be offered a tailored, personalized curriculum guided by each student’s individual research interests, prior coursework and future goals. (Ph.D.)

Masters and Certificate Programs

We also offer a combined M.D./Ph.D. program.
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