The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program

Big enough to be on the forefront of research

Small enough for one on one interactions with experts

We foster a cooperative climate for training and research that has an established record of timely graduations and alumni successes.  We also provide competitive stipends in a vibrant region with a low cost of living.

Featured Program Faculty, Yong-jie Xu Laboratory

The Xu lab studies the checkpoint mechanism that coordinates DNA replication with cell cycle progression. Various factors such as DNA damage and polymerase toxins can block DNA replication, which activates the checkpoint to slow down mitosis so that the cells can have enough time to properly finish the DNA synthesis before cell division. Progress in this research will advance our knowledge of the mechanisms that control cell proliferation and prevent oncogenesis. His lab also studies therapeutics identified from basic research for better treatment of cancer or infectious diseases.

Integrative Biology and Toxicology

Are you interested in studying the mammalian organism as an entire system or investigating a specific organ system as a part of the whole organism? If so, consider the Integrative Biology and Toxicology area of concentration.

Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology

Research training opportunities in the Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology area of concentration extend across the molecular, cellular, intercellular and organismal levels of biology.


Neuroscience and Physiology

The Neuroscience and Physiology area of concentration involves investigating the function of the cell, the organ and the whole animal, using molecular, cellular, physiological and behavioral approaches.

Structural and Quantitative Biology

Traditional biological research and computational science methods have come together to form the next wave in research. This combination is maximized in the Structural and Quantitative Biology area of concentration.

Research Spotlight




DNA is most susceptible to mutation during the process of replication. The Leffak laboratory studies the proteins involved in replication initiation, and non-Watson-Crick DNA structures that cause replication-dependent mutagenesis and chromosome breakage in human disease.