Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Systems Biology
University requirements for the Ph.D. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.
The Department of Chemical and Systems Biology offers interdisciplinary training to prepare students for independent careers in biomedical science. The main focus of the program is cell signaling, chemical biology, and systems biology.
The program leading to the Ph.D. degree includes formal and informal study in chemical biology, systems biology, drug discovery, biochemistry, and other areas of relevance to the interests of particular students. First-year students spend one quarter in each of three different laboratories, working closely with other graduate students, a professor, and postdoctoral fellows on various research projects. During the fourth quarter, the student chooses a faculty mentor with whom to undertake thesis research, based on available positions and the student's interest. During or before the eighth quarter of study, students must pass a qualifying exam which consists of an oral exam on general knowledge and a defense of a research proposal. Course requirements are fulfilled during the first two years of study; the later years of the four- to six-year program are devoted to full-time dissertation research. Close tutorial contact between students and faculty is stressed throughout the program.
Research opportunities also exist for medical students and undergraduates. The limited size of the labs in the department allows for close tutorial contact between students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.
The department participates in the four quarter Health and Human Disease and Practice of Medicine sequence which provides medical students with a comprehensive, systems-based education in physiology, pathology, microbiology, and pharmacology.