The graduate program in Molecular Biophysics is funded by a T32 Training Grant from the General Medical Sciences Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS). We train students to become independent research scientists suited for a career in either academia or industry. Our Ph.D. program focuses on the molecular mechanisms of a wide array of biological phenomena, including membrane transport, cell signaling, nucleic acids, protein folding and design. Experimental approaches include X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, NMR, computational modeling, MRI, mass spectrometry, single-molecule imaging and other biophysical and biochemical methods. We have a strong history of collaboration where students take advantage of expertise from multiple laboratories to explore novel biological problems.
Coursework provides a foundation in cellular and molecular biology, supplemented with advanced classes covering molecular biophysics and structural biology. Semester-long "rotations" provide an introduction to research and a sampling of work in three different laboratories during the first year. The bulk of the training involves independent thesis research supervised by a faculty mentor and an advisory committee. In addition to the Ph.D. thesis, this work typically produces multiple publications and thus provides a launchpad for a postgraduate career.